Earlier this month, the retail world descended on Dusseldorf, Germany for EuroShop 2017.
Staged once every three years, EuroShop attracts the giants of the retail industry from around the world. These visitors are seeking the absolute latest innovations in retail marketing, including store architecture, visual merchandising, event design, POS marketing, and more.
With so many sectors represented under one roof, and such a high calibre of visitor, exhibiting companies - like us - faced stiff competition. EuroShop 2017 featured some of the most ingenious ways to attract, retain, and display their service and product offering to visitors. A true masterclass in exhibiting.
So, what did we see?
Exhibitors welcomed visitors with branded/themed gourmet snacks, coffee, cocktails and draft beer in a bid to encourage attendees to sit and stay a while during quiet visitor periods. The most successful exhibitors tied a strong brand messaging into their hospitality. For example, one exhibitor created cocktails from around the world to denote the location of its offices – to top it off; each cocktail was colour-themed to match the company’s branding.
Some exhibitors used projection mapping to create a moving backdrop for their product displays, while others added energy to otherwise inanimate objects. For example, some exhibitors added a network of integrated winches and pulleys to mannequins and hanging lights to create an orchestra of movement within their space and capture the attention of passers-by.
Illusions of space
There are plenty of ways to “open up” your stand spaces by fooling the eye and making visitors think that your exhibit is much, larger than it actually is. Some exhibitors used highly polished aluminium sheets or mirrors that went from floor to ceiling to reflect light and make a small space feel more open. Others used clever ways to enlarge a screen by incorporating curved parallel mirrors to reflect content into one continuous image around a closed cinema space.
Unconventional architecture and materials
To create a visually striking stand, some exhibitors incorporated unconventional materials into their architecture. These one-off creations offer endless inspiration for exhibitors and event professionals the world over. Stands featured walls and display areas from composite materials, combining timber fames, clad walls, and steel panels with raw materials like bamboo, bare wood, cardboard panels and PVC tubes. Exhibitors created an industrial look, exposing structural stand elements like girders, brickwork and wooden frames; some even incorporated shipping containers to create hospitality spaces. It goes to show that, no matter what your budget is, you can stand out by being different and giving people a reason to remember your brand.
Dubbed the perfect eye-catcher by the retail world, flying screens made an appearance at many stands around EuroShop. Flying screens is a technology that allows you to create a holographic effect on a transparent glass screen or windows – viewers can both look at content and peer through the screen. One company created a truly engaging experience with a smart colour-changing flying screen that reacted to the colours of people’s garments.
The hard work and three years planning of exhibiting companies culminates at the triennial store fest that is EuroShop. Even if you work outside of retail, in order to spark imagination and creativity, EuroShop is definitely an unmissable event. But I would strongly advise you to get there early - exhibitor demand is so great that there is usually a waiting list. For more ideas and inspiration for your next event, download our Trend Tracker guide now!