Top Trends in Business for 2017

As we rapidly approach the close of the first quarter of 2017, we are taking a moment to reflect on some leadership trends for this year. Predictions were made at the turn of the year within each industry and continue to be relevant and valid. Marketers predicted video to be an integral part of the customer lead generation and experience. CIOs predicted an increase in cyber attacks and disruptions of the physical hardware used to power the digitally connected world. Angel investors either deemed the tech start-up realm oversaturated or on the verge of bursting the bubble.

Business owners, CEOs and experts looked at how to empower employees, coworkers and teams and made some leadership trend predictions of their own. Let’s take a look at these industry trends a couple months into the new year.

Leadership Trends

Human Capital

According to an article on, one major leadership trend this year is an increased focus on human capital. This means truly paying attention to the millennial workforce and providing opportunities for personal and professional growth coupled with mentorship. Here at EXHIB-IT!, we focus on empowering each team member to be responsible for their area of expertise and provide numerous opportunities for development.


Great Leaders Read

A number of sources recommend leaders should spend more time reading, not only literature about business but also fiction, history, newspapers and philosophy. An article on Harvard Business Review states, “…deep, broad reading habits are often a defining characteristic of our greatest leaders and can catalyze insight, innovation, empathy, and personal effectiveness.” It goes on to say the reason reading is so beneficial for leaders is because it increases your empathy, capacity to lead others, increase in vocabulary and world knowledge. It is also a way to completely escape from the day-to-day work leaders are inundated with; an opportunity to step into a world utterly imagined and separate.


Marketing Trends

Tailored Products and Offers

As our world becomes increasingly digital, and therefore connected and customizable, another tactic being embraced by businesses is an increase in customer control. Everything from product specifications and tweaks, to how and where deliverables are exchanged is customizable. Research conducted by IDC says this allows for a more personalized customer experience that in turn helps buyers feel special and their voice heard. Businesses will need to embrace their individual customer and offer incentives to the right buyer at the right time.

Live Streaming is Expected

On par with tailoring customer experiences, the trend predicted by numerous marketers of a consistent increase in video use was spot on. Already the numbers of companies offering live streaming of events on Facebook, Instagram and even Twitter has increased in the past year. According to Twitter’s own letter to shareholders and reported on MediaKix, Twitter saw more than 31 million viewers in the fourth quarter of 2016 alone. Event hosts have increased their level of connectivity at tradeshow venues allowing for companies to live stream the showroom floor or their presentations while engaging with in-person customers thus expanding their reach.

Technology Trends

Intelligent Apps and Things

According to research and a subsequent article on Gartner, amongst other technology trends this year is an increase in smart applications. These are apps that are able to prioritize your work and your life for you. They can learn your behaviors and then deliver the most relevant, most customized information to you. This can also be useful when targeting specific demographics for marketing as well as used to improve customer experience.


The article speaks to intelligent things being drones, robots and autonomous vehicles as well as IoT devices. The possibility of integrating the Internet into your daily life is staggering. By now, you may have a device to make your coffee, order more milk when the gallon is nearly empty, turn off your lights and lock your doors and set the temperature for the day after you leave your house with the click of an app. Or even no input from you whatsoever. These devices can also streamline production, gather leads at trade show events and then analyze the data and inputs to identify flaws in the process or segment audiences to receive the most customizable communication.

Virtual Reality

Predictions at the end of 2016 saw this year as a boon for VR and began identifying the possibilities of the platform. Coupled with ever-increasing capabilities of the headsets themselves, dedicated marketplaces opening for content repositories means no shortage of worlds to explore.

Trends and predictions, based on science and art, can provide a guide for business owners to help navigate the available market places. Which trends do you focus on in your business? Leave a comment below.

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