I believe it is our "collective consciousness" that leads us to follow trends. The simplest way to think of this phrase is to gauge an idea or style that we all share, whoever specifically "we" or the "tribe" might entail. A very good example is the Apple brand. It is associated with high design and intuitive purity. This trend has now made its transition into experiential marketing as well.
White is now the leading-edge sensation. Freshness, purity and new beginnings are the under-tone connotations of white. It is no wonder that white is the dominant color of choice in some trade show venues. It seems that the emerging Intersolar 2011 is a prime case study of white in the third dimension. The exhibiting brands were so focused on expressing cleanliness, clarity and wholeness so much so that they sacrificed their individual potential to be remarkable and distinctive. All to be part of a "trend". And that is outright feeble.
Trade shows and events are advantageous arenas for rendering your brand uniqueness. Like humans, each brand has it's unique DNA. In marketing terms it is called "Unique Sales Proposition". Designing a space that speaks to this uniqueness is a major advantage in developing a great messaging platform and a memorable encounter.
Over the ages, designers, artists, philosophers and thinkers have been guided by the Spirit of the Time Design Value. This design value is based on the conception that every age has a certain spirit or set of shared attitudes that should be utilized when designing. Clarity and transparency is in the collective consciousness of our current times. Hence, the dominance of white is profound. This is the reason why the challenge to be different is equally pivotal. Introduction of surfaces, textures, hand-illustrations and lighting that confirms to this common consciousness but strides to be peerless is one way to foster brand memorability.
Always remember: your brand is a singular expression. It is unique and unrepeatable.