Trade Show Trends from Big Tech Expo

July 2, 2001, 12:00 AM EDT

Using illuminated fabric ring signs (like this one over Novatel Wireless' display) was a popular trend in trade show signage at the Technology Exchange New York trade show at Javits Center.

Technology Exchange Week New York Javits Center Monday 06.25.01 to Thursday 06.28.01
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It isn't the country's biggest tech trade show, but it was quite a sight. The Technology Exchange Week New York (Techxny) conference and trade show took over all of the Javits Center to host a gaggle of convention goers eager to check out the latest wares from nearly 500 vendors.

Aside from tons of digital cameras, personal PCs and other high-tech innovations, we noticed a few trends in booth displays. Several companies used illuminated fabric rings suspended above the booths (similar to the new Blue Light Special lights used at Kmart press conference). And several companies booths' (too many, in fact) were made of a lot of shiny steel piping (similar to the kind used on the Effie awards stage set).

Next to all the similar-looking booths, Working Woman magazine's pink-lit fabric sculpture booth (by Pink Inc.) was a welcome sight. And Sony's area featured a colorful “shooting gallery” that people could photograph to show the color and image quality of its digital cameras and camcorders.

Microsoft was especially shrewd about getting its product messages out. Instead of regular old booths with product demos where people could just walk away if they lost interest, the software giant's Mobile Experience Tour invited people into a large, completely enclosed room and seated the captive audience for a nearly hour-long spiel promoting its personal PC products. How did they lure people in? The line that began forming outside of the room compelled curious onlookers (including us) to join. And once inside, there was no way to politely slip away without everyone noticing.

--Suzanne Ito

See photos of the Sony Techxny display...

See photos of the Working Woman display...

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