Last week I traveled to Düsseldorf, Germany, for the return of EuroShop, the world’s leading retail trade fair. I was excited to reconnect with colleagues I had not seen face-to-face in a while and explore the exhibit trends in the retail world.
EuroShop brings a global community together to showcase the latest trends and innovations in the retail industry with an extensive series of product categories, including my favorites, Expo & Retail Marketing, and Retail Technology. This year, over 80,000 visitors from 141 countries traveled to Germany to connect, learn, and share the latest insights and trends in the retail world.
Beyond the show floor, I loved exploring Dusseldorf. Signs of spring were popping up, and I enjoyed walking along the bank of the beautiful Rhine River.
EuroShop was at the Messe Dusseldorf. I enjoyed walking the 17 exhibit halls and exploring the front and center topics in the exhibit designs. Below are a few that caught my eye.
Digital was everywhere! Many companies included digital features and activations as focal points in their exhibits. LED screens, touchscreens, and Augmented and Virtual Reality features offered attendees ways to interact and engage with brands. There was a big emphasis on Connected Retail, and it was interesting to see that brought to life in so many creative, interactive engagements within the exhibits.
One of the overarching trends in design was Bigger than Life. The maximalism trend in graphic design was clearly in exhibits and has extended beyond bold font. Many exhibits featured oversized custom elements such as giant chairs, large hanging signs, and real-life environments such as convenience stores and themed environments. This trend promotes brand recognition and impact by grabbing attendees’ attention with something hard to miss.
Many exhibits also featured unique finishes created with wood, fabrics, and lighting elements. These designs created a high-impact and amplified the brands on the show floor.
It’s interesting to walk the show floor and try to guess the strategy of each exhibit just from a first glance. I walked the halls with a marketing strategist, and we performed an exhibit audit to guess their marketing objectives based on exhibit design, messaging, and attendee interaction. Some designs are notably purposeful in their exhibit design and messaging to match clear objectives – seeing that in action is impressive. Ways to emphasize your objectives through design include live demos or hospitality areas if the goal is connecting with clients. If it is increasing closed deals, have a meeting space to meet with clients and decision-makers.
Over the past few years, we have seen an increased focus on creating sustainable exhibit solutions. The topic of sustainability was front and center at EuroShop, with a dedicated area of the event titled “THINK SUSTAINABLY – ACT RESPONSIBLY. How to create a sustainable future in LiveCom.” This area provided visitors with a demonstration of sustainable exhibit solutions and a discussion of best practices to incorporate into their events and trade shows. The exhibit hall marked sustainable exhibits with flags and floor stickers.
It was great to see the retail community back together and well-represented at EuroShop this year. As the industry rebounds, the energy and excitement there left me inspired and looking forward to what the rest of the year will bring.
By: Wendy Gibson, 03/08/2023