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2 Strategy Trends from CES '23 to Implement at Your Next Trade Show

It’s always fun to walk a large trade show, especially CES, which includes all the newest technologies and trends for the coming year. There’s so much to take in and an incredible amount of unique and amazing technology to experience, so I’ll do my best to distill what left the largest impression on me over the three full days.

One of the main topics that consistently stood out on the show floor was sustainability. Brands have been hinting at this for a few years but are finally paying close attention to this important topic. Nearly every brand at the show was talking about sustainability. It was evident that their innovation departments are focusing on strategies that reduce waste, repurpose materials, and create technologies that will make our lives easier, while being consciously sourced from sustainable materials to reduce CO2 emissions globally.

But what does that mean on a trade show floor?

When I consider sustainability, I also think of which vendors will help me, as an exhibit provider, achieve more sustainable solutions for exhibiting. This can be using fewer disposable materials and repurposing exhibits and materials for more than one trade show. Fabric graphics accomplish this goal by being lightweight – without sacrificing visual impact – and easy to transport to shows. Many companies choose fabric graphics because they work well with reconfigurable modular structures, making them easily interchangeable. The combination of modular structures and high-impact fabric graphics eliminates the financial cost of creating and shipping multiple exhibits and reduces waste and environmental impact – a win for the budget, the brand, and the environment.

Sustainability can also be achieved with digital activations, as they provide experiences in a virtual world where physical elements don’t need to be created or transported. Just think about transporting a yacht to showcase on the trade show floor. Instead of doing that, create a Virtual Reality experience where the attendee can see all the elements of the yacht without it being there physically. This is just one example, as many machinery and equipment companies are looking for creative ways to bring their products to the trade show floor and provide experiences that can be achieved in less square footage.

The other element that was prevalent at CES was security and safety. As we live in a more connected and globalized world, we want to connect devices and platforms seamlessly. And this comes with implications regarding the security of our data and the protection of our online assets.  

Companies are paying more attention to providing established protocols that connect and integrate devices in a more reliable way for the user. It’s a growing trend with Millennials and younger generations who seem to care less about privacy and security and more about sharing personal stories. Most recently, with the popularity of TikTok, there are many videos and live streams of people sharing details of their everyday life and experiences. Since less attention has been paid to security by consumers themselves, brands are emphasizing protecting and safeguarding their customers.  

Smart devices at home are also helping with safety and security. Google, Amazon, Samsung, and other large brands are investing in smart technologies that help keep track of CO2 levels inside a home, when air conditioning filters need to be replaced, if a fire starts in your stove, or when your light bulbs are about to burn out. All these things can be automatically monitored thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT) and the next level of safety in a connected world.  

Our teams at Skyline have been putting more emphasis on sustainability and security in developing exhibits and technology that support a powerful message for our clients. We are exploring ways to innovate and utilize technologies that provide a safe and sustainable way for our clients to interact with their audiences.  

To learn more about the exhibit trends that caught our eye at CES, register for our upcoming LIVE webinar Technology Trends from the CES Show Floor.