Creative Exhibitions: Exploring Innovative Uses of Exhibition Spaces

Exhibition spaces are usually large, empty rooms – and for some, this emptiness is daunting. But for others, this is an amazing opportunity to get creative and flex their imagination on an essentially blank canvas. In this article, we’re going to explore how exhibition spaces can be transformed into the events we’re all more familiar with using technology, design, and plenty of creativity.

Type of exhibition

Unsurprisingly, the type of exhibition you’re planning to hold will have a huge influence on what your exhibition space will look like. Whilst with many creative exhibitions you have more design flexibility, professional events require you to strike the right balance between functionality and innovation.

We’ve picked out four types of exhibitions to help highlight how different techniques can expand on how we use exhibition spaces – and that even run-of-the-mill exhibitions can benefit from some artistic flair.

Trade Shows

One of the most popular types of exhibitions are trade shows. These are an opportunity for businesses, retailers, and other professionals to come together and share knowledge, connect with people in the industry, and showcase their services. As they’re quite common, it can be easy to fall into the habit of repeating your displays, and expecting a large booth to do a lot of the work in attracting attention.

But, just because something has worked the same way for years doesn’t mean you can’t (and shouldn’t) get creative with the way you use your exhibition spaces in the future. 

So, whilst a trade show may not be the most innovative use of exhibition spaces, we’ve included a myriad of tricks that trade shows can use to augment their visitor experience.

Booth Design

Found at the heart of trade shows, the right design can make your booth more popular and memorable for visitors. Some of the most creative ways to help your booth stand out are:

  • Colour: many booths tend to stick with brand colours – and there’s nothing wrong with that. But, why not try getting more creative with your colour choices to help set the mood of your booth? For example, bright colours pop on a neutral background and help create an attractive display.
  • Instagrammable moments: as a trade show participant, you want to generate a buzz. And, the perfect way to do this is to create an ‘instagrammable moment’. This could be with a beautiful backdrop for photos, or a game people want to play as part of a hashtag campaign. Whatever you choose, it needs to be something fun, interactive, and easily shareable on social media.
  • Curate an experience: if you can’t play with colour, why not get more imaginative with your overall booth experience? Bringing products in from your brand is an easy way to curate your booth to feel like an experience. For example, homeware brands could make their booth into a mini-showroom, or makeup brands could bring in an MUA to demonstrate their products.
  • Interactivity: interactivity is definitely a huge trend for exhibitions that isn’t likely to go anywhere soon. Digital exhibitions are a great way to get people engaging with your products or services. For example, VR and AR are popular tools to enhance visitor experience and allow visitors to interact with products directly from the exhibition floor.

Exhibition Floor Plan

Aside from getting more creative with individual booth design, trade shows can benefit from more interesting exhibition floor plans. Assigning zones or theming booths helps to make your exhibition space feel more original – and can even make it more navigable for visitors.

Sporting events and Competitive exhibitions

Because of their size, exhibition spaces are a fantastic location to host certain sporting events. However, this definitely requires a fair amount of flexibility and imagination to make sure everyone can safely enjoy the activities – and zoning becomes absolutely essential. Not only does there need to be spaces for athletes to warm up and wait between events, but also plenty of room for fans, members of the press, television crews, and photographers. 

Looking for an example? In 2023 we had the absolute pleasure of hosting the British Gymnastics Championships right here at Exhibition Centre Liverpool. Instead of booths and businesses, our amazing venue became home to a wide variety of gymnastics equipment brought in especially for the event – and seating for spectators. In this case, we hired in riser seats to make sure everyone could get a seat, and a good view of the action. Working collaboratively across the entire ACC event campus, this was definitely the ultimate sporting experience.

Top tip: working with venues means that they can help you get the equipment you require. For example, they’ll be able to recommend local furniture and equipment suppliers to make your life easier – and support the local area.

But that is not the end of our creativity when it comes to using exhibition spaces. This year, Loving Cats Worldwide returns to our venue for their purr-fect CATstravaganza dedicated to everything feline. Through a creative use of zoning, visitors can move between the Shopping Village and Rescue Alley to make the most of their time at the event. And, in the midst of all the action, the CATwalk will be packed full of feline champions waiting to show off and strut their stuff for eager audiences.

Immersive Exhibitions

Perhaps one of the most impressive uses for exhibition spaces is a fairly new phenomenon that combines creativity and digital exhibitions for the ultimate immersive visitor experience. And the focus of these immersive attractions? Art.

Imaginative and exciting, immersive art exhibitions are an innovative way to experience famous artworks. Taking certain aspects from the famous concept of a son et lumière (sound and light) show, instead of a canvas on a wall these exhibitions use space, music, lighting, and technology to play with the size and flow of paintings. By playing with conventional ideas of display and scale, these art shows open up different artists and paintings to new audiences and interpretations – but also starts to stretch our understanding of how traditional exhibition spaces work, and how they can be used in the future.

Here at Exhibition Centre Liverpool, we’re incredibly excited to be playing host to Beyond Van Gogh – The Immersive Experience. High off of a successful run through the USA, Canada, and London, this touring immersive creative exhibition brings the art of Van Gogh to life in new and innovative ways. 

Of course, we don’t want to give away any spoilers – but we can confirm that this artistic show is one of the best transformations of our exhibition spaces we’ve seen.


Last, but by no means least, exhibition spaces can be converted into a whole host of configurations for different events and attractions. These types of shows encourage organisers to become more creative when it comes to design, colour, and floorplan – not in the least because you need to fit everyone (and everything) inside the venue.

For example, we’ve hosted the Liverpool Indoor Funfair since 2019. This fun-filled attraction is chock-full of rides and activities for the whole family – and all held in the heart of our exhibition hall. Spread across all three halls, our exhibition space is transformed into the ultimate family funday. Plus, our catering supplier helps to set the mood, bringing in amazing food trucks with funfair treats like candy floss and doughnuts!

Top tip: catering can absolutely help to amp up the atmosphere within your creative exhibition space. At Exhibition Centre Liverpool, our amazing suppliers can bring in pizza and Mexican food for festival style events for example.

At the opposite end of the scale, what Bongos Bingo XL lacked in rides was more than made up for in production services. Set across all three halls of our venue, this attraction put our imagination to the test by combining live music and bingo tables in a 90s-inspired event – and resulted in an incredible production involving disco balls, a full stage, and impressive lighting rigs to create the quintessential Bongos party atmosphere.

Get creative with Exhibition Centre Liverpool

Embrace your creativity when organising your next exhibition. Our incredible Venue is highly adaptable, allowing you to showcase everything your event has to offer in style. And, with bucket loads of In-House Expertise, our teams are ready and waiting to help you bring your exhibition to life.

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