Top 3 Trade Show Trends 2024

Sustainable, Personalized and Immersive Experiences

As the trade show, exhibition, and event landscape continue to evolve, keeping up with the latest trends becomes increasingly vital. Among the top trade show trends are the focus on sustainable practices, the rise of personalized experiences, and the seamless integration of digital technologies. To add some expert-insights on these trade show trends, we have joined forces with Michael Helm and Jacob Nedergaard, who organize and host trade shows. 

Sustainability: Do Well By Doing Good

The first trade show trend is sustainability. The call for sustainability and conscious consumption resonates louder than ever in the industry. It’s not just nice-to-have, it’s need-to-have. It’s a structural change in the way players in the industry (i.e venues, organizers, exhibitors and suppliers) organize trade show and events. 

From eco-friendly booth designs to utilizing recyclable materials and digital hand-outs, the push for sustainability is reshaping the way events are executed, marking a conscientious shift toward a greener future for trade shows. This illustrates one of the key trade show trends. 

Event organizers are seeking ways to minimize the environmental impact of events, and are also looking for ways to create events that have a positive impact on society.

REBOOT Event: The Power of ESG

ESG – Environment, Social, and Governance – isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a call to action for a better world. The REBOOT Event, Denmark’s new sustainability event held at Odense Congress Center, is a great example of this trade show trend. 

Since its debut in 2023, REBOOT has captivated attendees with its diverse offerings, centered around circular economy and the collective journey towards a more sustainable future. An example of this was the elimination of plastic from the event.

There was an impressive line of key note speakers, delightful surprises, enriching sustainability workshops, educational seminars, and the unique experience of dining right in the heart of the venue. A compelling invitation for participants to linger and forge connections. 

The best part was however the energy. The slow buzz. The feeling of no rushed conversations taking place. Simply enough time to connect. A testament to sustainable personal meetings. 

Green is The New Black

When you think in sustainable solutions, it’s does not only have a greater impact for the environment. It also positively affects your bottom line and brand image in the long run. 

Sustainable solutions may be more costly, why you need to have buy-in from management. Ways to help this along is to apply for economic support, document the long-term savings and use education to advocate for the importance of the subject. 

TIP #1

Reuse your trade show equipment in other areas of your business. Hang banners, signage, and posters in your showroom or office space to reinforce your brand messages internally and create a welcoming environment for visiting guests.

TIP #2

Increase the impact of your trade show by reusing brand visuals and content within your overall marketing strategy, ensuring that the buzz continues long after the event has ended. Additionally, use feedback gathered from the trade show to enhance not only your communication efforts but also product development, driving continuous improvement and customer satisfaction.

TIP #3 

If exhibitors use NFC (Near Field Communication) tags, apps or other technologies instead of handing out printed materials or business cards, they can share digital brochures, catalogs, or presentations with attendees’ devices, reducing paper waste and providing a more environmentally friendly solution. 

Personalization: Crafting Individual Attendee Experiences

Personalization is an important tool to create unique experiences and drive higher engagement for attendees. Whether it is to create meaningful network opportunities, to customize the customer journey within the exhibition booth or deliver targeted (and personalized) follow-up messages, personalization is a key trade show trend for greater success for exhibitors. 

By using CRM systems, mobile apps, technology, AI-powered recommendations and data analytics tools, the aim is to create content and interactions that resonate deeply with each participant based on interactions and preferences throughout the whole trade show journey. This being relevant for both physical in-person and hybrid events.   

The time of creating the same content for everyone at once is over. No more "one-size-fits-all". Now it's about creating experiences at the right time for the right person the right way. Imagine that your exhibition stand adapts to your guest(s) and not the other way around.

Interconnected Spaces

Designing trade shows, events and exhibitions with open floorplans minimize physical barriers, such as walls and partitions, thus creating a more spacious and interconnected environment, explains Michael Helm, Project Manager at Odense Congress Center. This approach is a growing trade show trend aimed at increasing the interaction between exhibitors and visitors. 

These layouts offer fluidity, enabling attendees to navigate seamlessly through a variety of experiences, connecting exhibitors, sponsors and activities. This opens up for more dialogue, co-creation, collaboration – humanizing the experience. 

However, we all fight for two things: 1) the visitor’s time and 2) their memory. Therefore, clear visual signage and digital solutions become crucial navigating points to enhance personalization and engagement. 

