3 Trade Show Trends to Look Out for in 2023

People standing at trade show expo graphic

2020 and 2021 were terrible years for trade shows due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, trade shows have been making their comeback since 2022 and are expected to come back into full swing by the end of this year and early 2024. 

Although you may be excited to jump back into the trade show game, it’s critical that you thoroughly plan your return. How do trade shows fit into your existing digital marketing strategy? What products or services are you hoping to sell? What is your overall goal(s), or what do you expect to get out of the trade show?

As an extension of digital marketing, trade show marketing is constantly evolving, which means that every year, there are new trends to consider. And as a digital marketer, you are responsible for analyzing each trend and carefully evaluating if it will help you and your business reach its objectives. Don’t jump on trends because they’re new—everything that is good was once a trend, but not everything that is a trend is good. 

At the same time, being aware of new trends is still important. You want to be at the forefront while remaining mindful of your annual marketing goals.

In this blog post, we’ll cover some trade show trends we expect to see in 2023. 

1. Hybrid Trade Shows

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, most shows operated exclusively virtual. Just because the pandemic is finally settling down doesn’t mean we can’t keep some aspects of those virtual experiences that worked and apply them in the future.

2022 showed an emergence of hybrid trade shows, which combine elements of both in-person and virtual events. We expect to see this trend continue in 2023. Embracing virtual elements of a trade show can help organizations save money and encourage attendees to continue a relationship with a business online after the show has ended. It can also help strengthen brand awareness by making materials accessible to those who are not physically present. 

2. Sustainable Exhibiting

Another important trade show trend to pay attention to in 2023 is sustainable exhibiting. Over the last decade, consumers have shown that they care a great deal about the environment, which means that if you want to attract the right type of attention, you need to care about it as well. This high consumer demand has forced companies to rethink their values and what to prioritize. 

Companies that want to embrace sustainable exhibiting may invest in more versatile or modular displays that can be reused, resulting in less waste. Another option is to provide environmentally friendly promotional items, print brochures on recycled paper, or switch to digital mediums in place of traditional printed media. 

3. More Virtual & Augmented Reality Technologies

Finally, one critical trade show trend is the increased use of technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), and augmented reality (AR). 

To make the biggest impact at a trade show, you need to work hard to create the most immersive experience possible, and VR and AR will accomplish just that.

You can use augmented reality to give your audience “hands-on” product demonstrations, even if the product isn’t physically present. So if product samples aren’t ready in time, the product is too big to physically fit in the space you’re working with, or it’s still being developed, consumers can now experience it as if it were right in front of them.

The same is true of virtual reality, where a simple headset can allow people to interact with virtual environments. This helps you do more with less, as it requires you to bring fewer physical resources to make an arguably better impression than ever before. 

Stay on Top of the Latest Trends With Help From GraphiColor

Stay updated on the latest trade show trends with help from GraphiColor. Founded in 1984, we’re an industry-leading graphic design company specializing in trade show displays, booths, and banners. We also provide trade show management and marketing support. View our blog for additional trade show marketing resources, or contact us today if you need help designing or planning your 2023 trade show experience. 

Related posts


Free Design & Consultation

We’re proud to offer free exhibit design and consultation services to our clients. Our team of talented professionals can assist you with planning and executing the perfect trade show booth and display.

Phone Free Consultation Contact