This article was first published in the Winter 2014 issue of OnWindows
Retail Business Technology Expo has grown significantly both in size and stature over the past four years, culminating in last year’s event being hailed as the most successful to date. With 8,642 attendees walking through its doors – an increase of over 20% compared to the 2013 event – the conference and workshop programme saw all sessions playing to packed theatres.
Matt Bradley, the event’s director, believes that, in an increasingly digital world, expos like this have become absolutely critical. “Face-to-face selling and networking opportunities are vital and completely irreplaceable in an industry such as this,” he says. “Retailers are investing in extended relationships that could last for tens of years. There is absolutely no way such an agreement can be brokered over the phone or online. It’s all about meeting, talking through issues and establishing trust. RBTE not only gives visitors the opportunity to meet with new suppliers, but the chance to look, touch, feel and understand the solutions.”
This year’s RBTE has, again, raised the bar. Confirmed speakers include: Therese Proctor, chief personnel officer at Tesco Bank; Alex Chruszcz, senior director of insight, pricing and data at Asda; and Kevin O’Brien, IT director at Selfridges, to name but a few.
“Two dedicated conference theatres will see some of retail’s greatest and most inspiring leaders debating the future of the industry and the tricks and tips they have used for continued growth and success,” says Bradley. “And a massive 300 plus exhibitors will showcase the newest and most innovative end-to-end solutions that will help retailers to transform their businesses. We’re also putting a major focus on innovation, with industry experts pre-selecting their top picks which will form the Innovation Trail throughout the show.”
The event will also see the launch of Retail Design Expo (RDE). “Focused on the retail design, marketing and visual merchandising sectors, the response to RDE has been overwhelming,” Bradley says. “Co-located with RBTE, it’s packed with market leading suppliers and thought-leading speakers from around the globe. Given the seamless nature of in-store design and technology, our aim is to fill the current void that exists for all the many collaborating partners. It’s impossible not to be very excited.”
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