Engaging and Data-Driven Booth Experiences

Trade show and event planners are leveraging technology to understand attendee preferences and tailor individual experiences. A great example of this trade show trend is using NFC technology. This technology allows exhibitors to gather valuable data. 

3 benefits: 

  • NFC tags can be embedded in attendee badges or exhibitor materials, allowing exhibitors to quickly and easily collect contact information from potential leads by simply tapping their NFC device to the tag. This streamlines the lead gathering process and reduces the need to manually enter the data. 


  • NFC tags placed strategically around the booth can enable interactive experiences for visitors. For example, attendees can tap tags to access product information, watch videos, participate in surveys or contests, or sign up for newsletters or demos.

  • By tracking which NFC tags are used and when, exhibitors can gain insights into visitor interests, engagement levels, and booth traffic patterns, enabling them to refine their marketing strategies and improve ROI.

Immersive Experiences as the New Norm

Immersive experiences are no longer a novelty but an expectation by trade show and event attendees. Especially, as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) become more accessible and affordable, the potential of creating immersive worlds within trade show settings expand, captivating attendees with interactive displays and engaging presentations. 

In the future, we will see even more augmented reality, virtual reality, and AI enhancing the overall event experience. We will move towards interactive exhibits that include more engaging displays with hands-on experiences.

Storytelling through a Disney-like space

People want to be amazed by storytelling and real connections, and not just classic selling points. Your booth is no longer confined to the walls or trade show floor. It opens up a magical world of interactive, 3D and virtual realities that let your attendees transport themselves deeper into your brand experience. This will not only let them see or hear your brand, but be a part of an unforgettable story and experience. 

Innovative user-experiences

Technology continues to be a driving force and trade show trend. It’s not just a tool – it elevates event experiences, enabling unforgettable moments and seamless interactions. 

Virtual learning and meeting rooms, LED screens, sensors and green screens are also becoming important, interactive elements and changing the landscape of product demonstrations, presentations, and networking opportunities.

This was clearly demonstrated at this year’s Integrated System Europe (ISE), 2024 in Barcelona. 60,000 m2 dedicated to the latest technology and AV equipment – simply everything within interaction design, LED screens in 200 different ways and learning environments. Read more about our 3 takeways from ISE here.

Gamification: Play your way to leads

Tap into the joy of playing and winning – to not only create engagement, but a fun and interactive learning experience for your visitors. Whether it is through trivia quizzes, NFC scavenger hunts, spin-the-wheel, QR-codes, live-polling, SoMe contests, VR simulations or other immersive games, make your booth a playground for fun and knowledge. 

Have your visitors [or newly-added staffers] engage with your products in a whole new way – essentially making them product experts and thus staying top of mind. It’s a great way to increase footfall.  

Gamification was also on the agenda at the REBOOT Event with a workshop built around a simulation game – Celemi Sustainability. This simulation engaged the employees with a dilemma that they had to transform into a sustainable solution (climate, circular economy and the like). A different way to involve the visitors and be part of a positive change. 

This popular trade show trend helps transform your booth into a dynamic space.

Consdering the resources, time and money invested in facilitating personal meetings, we fully acknowledge that all of the above trade show trends, demand an effort. Careful idea generation, planning, execution, testing and experimenting go into this. But we fully recommend that you go ALL in.

Table of Contents

7 Effective Tips for a Successful Trade Fair​

Planning is essential to map out your business activities. Here are 7 tips to maximize your trade show and event outcome. 

Who is Responsible for Your Trade Show Success?

68% don’t agree internally on how to define success. Get expert Jakob Dyrbye’s take and his 3 best tips for more trade show success.

7 benefits of face-to-face marketing - and why it still matters in 2024

It’s about the smile. The eye contact. The handshake. The body language. The ability to see, feel, touch and interact that truly empowers companies to build a deep connection with their customers.

Ready to Take your Trade Show Marketing One (Or Three) Levels up? Let's Connect!

Achieving success in this dynamic environment requires not only embracing innovation but also maintaining the element of genuine [and deep] face-to-face connections. At The Trade Show Academy we specialize in trade show training, designed to empower individuals and businesses with the knowledge, skills and expertise to succeed in today’s competitive trade show environment. 

Contact us here to talk to one of the people behind The trade Show Academy and find out how we can help solve your challenges.  

The Trade Show Academy Team