Exhibition Stand Design Trends for 2019

by Chloe Mortimer, on 4/12/18 1:57 PM

2019 is nearly upon us and our design team has been busy creating designs for exhibition stands that will be exhibiting in the first 6 months of next year. At the beginning of 2018 we predicted the trends we expected to see throughout the past 12 months, most we saw and incorporated into our designs. We are noticing some trends now that will be prominent with custom stands over the next year which can really help you stand out at your next exhibition.

Minimalistic stands with prominent lighting

Minimalism has been a design trend for many years and is making its way into the exhibition space. Some exhibitors can still struggle with the concept that less is more on an exhibition stand. We have seen in recent years many exhibitors piling as many display boxes on to the stand as possible, showing every available item that they sell.

In 2019 we will see a big push for minimalistic design on an exhibition stand. Think clean lines, only a few shapes and a minimal colour scheme. Ideally you want to focus on the colours in your branding and really project those on to the stand to help it stand out. This stand design for Jabra followed exhibiting at the Consumer Electronics Show this year really highlights this trend. The use of their branding colours throughout the stand with minimal shapes creates a slick looking stand.

jabra exhibition stand                                                                   Photo Credit: Igor Lastrebov – Aachen,Germany  (JABRA BOOTH at  CES)


For a stand that has been designed using minimalistic techniques, having prominent lighting is a must. There are a few ways that this can occur; by having a large range of downlights on your stand, LED Light stripping, or well-placed arm lights. All these options will illuminate your stand and really help elevate your exhibition image.


Interaction and Activation

Experiential marketing has been a large part of marketing mixes for a while. Experiential marketing helps your brand stand out by pushing the boundaries of exhibition design and provides an experience for visitors. More and more exhibitors have been engaging experiential marketing techniques when it comes to their exhibition stand, and this is something that will really take off in 2019.

Providing interactive opportunities on your exhibition stand doesn’t have to be a difficult task, it can be as simple as designing different zones on your stand so that your visitors feel a different immersive experience with each zone that they visit. Different zones aren’t any harder to organise when designing an exhibition stand than it would be to organise different aspects of a stand anyway.

 FG Group exhibition stand

                                                                  Photo Credit: Artem Zaitsev - Moscow, Russian Federation (FG Group Mapic at 2018 Cannes)

Interactive spaces can be as simple as dividing your stand into different areas to include a bar, a private meeting space or a lounge area. You want to choose different spaces based on your target audience and also what your exhibition goals are. These different spaces will all help your visitors feel different ways while interacting with your brand, and those visitors will remember the way your stand made them feel for a long time to come!

FG Group exhibition stand                                                                         Photo Credit: Artem Zaitsev - Moscow, Russian Federation (FG Group Mapic at 2018 Cannes)

Activations have been used on exhibition stands for many years, but well thought out activations will really start taking off in 2019. It is becoming easier to incorporate VR technology into stand activations and this means that you can start creating activations which are elaborate and well curated. This really attracts maximum attention, helping you with leads and sales while exhibiting.


Increasing concepts, decreasing corporate

The last few years have seen a large increase in exhibitors having a solid concept for their exhibition stand. Concepts help define the direction of the stand, and these concepts are developed with your branding and exhibition goals in mind. Developing concepts helps to define a brief and allow for deeper appreciation of the little intricacies on the stand.

Great concepts are well thought-out, and they really highlight the products that you are trying to display. They allow for the products to be hero features of the stand, not getting lost in the concept but rather the products are accentuated. Each year we work with exhibitors who dip their toes into the water of conceptual exhibition stands. It can be daunting for exhibitors to experiment as conceptual stands aren’t as cheap as your shell-scheme stands, or even a very basic corporate looking exhibition stand. The success that exhibitors have with conceptual stands can really blow them away and leave them wanting more!

Nike air force 1 exhibition stand                                                                  Photo Credit: Rocky yan - Beijing, China (Nike air force 1)

With the rise of experiential marketing techniques there will be an increase in conceptual exhibition stands. Experiential marketing events have proven wildly successful for brands who have executed them well, and conceptual exhibition stands will take experiential marketing to the next level.

With an increase in conceptual exhibition stands, we will see a decrease in corporate looking exhibition stands. The bar has been set for visitors thanks to experiential marketing. Visitors have had a taste of being wowed through exhibition stands with a great concept, and they struggle to concentrate with the boring, corporative exhibition stands that many exhibitors still organise. While not every exhibitor has budgets large enough to warrant $100,000+ exhibition stands with a great concept, there are simple creative ideas that can lift the overall look of the stand.


Size doesn’t matter (smaller can be better)

It’s a crazy concept that a smaller exhibition stand may be better than a bigger one. Usually we like to work with exhibitors prior to them purchasing a floor space, especially if they want to create an amazing conceptual exhibition stand. This allows us to analyse what they want to display, where they may be positioned and what the cost per square meter will be to design a truly spectacular stand. The cost per square meter is actually the most important part of designing an exhibition stand, not so much how much floor space you have.

BTG exhibition stand                                                                  Photo Credit: Carlos Eduardo Monteiro - Jandira, Brazil (BTG Pactual)

If you have a budget of $50,000 to spend on an exhibition stand, you will get more bang for your buck if you have a smaller space than a larger one. Compare a 6 x 9 meter stand and a 9 x 9 meter stand. On the 6 x 9 meter stand you will have $925 to spend per square meter. On the 9 x 9 meter stand you will have just $617 to spend per square meter. That extra $300 per square meter can make a big difference in the quality that you can afford. Exhibition designers are becoming masterminds at rearranging smaller spaces to create an amazing exhibition stand.

Keeping in mind the minimalist principles we discussed above, it’s not surprising to consider that a trend we see occurring in 2019 is exhibitors purchasing a smaller stand footprint and increasing the spend per square meter. The key with this design trend is to understand that your overall budget and spend on an exhibition stand shouldn’t decrease, this helps you achieve an amazing overall look.


Get creative!

When you combine all of these design trends you find one common denominator, creative exhibition stands! 2019 is the year to push the boundaries with creativity on your exhibition stand. You really want to push the boundaries with displaying your product, the more creative you are the more visitors you will attract.

NEOCON exhibition stand                                                                  Photo Credit: Graham Kelman - Brooklyn, NY, USA (NEOCON)

Your number one focus should always be on your products, and from there you can get creative with the way you are going to display your products. Visitors are attracted to creative product displays, so finding the right product display which will add creative flare will increase the visitors to your stand.

There are some really great ways to get creative with your exhibition stand, and if you’re struggling for ideas you should speak with an exhibition stand designer to help you release your inner creative!

Need help creating your next exhibition stand? Speak with us now and let our exhibition designer create your next masterpiece - Let's Chat

Topics:Exhibition Stand DesignExhibition Designexhibition display standsexperiential marketing


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Each blog we discuss an important topic in the exhibition world. With insights and inspirations, we aim to answer the most common questions. 

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