Tradeshow Tonic

New Research Findings: #Technology for Trade Show Exhibitors

Published on Feb 4, 2015 6:40:08 PM

Exhibitors have embraced technology to help them better attract and interact with attendees. This tech varies across multiple categories, from AV to lead management to internet connectivity to lighting to apps and more.

Here are some of the key findings discussed in the white paper:


Tech Perceptions

  • Exhibitors have an overwhelmingly positive perception when it comes to technology
  • Exhibitors feel technology makes their trade shows more effective
  • Close to 40 percent of exhibitors with more than $1B in sales felt that technology was too expensive as opposed to just a quarter of exhibitors with under $10M in sales

Audiovisual Technology Trends (Non-Interactive)

  • Projectors are out, tablet computers are in
  • Video walls, translucent screens and 4K resolution flat screens gaining in popularity
  • When we compared exhibiting companies with over $50M in sales to exhibit companies under $50M in sales, we found no significant differences in usage trends

Audiovisual Technology Trends (Interactive)

  • Two-thirds of exhibitors are using tablet computers interactively
  • Fifty percent of exhibitors use or plan to use touch screen technology

Lighting Trends

  • Backlighting will remain popular with exhibitors
  • LED lighting has emerged as the growing lighting technology

Lead Retrieval Trends

  • Mobile is the future of lead retrieval
  • Integration with CRM software on the rise
  • It is expected that close to two-thirds of exhibitors will be using the show app lead retrieval in the next two years

Social Media Trends

  • LinkedIn and YouTube are the most popular social media sites
  • Visual content sharing is on the rise
  • There was no significant difference when it came to social media use based on age
  • Companies with under $50M in sales favor Facebook while companies over $50M in sales favor LinkedIn

App Trends

  • Only one in five exhibitors currently advertise on the show app
  • Exhibitors participating in multiple shows a year favor the show app

Mobile Technology Trends

  • Live polling and texting expected to increase over the next two years
  • QR codes have the highest potential growth rate and at the same time, they also have the highest bail rate

Other Technology Trends

  • Wi-Fi is replacing hardwired internet connection for many exhibitors
  • The uptick in mobile device usage means uptick in in-booth charging stations
  • 50 percent of exhibitors plan to incorporate charging stations into their exhibit booths

Sources for Technology Help and Information

  • Two-thirds of exhibitors seek help from their internal IT department
  • Smaller companies are going the “Do It Yourself” route

Content Trends

  • Company websites, presentations and photos are the most widely used content
  • Island exhibitors use more video and illustrations in their booths
  • Over 30 percent of exhibitors said they did software demos, and that was not only those exhibitors who classify themselves as tech companies


  • 95% of exhibitors expect their technology budget to stay the same or grow
  • Forty-two percent of exhibitors expect their tech budget to grow, compared to only 5 percent expecting a drop
  • Fifty percent of exhibitors are spending up to ten percent of their budget on technology

Tech Challenges

  • Internet access at shows is the number one challenge

For this white paper, 380 exhibitors shared their detailed opinions and experiences with tech, telling us which technologies are their favorites now, and which they plan to use more of in the near future. To help compare similar technologies, we charted them in terms of current growth, and sometimes also their expected future usage.

You can see one of the 13 charts we include in the full white paper below. This chart shows what content exhibitors use with the tech they bring to their trade show booths.


There is a wealth of insights and tips in this new white paper. Be sure to get a copy for yourself!


About the Author: Mike Thimmesch is Skyline Exhibits' Director of Customer Engagement, with over 25 years of Marketing and Trade Show Display Marketing experience.

Topics: Exhibit Design, Aristotle, Technology, Brand virtue, Trade Show, exhibitor

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