Look in a shop window for the retail industry

Take a chance to learn about the latest trends in point of purchase and in-store marketing.

Now in its 12th year, the In-Store Show is back as part of Marketing Week Live, proving that point of purchase and in-store marketing is a more important part of the marketing mix than ever before.

A dedicated In-Store conference programme and the live finale of the SkillSmart Retail visual merchandising competition provide a glimpse into what retail will look like in years to come.

The show’s event director Jon Hughes explains: “The In-Store Show has always tried to be a shop window for the industry, and Marketing Week Live provides the ideal opportunity to raise the profile of marketing in the retail sector.”

More than 100 suppliers will be at the In-Store Show, bringing together in-store professionals across marketing and design and the best industry thinking in digital technology, POP, visual merchandising, shopfitting and design.

HL Display marketing controller Hannah McKinnon, a returning exhibitor, says: “We see the show as an effective way of meeting potential customers.” She adds that she likes to pick up on “new trends” as well as communicating the company’s news and success stories.

An educational programme with keynote speeches and seminars covering shopper insight, multichannel retail, web-based POP tools and international retailing will complement the show. Those speaking include Mango European expansion director Aniko Kostyal, Alliance Boots head of CSR Richard Ellis, B&Q head of online sales and merchandising Richard Wilson and the former head of marketing at Heinz, Amanda Walker.

POPAI, the POP industry’s trade body, will be hosting the Green Seminars as part of the conference programme. Chaired by eco consultancy Envirowise, the sessions will cover reducing the environmental impact of POP from the brand, design and manufacturing perspective.

“We’re giving a snapshot of current trends and thinking on the pressure of green production and presenting real, tangible examples,” says POPAI business manager Phil Day.

In addition to the dedicated In-Store conference programme, visitors also have access to the Marketing Week Live centre stage where they can attend keynote speeches and seminar debates from representatives of Vodafone, Birds Eye and Virgin Atlantic among others.

POPAI will also be putting on the POPAI Awards showcase, where visitors can see last year’s winners and entries to this year’s awards. Day says this gives his organisation the chance to showcase the most innovative examples of POP materials.

It isn’t all about rewarding the most successful campaigns, either. New products will be displayed in an way that allows the audience to see and touch what is on offer.

ISIS Signage is presenting ISIS, its patented illuminated signage system. Joint managing director Gerry Hodes says he chose to exhibit at the show for the first time in order to excite the industry: “If we make potential customers sit up and think that there’s now a different type of sign equipment on the market, we’ll be content. But it would be good to take some orders as well.”

Contact Field Marketing is also joining the In-Store Show for the first time this year to present its field marketing and merchandising services. Agency founder Susan French says: “After speaking to previous exhibitors, we decided to blow our marketing budget and come to Olympia.”

POP company HRG is returning to the In-Store Show after last year’s debut delivered several new brand and retail clients. This year HRG is launching ADAPT4, a web-based POP design and purchasing tool that aims to save brands and retailers time and money.

Marketing Week Live sponsor Play InStore, an In-Store Show exhibitor and provider of web-based and in-store radio, will be delivering a live radio broadcast from the show. Expo Radio Live will pipe interviews, music and show information into all four of the co-located marketing shows throughout the two days.

To demonstrate what Play InStore can do for brands and retailers, the company’s business development manager Marcus Quilter and his team will be running the Sixty Second Challenge. In return for visitors taking 60 seconds to tell Play InStore about their brand, they will create a bespoke sample radio station within the hour.

Play InStore will also be showcasing its range of new media services and offering prize draws with national advertising campaigns worth over £20,000 up for grabs.

After a successful pilot of the SkillVM visual merchandising competition at the In-Store Show last year, the event is again playing host to the live finale run by the National Skills Council for Retail. Split into two categories, retailer and student, the six finalist teams have made it through live regional heats, and will build their VM displays at the show in front of visitors, exhibitors and the panel of judges.

“The importance of VM has really increased in the past 12 months and the live finale at the In-Store Show gives an opportunity to get in front of retailers and brands and demonstrate VM as a commercial avenue,” says SkillSmart competition co-ordinator Sasha de Caires.

As a one-stop shop for retail marketers, the In-Store Show at Marketing Week Live is a date for the diary. While last year’s show pulled in more than 4,000 visitors with buyers from the likes of Apple, Unilever, Diageo, Arcadia Group and The Body Shop, this year is expected to do even better, benefiting from the association with the other events at Marketing Week Live.

“Marketing Week Live is a fantastic idea because it brings a higher level of decision makers. Bringing three of four different marketing channels under one banner offers a more tempting proposition to a more senior decision maker as well as the in-store specialist,” says POPAI’s Day.

You can keep up with all that the show has to offer in the run-up to the event at www.instorenews.co.uk, which will be reporting live from the event. You can also track what’s going on via the official Twitter feed at www.twitter.com/instorenews.

The In-Store Show, part of Marketing Week Live, takes place on 30 June – 1 July 2009 at Olympia, London.

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