Fresh into the new year, from January 7-10, more than 4,500 exhibiting companies will be descending upon Las Vegas for CES 2020.
Billed as the “world’s gathering place for all those who thrive on the business of consumer technologies,” CES has been a major force in the trade show circuit for 50 years, and it shows no signs of slowing down.
With so many companies at the show, along with an average of more than 170,000 attendees from 160 countries, it takes a lot of work to stand out. But if last year’s show was any indication, those with a presence at this year’s show will be more than up to the challenge.
So as you gear up for this year’s CES, here’s a look back at some of the spectacular exhibits from 2019, along with some trends you’ll likely see in action again in January.
Incorporating Experiences, Presentations, and Designs
While the above three elements are naturally a part of every trade show, last year’s CES kicked things up a notch.
These experiences not only gave attendees the opportunity to physically interact with the brand — seeing, touching, and feeling various positive emotions — but also made a lasting impression precisely because they were able to engage all the senses.
The tech and entertainment giant Sony, meanwhile, captured attention by going the presentation route, with an hourly live show featuring a rotating cast of celebrities along with a bank of massive displays that moved up and down to capture attention from the show floor.
When it comes to design, one of the hard-to-beat exhibits came from LG, which embraced the open-air concept with the twist of building its products directly into the design. Large TVs displaying gorgeous scenes from nature, with each display curved in such a way to simulate a wave.
Incorporating Flashy Trends in a Cost-Effective Way
Now, obviously, each of the exhibits mentioned above had a lot of firepower and massive budgets. But rest assured, you don’t have to break the bank in order to incorporate what made theirs effective into your own designs.
What made the exhibits from Google, Audi, Sony, and LG so effective were the three distinct trends employed: memorable experiences, attention-grabbing presentation, and show-stopping designs.
For your own presence at CES 2020, keep these opportunities in mind:
- Give the audience something to do, whether it’s a fun activity, engaging demonstrations like VR and AR, or opportunities to take home a gift or souvenir.
- Don’t be afraid to put on a show at your booth, since it can be extremely effective in getting attendees to stop by your exhibit and stay a while.
- Be unexpected in your design, so that your exhibit stands out and wows attendees on the crowded floor. In addition, design with the comfort of attendees in mind by embracing open-air spaces and warm lighting.
That being said, don’t just follow trends for the sake of following trends. Make sure there’s a purpose behind each element of your exhibit. This way, you won’t be throwing money at cool, flashy things that do nothing for your brand presence.
As our designer Alonso Vega puts it:
“I think you’ve got to have a clear story to tell and if the best way to tell that story is following a trend, then that works. If that's not the best way, then don't go with the trend.” — Alonso Vega
For more thoughts and ideas about trade show trends, download our free guide The Exhibitor's Guide To Trade Show Success In 2020. Otherwise, get inspired for your CES booth by checking out our portfolio of booths we designed for CES and other technology shows.