Michael Kruppe is General Manager of SNIEC–Shanghai China, and one of the judges for the World Exhibition Stand Awards. In this guest blog, he reflects on the past, present and future of exhibition stand design.
What are the big trends in exhibition stand design?
Historically, “bigger is better”, seemed to be the idea, More recently we’re seeing increasing numbers of exhibitors trying to at least partly install a kind of green stance.
Nevertheless, we see still huge stand above 4,5m height, especially at construction and furniture shows but more open and light-build stands are appearing at shows like CES, GSMA or more B2C and conference style events
How international is the exhibition industry becoming?
SNIEC’s share of international customers was and probably always will be very high. We have a pretty stable ratio of ard.70- 80% international
What are clients currently asking for in stand and experience design?
We see a strong growth in demand for adding B2C elements in the shows in SNIEC. Probably 30% of existing shows are adding conference or B2C characteristics into their original B2B show.
This means that more services to feed that demand are needed, like, wifi, 5g, state of the art AV and meeting room systems, hanging points, special show stages, etc. we are even building water pools into some events now or set up outdoor racing tracks for some performances.
How are exhibitions and stand design staying relevant in a digital world?
Despite the increasing possibilities for consumers and professionals to get information online, by using apps, etc it is remarkable to see that , almost as a paradox, the demand for exhibitions and opportunities to meet face to face is increasing. Whereas 5 years ago the exhibition industry was fearing competition from digital platforms and/or companies, we now see that the digital elements are built-in into each show. This creates massive chances for all stakeholders and we as SNIEC are already prepared for such developments.
What do you expect the next 5 years will hold for exhibition stand design?
The designers must continue to include elements which make the booth, exciting, flexible, digital, visual, glmaourous, etc.
Luckily this will not be my job, but on shows like GSMA or CES, which are almost purely consumer and /or conference style events, you already can see this happening.
Do exhibitions get the status they deserve versus other marketing channels?
You may be surprised to hear that in SNIEC for the first time we even will hold an influencer show covering almost 100.000m2 this year in October. How is this possible?
This shows clearly that exhibitions are the right marketing channels and they even merge with potential other marketing forms. I believe we will see much more of these mergers in the future.
If you could change one thing about the world of exhibitions what would it be?
I wouldn’t change a thing. The way it developed in the last years is absolutely healthy. The opportunities which I see in the coming years are absolutely exciting.
Why would I change something. Keep rocking...
Does stand size matter?
Yes, certainly it depends on the overall size of the exhibition/event it is set up but in general a good size for me would be something like 100-300m2
What are the biggest challenges for exhibition stand design and build currently?
The main problem will be how to face the increasing pressure by governments around the world how to go the green way. Everybody basically agrees that there must be a green way but how to go it is mostly not regulated. For this it needs more interaction between exhibition professionals and local governments. SNIEC has already started 3 years ago to evaluate a partnership with local authorities to design a green strategy.