With more and more exhibitors wanting to include new materials and concepts in their stand design, a number of trends are emerging. Spaces that create an intimate area for engagement are becoming increasingly popular, while the ‘green’ trend continues to present itself.
International stand design trends are revealing more open, de-cluttered spaces, and the same can be said for South Africa. Large, busy graphics are being replaced by simple logos and audio-visual options to convey a message, while stands are being opened up and, in many cases, walls and frames are being removed entirely.
The cleaner lines of geometric and angular structures have replaced the curves that were once popular, while slatted structures have become prominent. This is partly because these angles use less material and can result in a cheaper stand, but they also show a trend towards bolder design in stands.
A focus on ‘talk-ability’
Adding elements of interest to a stand, in a bid to increase the social ambience, will grow dramatically in the coming year. This makes customers feel comfortable, encouraging them to engage with an exhibitor for longer than if they had just stopped by to collect a brochure. In the end, this means a better quality interaction with a potential client.
Creating this ambience is as simple as providing a hospitality element to a stand such as a coffee station or handing out small bags of fresh popcorn.
Creating sustainable exhibition spaces
The ‘greening’ of exhibitions is not exactly a new trend, but the hunt for new, improved and more environmentally-friendly products continues to drive design. There is a move towards natural materials in the global design scape, and we have seen the introduction of untreated wood, paper, cardboard, industrial materials and string. This often includes reclaimed items such as wooden pallets and tyres.
The elimination of paper collateral has led to the improved use of audio-visual media in stand design. LCD screens, touch screens and tablets that display products and collect customer information are used. This draws customers in and allows exhibitors to interact more.
Our team has seen the advantages of some of the new materials being used, not only in their design, but also in their cost-effectiveness. Graphics panels replaced by printed fabric equivalents are easier to transport and reuse across various exhibitions.
The bigger picture
In our world of constant change, designers must continually consider new trends and try and do things in a better and more efficient way. They are under pressure to ensure a stand is interesting, eye-catching and makes sufficient impact to stand out from competitors’ stands.