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7 Hottest AV and Interactive Trends for Trade Shows and Events in 2016

The Trade Group’s A/V Production Manager Lee Vaught has big plans for the new year. He’s been tasked with expanding the ability of clients to efficiently integrate the latest audio/visual and interactive Technology into trade show exhibits, corporate events and other branded spaces.

So what trends does Vaught expect to see from A/V and interactive in 2016?

1. Larger, more affordable video walls will be increasingly accessible.

“We continue to see more high-resolution video walls and in larger sizes. Plus, the affordability of this technology continues to improve. In years past, we would see an abundance of plasma screens in the 40- to 50-inch range. Expect to see more 4×6 foot – and larger – LED walls this year,” says Vaught.

Vaught also expects to see larger, non-LED, television displays. As he explains, “In recent years 60s and 80s were typically the largest television displays out there. In 2016, a couple of manufacturers will be offering 96-inch frames, which are really impressive. (As of 3 years ago, the largest plasma display in the world spanned 102 inches.)

People who don’t want to go the LED route can now install larger monitors in their booth of a pretty decent size. The 4K (4,000 watts of revolution) display walls are coming down in price, too. So for general display or T.V. units, I see more people asking for 4K units in 2016. The 4K displays offer 3x to 4x better resolution than 1080hp technology.”

2. Lighter weight LED systems will reduce costs and simplify installation.

Vaught and his team are really excited about recent advances in LED technology that reduce weight and eliminate the time and expense needed for rigging.

As he explains, “The new systems we will be installing in 2016 include flexible LED walls that run about one quarter of the weight we had to handle in the past. Five years ago we were hanging video walls that weighed tons, where the new systems weigh in at 1,500 pounds or less.”

You’ll even see LED wall options configured into The Trade Group’s Metalli® line of modular displays in 2016.

3. Flexible LED technology will enhance design and reduce installation time.

The new, lightweight, LED systems are also available with flexible walls now. This offers more options for exhibit designers, who will be able to incorporate LED displays into exhibits with a variety of different looks never seen before.

“We can create compound curves and even the shape of a triangle without putting the LED into a frame, where we haven’t been able to do that previously. Now we can take a preexisting product that’s out there, fold it into a triangle (or another shape) and hang it without building any special structure to hold it in place,” Vaught says.

4. Interactive technology is going to step up to a whole new level.

While the exhibition industry experienced significant progress in interactive applications last year, Vaught expects to see even more exciting developments for 2016, especially in regard to Bluetooth.

According to Vaught, “One area I really see evolving is the integration of Bluetooth beacon systems into event marketing programs. This technology allows the exhibitor to send messages to and receive data from an attendee’s smartphone within a certain area around a booth.

So if a person has downloaded the app for the show or convention and they approach your booth, the app in their phone will handshake with your beacon device. This allows exhibitors to collect a variety of customer data, such as whether that person stopped at the booth or not. The system can even send tailored messages back to the guest. It’s basically a data pickup and messaging system.”

5. Companies will broadcast more live content from trade show booths and corporate events.

In the past, most video content consisted of pre-recorded marketing reels with looping content. While pre-recorded video content is still a valuable tool – visit our motion graphics page to see how you can kick up your marketing messages a notch – prospects and customers enjoy and expect live presentations today.

“Live broadcasts allow our clients to deliver product presentations, general sessions, training sessions and more, directly from the trade show floor or a corporate event. People can attend in person or online from a hotel room, their office or across the country. The technology available to pull off a successful broadcast has come a long way,” Vaught says.

6. Kiosks and retail environments are transitioning into high-tech, interactive spaces.

As Vaught explains, “Kiosk really isn’t the best word to describe the spaces we’re designing today. Nearly all of the technology you find in a trade show exhibit or at a corporate event can be integrated into what is better described as an interactive space.

Ultimately, we’ve gone from iPads and 22-inch monitors to 40- to 50-inch plasma displays, where visitors can interact with the space in a variety of ways – whether you’re located at an airport or in a corporate lobby. This niche has come along way and will continue to evolve in 2016.”

7. Virtual reality and augmented reality is becoming more of, well, a reality.

“VR and AR technology is becoming more accessible to companies and consumers alike. The gaming industry has been a leader in VR and AR for sometime now. As the technology becomes easier to use and more affordable, we expect to integrate more VR and AR experiences at other types of industry shows as well,” says Vaught.


If you’d like to learn how to integrate the latest technology into your trade show display, corporate environment or other interactive experience contact your exhibit house or event marketing specialist for insight. Technology is evolving at a rapid-fire pace, so you never know what new, exciting options will be available when you’re ready to design your space.

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7 Hottest AV and Interactive Trends for Trade Shows and Events in 2016


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