Best Projection Mapping Practices to Shine at Trade Shows

EpsonJune 13, 2018

Trade show floors are exciting spaces, where businesses can elevate their brand image, boost product and service awareness and cultivate qualified sales leads. But they’re typically crowded spaces, too. Exhibitors quickly must make an impression on passers-by, drawing them into their booths to learn more about their offerings, as well as maintain engagement with prospects who do stop in. Another challenge for companies is creating a buzz during presentations to increase interest in their solutions—ideally by doing something that will make them the envy of all their competitors.

One option that more companies are exploring to accomplish these goals is to project 2D or 3D colorful and eye-catching images, videos, live streams, animations, advertising and so much more onto three-dimensional surfaces in their booths or in spaces like auditoriums when they’re giving keynotes, speeches or demonstrations.

Using projection mapping technology, a sneaker purveyor exhibiting at Copenhagen’s CIFF can make its kicks hop, sparkle, and splatter. An auto manufacturer can debut a plain white concept model of a vehicle at the New York International Car Show, changing its color, flashing its headlights, and “racing” it down a road, tires spinning and all. Or, at the U.S. Travel Association’s IPW event, international buyers can enjoy being immersed in waves cascading down booth walls and seagulls flying across overhangs while visiting the Florida exhibit.

For captivating results, companies will want to take advantage of today’s most advanced high lumen projectors, which can offer up to 25,000 lumens for white brightness as well as high-color brightness for the most true-to-life projection-mapped images on almost any surface. Some vendors of these projectors also provide a complete range of motorized lenses, including optional ultra-short throw lenses, and vertical and horizontal lens shift to enable their flexible placement—even just inches from a screen, wall, or another object without sacrificing crisp projection. These systems also can be chained to provide panoramic, edge-blended displays, or stacked for wider and taller immersions over a greater surface.

With such capabilities, companies can really turn up the wow factor on their projection mapping projects.

Projection map to the max

Here are a few best practices to make the most of today’s cutting-edge projection devices in trade show exhibit booths and presentation areas:

  • Understand your mapping options upfront. Review the layout plans for the booth or other spaces where your company will have a presence (such as a stage for a presentation). What surfaces will present the best options to map to? Perhaps your animated brand logo might be featured on the floor and walls, for instance, so that viewers entering your booth or an auditorium will walk away with your name etched into their memories. Think about where your viewers ultimately be positioned, too. If they’ll be seated and looking up at a stage at a presenter whose keynote incorporates projection mapping video effects, experts recommend that that video should be filmed from a low angle, for example.
  • Invest in good mapping software. Speaking of surfaces, it’s important to choose a software solution that seamlessly supports mapping to any surface for the greatest project flexibility. Mapping software should support projecting images onto curved surfaces and bending them around corners for larger trade show installations. The ability to send live HD video, pre-produced and saved content, or complex renderings in real-time to multiple projectors through a single interface, and to easily sync with sound systems for an enhanced experience, will contribute to sensory-delight outputs, too. 
  • Tell a strong story that resonates with your audience. Without context, projection mapping visuals won’t be an effective tool to convey the appropriate message to trade show attendees. Sure, projecting images of butterflies fluttering across trade show booth walls is pretty. But for a heavy equipment manufacturer exhibiting at an agricultural show, wouldn’t it be better to use this imaging process to illustrate the story of the seasons, from planting to harvesting?


With this technology as part of your next trade show effort, there’s no doubt your company will get attention, and lots of it. Good luck, and good mapping!

Want to learn more? Explore how Epson high lumen projectors work in virtually any large-venue application.