Furniture serves a number of purposes in face-to-face environments. Along with the obvious functional needs, furniture can help define spaces within a trade show exhibit or at a live event and complement design and branding elements as well.
At The Trade Group, our designers carefully weigh options to determine what furniture works and look best in any given space, while keeping client preferences in mind. Along with furniture stocked at our Dallas HQ, we also work with a vast network of suppliers worldwide, so furniture rental and purchase options are truly endless.
Something else to keep in mind is that furniture trends in branded spaces, like environmental design trends in general, continue to evolve. To shed a light on what’s popular, new and noteworthy in furniture for live events, we asked Christina Moore, TTG’s New Product Development Specialist, to weigh in.
Question: When most people think of trade show furniture – traditional reception counters, tables, chairs and barstools come to mind. What other types of furniture are available?
Christina Moore: For one thing, there are plenty of seating options to consider, including couches, ottomans, benches, pillows, beanbags and more. Many of our clients also need private break rooms or meeting spaces in their booths. Those can be furnished with anything from a basic table and chairs to a full-size conference room table with a built-in monitor display, high-end, leather office chairs and an elegant credenza.
Some companies also like to entertain guests in their spaces. From coffee stations with a fridge and wet sink to full-size, custom bars with high-top tables and barstools, the sky is the limit.
Another trend we’ve seen in recent years is creative theater seating. While venue supplied chairs may be more cost-effective for a large crowd, smaller settings can be furnished with more comfortable and portable options, like ottomans with interior storage, benches, high-top tables with barstools or our new portable Blofield Smart Chairs (more details below).
Q: What recommendations do you have for using furniture in outdoor environments?
CM: Whether you’re hosting an event inside or outdoors, guests really love finding a comfortable place to sit down and relax or hold a meeting. Or say you want to create a pop-up VIP lounge with living room style seating by the beach. Just about any furnished space we can create inside, we can create outside as well.
Our new line of lightweight, inflatable Blofield Smart Chairs also work great in outdoor applications. They’re super comfortable, the seats look and feel like real leather, and they set up in minutes. The Smart Chairs were also designed to withstand extreme weather (heat, cold, rain, snow, etc.) and resist liquids and stains, so clean up is a breeze.
Q: What one trend in trade show furniture might surprise people?
CM: Furniture has gone high tech. Today, you’ll find an assortment of tables, couches, benches and other seating options with power and charging stations built in. Many of our clients are also using tabletops with interactive displays to educate prospects when they take a seat.
Q: What’s the best way to furnish a space so it complements the vibe of the environment and a company’s brand?
CM: Furniture comes in a variety of colors (white, black, brown, green and red are readily available), materials (fabric, leather, wood, metal, glass, acrylic, etc.) and styles (modern, traditional, high-end, organic, rustic and beyond). An experienced designer can recommend colors, materials and styles that complement the design without being a distraction.
To further infuse branding into a space, you may want to consider a customized piece or two. One cost-effective way to accomplish this is with reception counters. At TTG we offer a variety of counters (shapes, sizes and styles) that can be customized with branded graphics, plus we can really make them pop with LED backlighting.
You can also add accessories that complement both the design and the brand. Pillows, throws, tchotchkes and greenery can reinforce your brand and amp up the welcoming feel of a space.
Q: How can trade show exhibitors use furniture in a small space?
CM: Even with a 10’x10’ pop-up display, you do have options. Popular, clutter-free furniture ideas for small footprints include:
- Create a meeting space with a high-top table and stools.
- Opt for ottomans if you need extra seating and storage space.
- Use customizable reception counters to reinforce branding and store valuables and supplies.
Q: How does working with TTG give clients the edge when it comes to incorporating furniture into their spaces?
CM: When you partner with TTG, our design team will recommend furniture that best suits the design, branding and functional goals of your space. Because we’re a one-stop shop, we also handle the sourcing and shipping of any furniture and accessories – either from our inventory or our network of suppliers – for you. That’s one less thing you have to think about.
Have questions about furniture for your exhibit, live event, retail space or corporate lobby?
We’re here to help. Just give us a call at 800-343-2005 to speak with one of our friendly sales consultants today.