You most likely deliver jobs for the retail sector. In which case, shouldn’t you be going to - if not exhibiting at - the new Retail Design Expo.
Where: Olympia, London.
When: 10 - 11 March, 2015
Times: 9.30am – 5pm
Cost: Free, but pre-register at http://retaildesignexpo.com
Icon will be exhibiting, as will Stylo and Leach Colour; so will Roland, Dufaylite…not to mention around 100 more companies from right across the retail design, marketing and merchandising sectors. So should you be at the inaugural Retail Design Expo that will run alongside the Retail Business Techology Expo (RBTE) this month?
The format of the event has been decided by a steering panel of high-flying retailers, designers, marketers and architects, and with input from various associations including POPAI, to try and make sure it covers all relevant ground.
“The retail design industry has lacked a recognised forum for many years. Retail Design Expo fills this void… offering a chance to share ideas, trends and opinions with competitors and collaborators alike,”? according to steering committee member David Dalziel, group creative director, Dalziel and Pow .
A full exhibitor list can be found online, but to give you a feel for the line-up, it includes POP designers and manufacturers, signage companies, surfaces and materials suppliers, flooring companies, visual merchandising, display and fixtures manufacturers, furniture suppliers, shopfitters, design consultancies, trends experts…and they’re coming from as far afield as Canada.
Stands aside, there’s a ‘Future Trends Lab’, whereby visitors can book a ten minute slot with one of The Future Laboratory’s forecasters to find out which trends can help futureproof their business. Plus, there are two conferences – Retail Design, and Visual Merchandising – with real top-notch speakers from companies such as Boots, John Lewis and organisations like Transport for London, The National Trust, and designers/agencies like International Visual - though sadly no PSPs!
Indeed, wide-format print does not appear to be particularly well represented from the exhibitor and speaker perspective, begging the question of whether PSP are winning the battle to be considered collaborators rather than mere suppliers, and of their perceived role/position within the changing market.
POPAI, which now has more than 1,400 members across 45 countries and a remit to help raise the profile of POP within the marketing community, is backing the show and running various talks, though even here PSPs get little look-in when it comes to content and messaging.
Steering committee member and POPAI UK and Ireland director Phil Day says:?“Despite the attention given to technology’s role in driving shopper engagement in-store, traditional print still sits right at the heart of communicating brand messages in the retail environment. As existing print companies continue to evolve their service offer to better reflect the needs of retailers and brands, providing them with opportunities to access the knowledge and skills needed to support best practice POP campaign management will prove vital. That’s where the POPAI Theatre comes in, with what promises to be a series of informative and engaging learning sessions during the course of Retail Design Expo 2015, that will help print specialists to unlock the potential for improved in-store effectiveness for their clients.”
Within the POPAI Theatre, Martin Kingdon, director general of POPAI, will host a programme of seminars developed to provide insight, advice and best practice case examples to improve POP innovation and performance. Sessions run from 1.30 – 2.15pm and from 3 – 3.45pm each day, and cover subjects such as ‘Exploring the role of POP within the extended path to purchase in modern multichannel shopping: the impact of new touchpoint innovations and the fads that demand caution’.
As stated, the sessions, aimed at retailers/agencies looking for a measurable impact on in-store customer experience and retail brand performance, have little direct PSP involvement, but could be valuable nevertheless as a research tool and networking opportunity for those attending.