Tips and Trends

Trade Show Exhibit Design 2018: Best of Show CES

Wednesday, January 24, 2018


With 180,000 attendees and more than 4,000 exhibiting companies, CES is like a giant idea factory of trade show exhibit design and marketing approaches.

Just in case you didn’t make it to CES yourself, the 3D Exhibits Tips and Trends blog team has put together the following portfolio of show highlights. And don’t worry about budget—we’ve also provided suggestions on how to apply some of these tactics to smaller and lower-budget booths.

Let’s get started:

Fun Flooring. Vinyl flooring gives exhibitors exciting new design alternatives for the floors of their booths. Patterns range from faux woods to marbles to geometric patterns. And because this material is relatively light weight, doesn’t require a raised floor, and is easy to install (it unrolls like carpet), it’s accessible to exhibitors at all ends of the budget spectrum.


Mysterious Presence. Foreo’s top-secret lab theme—brought to life with erector set-like components and barbed wire, and guarded by staffers wearing military uniforms—ensured that attendees took notice. What’s inside? We wish we knew. Admission was by invite only.


Unique Demo Ergonomics. Sleep Number reminded us that standing and sitting aren’t the only postures that facilitate participating in demonstrations. By inviting attendees to lie down on its mattresses to view its demo, Sleep Number gave attendees an opportunity to rest their feet, got them to try out their beds—and made it hard for attendees to slip out without experiencing the entire demo.


Glowing Orbs. Many CES exhibitors accented their exhibits with groupings of hanging light fixtures. This exhibitor’s internally illuminated beach balls cost-effectively transformed a very simple exhibit into a dynamic presence.



Logo-mark Integration. Moki repeated its logo mark to create a fun and memorable custom wallpaper for its exhibit. A young, hip look and feel was achieved by using lime green as the anchor color. More conservative companies can achieve an appropriate look for their company by applying this same tactic in a more subdued color scheme.


Dramatic Impact. La Poste, the French postal service, fabricated a giant metal tree to communicate that it is “branching out” with new applications. Just in case the tree wasn’t impactful enough on its own, La Poste finished the tree in its signature bright yellow. The message to attendees: if you think you know us, you need to look again.


Textural Walls. Yamaha’s unique textured wall design mimicked sound waves. Notably, this element appeared to be a solid structure from a distance, while closer inspection revealed that the waves were fabricated from tension fabric strips. Other exhibitors can apply the same technique to create any number of unique patterns or textures.


Transparent and Clear. Several automotive exhibitors demonstrated their technology by embedding it into clear models of their cars. These models were very simply constructed by assembling multiple clear plexi cutouts to create the form of the car. This elegant approach could be adapted for nearly any product or application—from a building to a human body.


Sponsorship Show Not Tell. Hisense articulated its sponsorship of the 2018 FIFA World Cup with a 360-degree soccer vignette. This 3D messaging tactic was far more dramatic than signage or even photos.


Sculptural Video. LG Electronics created this video “canyon” to show off its new flexible OLED screens. As attendees traversed the space, they found themselves surrounded intermittently by forest, jungle, tundra and canyon. Exhibitors can adapt this for smaller exhibits by scaling down to a single wavy wall surface—or by creating a similar space with LCD screens at head-and-shoulders height only.


Sense of Humor. Jeep reiterated its vehicles’ ability to drive any terrain with a graphic of a Jeep driving upside down across the ceiling of its exhibit. This unexpected, tongue-in-cheek element increased visitors’ perception that Jeep is a fun brand.


Content on Multiple Planes. Samsung constructed a video experience the length of a city block, featuring multiple “buildings”--each with their own LED screens. While most of us don’t have the space or budget to create our own city block, we could create a similar experience on a smaller scale—or even use a Mondrian-like grid with the screens mounted at varying depths to make a presentation more visually dynamic.


How would you adapt one of these exhibit design and marketing techniques to your exhibit space? Shoot us an email. We’d love to hear.




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