Trade Show Trends 2024: What’s New and What Works
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In a world where change is the only constant, staying ahead of the curve isn’t just an option—it’s a necessity. We are seeing more and more the need to pivot based on event technology, pop-culture, remote culture, sustainability, and booth design both globally and in North America. If the pandemic taught us anything, it was the need to stay scrappy and be able to pivot fast! 

The trade show landscape is constantly evolving, and with 2024 officially underway, it’s time to embrace the new wave of trends that will redefine the way we connect, engage, and inspire. But, don’t lose your mission and ethos in the process. Stay true to your objectives and goals, ok? Don’t pull a Bud light fail and not tailor your campaign to your target audience either. These trends are a guide for marketers, industry professionals who have inherited the tasks of event planning for your company, and those C-Suite marketing leaders seeking to stay in the know from the industry experts.

“If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten.”

Let’s dive into the future and explore the innovative trends that are setting the stage for a new era of trade shows, shall we?

Introduction to the importance of staying up-to-date with trade show trends

In the dynamic world of the almighty expo, being well-informed about the latest trends is not just about staying relevant—it’s about being a leader in your industry. It’s about harnessing the power of innovation to create more meaningful connections, to deliver unforgettable experiences, and to drive your business forward. 

Remember, in the arena of trade shows, it’s not the strongest that survive, but the most adaptable and sometimes, the most creative booths that draw you in. Whether you are in a 10×10 or a large custom exhibit environment, your goal is always going to u-turn into leaving a lasting impression with the attendees, as long as they are your target demographic, of course.

Key trends in trade shows for 2024

As we look ahead, several key trends are poised to transform the trade show experience:


In 2024, trade shows and events will be all about personalization. Attendees are seeking customized experiences that cater to their specific interests and needs. Event organizers will leverage data, analytics, AI, and digital kiosks to tailor everything from content and networking meetings to exhibitor recommendations and education sessions. By providing personalized experiences, your next trade show can effectively engage attendees and create more meaningful connections.

Technology Integration:

The rapid advancement of technology continues to shape the trade show landscape. In 2024, expect to see even greater integration of cutting-edge technologies such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and generative AI. These technologies will enable exhibitors to showcase their products and services in immersive and interactive ways. Attendees will have the opportunity to explore virtual showrooms, participate in virtual demos, and engage with AI-powered chatbots for quick and personalized assistance.

Hybrid Events:

With the rise of virtual events over the past couple of years, hybrid events have become increasingly popular. In 2024, trade shows will continue to incorporate virtual components alongside in-person experiences. This hybrid approach allows event organizers to cater to a wider audience, accommodating both those who prefer attending in person as well as those who opt for virtual participation. Hybrid events offer the flexibility of accessing content and networking opportunities from anywhere while still enjoying the benefits of face-to-face interactions. In the future, this could coincide with augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) environments. 

If that seems far off, don’t be surprised at how fast it could happen. 

Have you checked out Apple lately? This innovative front-runner has been building momentum for their Apple Vision Pro. If a product like this has the ability to revolutionize the way the Apple smartphone did when it came out, then that could translate into millions of professionals owning something like this in the future. Can you imagine how this could accompany a trade show strategy to capture those who could not make the show for whatever reason? 

Are your wheels turning yet? Are you feeling inspired? Well, we are just getting started. Keep reading. 

How can you incorporate virtual and hybrid event strategies into your marketing plan?

The future of the expo is not limited to physical spaces. Virtual and hybrid events are breaking down geographical barriers, allowing for global participation. These formats offer the flexibility to reach a wider audience and provide diverse ways of engagement, from live streams to interactive online platforms. Embrace these digital frontiers to expand your reach and impact.

  • Embrace technology. 
  • Enhance Accessibility and Inclusivity.
  • Create engaging virtual content.
  • Foster opportunities to network.
  • Leverage data for personalization. 
  • Promote interactivity in-person and virtually. (Hint, hint: This is a great way to use gamification.)
  • Market creatively. 
  • Prep for the future.

3. Pop-up Spaces:

Sustainability and Social Responsibility:

The importance of sustainability and social responsibility will be more prominent in trade shows and events in 2024. Attendees and exhibitors alike are placing a greater emphasis on eco-friendly practices and ethical business operations. Trade Show organizers will focus on reducing waste, implementing renewable energy sources, and promoting ethical sourcing and production. This commitment to sustainability will not only appeal to environmentally conscious attendees but also align with the values of many industry experts.

The shift towards sustainability is not just a trend—it’s a movement. The millennials really spearheaded sustainability and shifted corporate culture and responsibility to think differently, even if costs rose to do business. As trade show exhibitors, we have a responsibility to lead by example. This means rethinking how we design our booths, minimizing build and burn waste overseas, and choosing partners who share our commitment to the environment. Remember, every small step towards sustainability is a giant leap for our planet. 

Let’s keep those zombie viruses from showing up to your next expo and deep in the permafrost, shall we?

Enhanced Engagement Opportunities:

In 2024, the event industry will go beyond traditional booth setups and basic presentations. Event planners will seek innovative ways to enhance attendee engagement throughout the show. This could include gamification elements, interactive workshops, experiential activities, and live demonstrations. The goal is to create a dynamic and immersive environment that captivates attendees, making their trade show experience memorable and valuable.

