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How digital signage can elevate booths at trade shows

Brian Cole, CEO of edgefactory, looks at the impact signage and AV tech can have on scientific show stands in particular

It’s safe to say in-person conventions and events have returned in full force. Attendance figures have returned to healthy, pre-pandemic levels. According to a trends report from event agency Freeman, attendee numbers for the first quarter of 2023 reached 103 percent of pre-pandemic levels. 

Attendees want high impact in a short amount of time, making it harder for exhibitors at conventions and trade shows to get the attention from attendees and leads they desire, potentially harming exhibitors’ ROI.  

Exhibitors are having to fight harder than ever at trade shows to get their message across and stand out in a never-ending sea of booths. 

This is particularly acute at scientific and medical trade shows and conventions, where organisations, brands, and researchers are trying to communicate succinctly about extremely complex concepts, ideas, research, devices, etc. 

Exhibitors must break through the noise, connect meaningfully, and leave a lasting impression. Booth technology is paramount for standing out at a trade show. Decision-makers must invest in cutting-edge, creative booth design and display technology to stay competitive. The fact is that flat, one-dimensional displays will not cut it at scientific conventions anymore. 

This movement towards more dynamic trade show booths is an opportunity for signage providers to bring more of their tech, AV, and signage solutions into the exhibit hall. 

So, what digital signage and display elements can providers incorporate to make a scientific trade show booth from average to cutting-edge? The ingredients for that recipe are shape, coloUr, motion, and luminosity. These elements can be satisfied with the same tool: LED.

LED canvasses can be created in a wide variety of shapes. Breaking out from a standard 16×9 or 9×16 screen will immediately set a booth apart from those surrounding it. LED panelling now comes in interesting angles that can be incorporated to add interest – even curves. Convex screens can immerse attendees and accommodate larger audiences, encouraging them to move around the booth. We’ve even recently seen digital signage created as a globe or a spiral using LED panelling. LED screens are simply brighter than standard screens, and people are naturally drawn to the brighter, shinier beacon. These displays provide incredibly bold colours and contrast that can make well-produced content really pop, which is incredibly valuable at a scientific convention. The more content moves, the more attention it will gain – and retain. Incorporating high-quality sound systems and audio elements will help immerse attendees and draw potential leads in. 

With so much visual noise around us, attention spans are short. In a sense, your visual noise needs to be loudest to be “heard” above the rest. Motion keeps the content from getting stale and that is that special ingredient that will attract attendees to your message.

 As an example, edgefactory was engaged by Thermos Fisher Scientific to produce its hospitality suite at The American Society for Mass Spectrometry’s annual conference (ASMS23). Through the use of over 400 LED tiles, product station walls were built featuring headlines and product imagery on giant 10-foot high by 8-foot wide LED walls placed strategically throughout the suite. 

The hospitality suite enables thousands of visitors throughout the week to engage with scientists and see first-hand the exciting new software and hardware to support research in mass spectrometry. The content was synced around the room across the 400 LED tiles and 30 lighting fixtures. Every half hour there was a visualisation experience revealing the theme “Powering What’s Next” followed by branding visuals. The convergence of digital signage, LED technology, and playback technology all worked together to create an innovative experience at ASMS23.