Reasons to attend RBTE, Retail Design Expo & Retail Digital Signage Expo

There are numerous reasons to visit London Olympia on 2-3 May for the co-located RBTE, Retail Design Expo (RDE) and Retail Digital Signage Expo (RDSE), but here at Retail Connections we have picked out our five key things to look out for.

RBTE focuses on the technology and payments solutions and trends shaping the future of the industry, RDE is very much about the visuals and design element of retail, and RDSE effectively bridges the gap between the two – focusing on a fast-growing area of digital signage. But each of the individual shows have at least these five things in common.

Innovative ideas

From the hundreds of exhibitors showcasing their wares over the two days at London Olympia to the star-studded speaker programme attached to each show, the organisers of RBTE, RDE and RDSE would each describe their shows as a hunting ground for gathering insights and generating fresh ideas.

With start-ups sitting alongside established industry players on the respective expo floors and retail and retail-related companies from around the globe on stage in the event’s multiple conference theatres, the venue is set to be a hotbed of knowledge sharing, new concepts and reinvention inspiration.

As retail contends with major infrastructure change, increasingly unpredictable consumer behaviour and an influx of new competitors entering the market, those visiting all or any of the three shows can’t fail to leave without an injection of new thinking, or an understanding of the art of the possible.

Compelling speakers

Over the years, these dynamic retail trade shows have built their reputations by bringing the key retail solution providers all under one roof, but also with the aid of big-name industry speakers helping to fill up the conference theatres. And this year will be no different.

RBTE’s speaker line-up includes some exciting forward-thinking from trends forecasters and futurists such as Howard Saunders and Cate Trotter, as well as insights on tech and business from the likes of ex-Amazon UK CEO and now Asos chairman Brian McBride, Dixons Carphone head of technology Kash Ghedia, and senior leaders at Amazon Pay and Samsung Pay.

RDE’s speaker line-up also includes futurist Saunders, who will focus his presentation on ‘Brands on the Run’, and the agenda lists, among others: Hannah Jackson, China business development project manager at The Body Shop; Davy Pittoors, VM manager at Louis Vuitton; and Daphne Duttileux, retail design & VM director for L’Oreal Luxe.

This year at RDSE, conference attendees will be able to hear from Florian Rotberg, managing director at Invidis Consulting, and Google’s Mark Grady, as well as gathering key insights from a case study presented by Beaver Group and Chipotle’s European marketing manager James Dannatt.

For each of the shows, these names provide just a small snapshot of the presenters – there will be seminars and keynote sessions from illuminating speakers running throughout the two days at each of the theatres dedicated to the respective shows.

Unparalleled networking opportunities

Attendees will have an opportunity to catch up with peers and old industry friends at the exclusive Retailers’ Lounge at RBTE, or the Visitor Lounge at RDE – which is reserved for retailers, brands, visual merchandisers, architects and shopfitters only.

Or, for all three of the co-located shows, there is the smart networking platform to take advantage of before May 2-3 even arrives, allowing visitors to arrange meetings in advance and make sure they connect with relevant delegates.

Award-winning solutions and stand-out retailers

No event is complete without an awards ceremony, and this year will see RBTE and a combined RDE/RDSE run their respective Innovation Trail & Awards – highlighting the solutions and services deemed especially innovative by an independent industry judging panel.

One ultimate winner will be announced at each of the shows.

RDE will also host the Student Awards – an event developed to recognise the future retail design talent rising through the ranks of the industry – and the VM Awards, which will shine a light on examples of compelling window and in-store displays from the past year. All shortlisted entries will be displayed at the expo, and the winners will be announced at a spectacular ceremony at Olympia.

Party time!

It’s not all work! This year’s RBTE, RDE and RDSE will once again host their famous Big Party events at the end of the first day – they are open to all visitors and exhibitors, and they offer delegates a chance to unwind and enjoy what will surely be some much-needed refreshments after a busy day of exploring the shows.

Of course, there are many more reasons to attend one or all expos – those in the retail industry just have to look at the respective event websites to see just what is on offer for visitors over the course of the two days.

Whether it’s retailers looking to find new technology, design ideas or digital signage to drive their organisations forward, business teams visiting on mass for inspiration, or industry folk attending to network with new and old contacts alike, the exhibition floor and surrounding amenities are sure to be buzzing with energy and new ideas – as is the case every year at this global retail industry showcase.

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