What is Experiential Design?

Experiential Design is transforming trade shows from mere product showcases into vibrant, interactive realms where visitors don’t just see but experience what brands have to offer. This innovative approach focuses on creating immersive environments that engage all the senses, allowing attendees to form a deeper connection with the brand. It’s about curating spaces that tell a story, where every element, from the layout to the technology used, is meticulously planned to evoke emotions, provoke thought, and inspire action.

Interactive installations become gateways to discovery, where visitors can manipulate, play, and experiment, breaking down the barriers between them and the product. Live demonstrations offer a dynamic showcase of products in action, providing a transparent and engaging way to highlight features and benefits. Hands-on opportunities, meanwhile, invite attendees to touch, use, and experience products firsthand, offering a tangible sense of ownership and a memorable take on traditional product exploration.

At its core, Experiential Design is about crafting memorable moments that resonate long after the trade show ends. Invigorating all your senses, it leverages storytelling, technology, and creativity to create a holistic brand experience that not only informs but entertains and connects. In doing so, it transforms passive observers into active participants, fostering a community around shared experiences and leaving a lasting impression that goes beyond the physical boundaries of the trade show floor.

Case studies of successful implementations

To illustrate the impact of these trends, let’s consider a couple case studies:

Case Study #1: Komptech Americas

Facing the challenge of maximizing their presence at the Compost 2023 trade show, a leading event in the industry, Komptech Americas sought to create an engaging and informative exhibition space that not only showcased their cutting-edge products and solutions but also effectively conveyed their commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility. 

To achieve this, Komptech Americas partnered with Brave Exhibits, known for crafting immersive and impactful trade show experiences. Through close collaboration, Brave Exhibits and Komptech Americas developed a comprehensive strategy tailored to meet Komptech Americas’ objectives, ensuring their trade show presence was both memorable and aligned with their core values. Integrating sustainability and eco-friendly practices. 

Read more about this case study.

Case Study #2: Sutherland Furniture

At the crowded HD Expo, Sutherland Furniture had to overcome showcasing their extensive range of luxury outdoor furniture within a limited booth space, capturing prospect attention, and reinforcing their high-end brand image. 

Brave Exhibits addressed these challenges by creating a strategically designed booth that maximized space utilization through modular elements customizable for different product lines. The design incorporated elegant signage, high-quality materials, and an inviting color palette to emphasize Sutherland Furniture’s luxury identity. Interactive displays and a team of well-trained product specialists allowed attendees to experience the brand’s commitment to comfort, quality, and craftsmanship firsthand.

Additionally, Brave Exhibits enhanced visitor engagement through live demonstrations and product launches, ensuring Sutherland Furniture stood out at the event and connected effectively with their audience. 

Read more about this case study

Leveraging data analytics for decision-making

Data is the key to unlocking insights and driving strategic decisions. By analyzing attendee behavior, preferences, and feedback, you can tailor your future trade show strategies to better meet the needs of your audience. Use data analytics to fine-tune your approach, ensuring that every decision is informed and every investment is optimized.

But, leveraging data analytics for decision-making extends beyond just understanding attendee behaviors; it’s about transforming raw data into actionable strategies (and actually following through) that propel your trade show presence to new heights. By diving deep into analytics, companies can identify not only which elements of their booth attracted the most engagement but also understand the why behind attendee interactions. 

This level of insight can guide the development of more engaging content, optimize booth layout for better flow and interaction, and enhance overall visitor satisfaction. Furthermore, data analytics and AI innovations can also reveal trends over time, allowing for predictive modeling that anticipates future prospect interests and preferences. This proactive approach to trade show planning means that companies can stay ahead of industry trends, continually innovating their exhibition strategies to captivate and engage their target audience more effectively with each event.

Preparing for the future of trade shows

As we look towards the future, it’s clear that the world of exhibitions is on the brink of a revolution. To thrive in this new era, we must be willing to challenge the status quo, to innovate relentlessly, and to adapt with agility. Let’s embrace these trends with open arms and a mindset geared towards growth and excellence. After all, the future belongs to those who prepare for it today.

In conclusion, the exhibition scene of 2024 and beyond is ripe with opportunities for those ready to embrace change and leverage the latest trends. By staying informed, adaptable, and forward-thinking, we can transform these opportunities into successes. Remember, in the words of Tony Robbins, “It’s in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.” Let’s make the decision to lead the charge and shape a future that’s brighter for our businesses, our audiences, and our world.

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About the Author
Picture of Jenn Guidry

Jenn Guidry

Jenn Guidry, a transformational marketing strategist and leader, excels in digital marketing, trade shows, event marketing, SaaS, and property management. As founder of JGV Marketing and co-founder of MKTG Mates Digital, Jenn leads innovative campaigns across various industries, blending her Director-level expertise with insightful strategies. Her writings offer valuable lessons and reflect her passion for marketing. Connect with this industry influencer at
Picture of Jenn Guidry

Jenn Guidry

Jenn Guidry, a transformational marketing strategist and leader, excels in digital marketing, trade shows, event marketing, SaaS, and property management. As founder of JGV Marketing and co-founder of MKTG Mates Digital, Jenn leads innovative campaigns across various industries, blending her Director-level expertise with insightful strategies. Her writings offer valuable lessons and reflect her passion for marketing. Connect with this industry influencer at

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