Retail Design Expo has reaffirmed its position as Europe’s premier retail design event by bringing together retailers, brands, exhibitors and more than 100 leading industry speakers to create an event that addressed retailers’ design challenges through new concepts, product innovation and solutions to improve customer experience.
The event, together with its two co-located shows Retail Business Technology Expo and Retail Digital Signage Expo, hosted this year’s largest gathering of retailers including tens of thousands of delegates from global retailers through to smaller chains and independents, leisure and hospitality operators, brand owners, design consultancies, shopfitters and architectural services.
The expertly curated conference programme featured Retail Futurist, Howard Saunders, whose session ‘Brands On The Run’ addressed the real-world impact of new technologies such as drone delivery, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, and Facial Recognition Software. Danielle Pinnington, MD, Shoppercentric who provided insight into a new generation of shoppers in her session ‘Getting Under The Skin Of Gen Z’, while Paul Nulty, Nulty Practice Head and Founder discussed the role lighting plays in heightening customer experience.
Speaking about the exhibition, Tom Moore, Head of Retail & Shopper, Geometry UK, who delivered a session on the importance of understanding human behaviour in driving retail innovation, said: “RDE is future fit. The idea that retail continues to lag behind in the analogue world is completely debunked at this Festival. We’re seeing tech moving beyond retail logistics into marketing. We’re seeing digital move beyond panels into immersive experience. My take? It’s a one stop shop for modern retail: from retailers and brands to analysts and futurologists with a deep dive into innovation and insight. We will be back next year.”
Brands also speaking at the event, include Poonam Modhvadia, Retail Marketing Manager, Casio UK; Dan Buckingham, Head of Retail, Virgin Holidays and Kate Maher, Senior Director Retail Concept Creation Concept to Consumer, Adidas.
Alongside the speaker sessions, the exhibition identified and celebrated the industry’s leading talent. The 2018 Innovation Trail and Awards, which celebrated the most innovative products at the show, was won by Big Group Retail. ABC Sal scooped the Grand Prix for their Lebanese department Store at the VM Awards, which recognises the best examples of window dressings, POP and displays.
Winners of the Retail Design World Student Awards, celebrate and promote the industry’s future stars were Alise Jozepaa from Glasgow School of Art for the KFC brief, Frida Good from University of Westminster for Red or Dead brief and Phoebe Williams from University of Huddersfield for the Kingfisher brief. Plus, announced on the first day of the show were nominees for the 2018 POPAI Awards, which seek to reward creativity, innovation and best practice in retail marketing.
RDE also provided a wealth of networking opportunities. To celebrate their 90th birthday, SMP partnered with RDE again to create the Great Gatsby themed bar experience, re-branded The ‘Bubbly Bar’, where they hosted the popular Big Party at the end of the first day of the show, while on the second day, RDE hosted a Networking Breakfast to allow retailers and brands to meet with peers and exhibitors ahead of the show.
Sarah Adams, event manager of RDE said: “We are delighted to have closed the doors on our most successful show yet. When running free events, you always expect drop outs, but this year more than 74% of registered visitors took the time to come along, against an industry conversion rate of just 60% – a real testament to the richness of our programme and the innovations on show from our exhibitors.
“What’s more, feedback on the quality of the delegates has been fantastic – they are literally buzzing with excitement from meetings with purchasing decision makers from global retailers and brands and, as a result, we have record exhibitors reserving their stands for 2019. That speaks volumes about the relationships we’ve nurtured and reputation within the community”
Exhibitors echoed Sarah’s sentiments. Tom Purton, Sales and Marketing Director of Signcomp Europe said: “RDE gives us a great opportunity to meet people you otherwise wouldn’t meet – on the first day alone, we spoke to Homebase, John Lewis and Formula One. At RDE it isn’t just about numbers but the quality of the people visiting our stand – for a small business launching a new product it’s invaluable. RDE is the best way to get quick exposure to the retail industry.”
Lee Bradburne, Managing Director of Display Team said: “RDE is now an integral and important part of our calendar. It enables us to meet up with our clients and prospects as we look to raise our profile in the industry. RDE gives us a platform to get our brand in front of the right people. We are already looking forward to 2019.”
To book your stand for RDE 2019, visit the booking page of the RDE website or ring the RDE team service team on +44 (0) 20 8910 7089