Retail Events (EU): Which to Attend and How to Take the Maximum Value Out of Them

Retail Events 2022

Now that in-person shopping is resuming, the growth of the eCommerce industry may have slowed down to 12.2 percent in 2022 (vs 16.3 percent in 2021) according to eMarketer, but social and business gatherings are returning more robust than ever. With global events driving an uncertain market, 2022 is a great year to start or resume attending retail events. Conferences are the lifelines of interpersonal connections, as you will be able to gain insight from industry insiders and get a handle on the latest trends. This article will cover some of the top retail events in Europe to help you decide which ones to attend and how to get prepared for the big day. 

Benefits of Attending Industry Events

More than ever, this year’s retail events are focused on providing exceptional value to those dealing with the fallout of the pandemic. Some of the biggest benefits of attending retail events are: 

  • Key partnerships: The best industry events tend to bring retailers and brands together for collaborations that benefit all parties involved. 
  • Networking: Teleconferences saved the day during the pandemic, but nothing beats a real-life meeting. Retail events allow you to personally connect with suppliers, brands, and other retailers in a way that isn’t possible virtually. 
  • Finding solutions: Many events feature experts who have proven strategies for overcoming your business’s problems. 
  • Learning about new technology: You may have the chance to take a class and learn about the latest retail technology straight from the developers. 

Read on to learn about some of the top retail conferences of 2022 and 2023. We’ll give you an idea of what you can expect from different types of conferences as well as how you should prepare to generate the best ROI on the costs associated with attending industry events. 

Retail Event #1: Paris Retail Week

  • Why you should attend: Paris Retail Week is one of Europe’s biggest retail events, bringing together more than 15,000 participants and 330 vendors. This three-day event offers conferences, workshops, tours, announcements, and awards in an experiential format. The event producers are dedicated to providing a platform for sharing knowledge, experience, and best practices for all retailers. This is an established conference that will appeal to a general audience of retailers. 
  • Location: Paris, France
  • Date: Sept. 20 to 22, 2022
  • Fee: Free with badge registration on the website
  • Type: Physical
  • Official website: https://en.parisretailweek.com/ 

Retail Event #2: InternetRetailing: eCommerce Berlin Expo

  • Why you should attend: Every year, this event features more than 50 experts sharing their insights on different stages. eCommerce giants such as Google, Audible, and Facebook are represented, establishing the Berlin Expo as a meeting place for innovative retailers and key decision-makers in eCommerce. This conference is geared toward eCommerce retailers, so you may want to skip it if you haven’t made the digital transformation yet. 
  • Location: Berlin, Germany
  • Date: May 5, 2022 (check the website later for 2023 dates)
  • Fee: Free with preregistration
  • Type: Physical, but if you miss it, you can catch a recording on the website
  • Official website: https://internetretailing.net/events/e-commerce-berlin-expo

Retail Event #3: IRX: Internet Retailing Expo

  • Why you should attend: IRX focuses on providing solutions, inspiration, and advice regarding technologies that brands and retailers need to be competitive in today’s global marketplace. You’ll hear from speakers who’ve recently experienced rapid growth, participate in workshops, and network with brand executives and other retailers. You can also find new suppliers and come home with solutions you can implement immediately. IRX is primarily focused on technology, so if you need help with the digital side of your business, this conference may be a good choice.
  • Location: Birmingham, England
  • Date: May 11 to 12, 2022  (check the website later for 2023 dates)
  • Fee: Free with preregistration
  • Type: Physical
  • Official website:  https://internetretailingexpo.com/welcome

Retail Event #4: EuroShop

  • Why you should attend: In 2023, EuroShop topics will include sustainability, smart stores, connected retail, customer centricity, and more. It will comprise nine dimensions through which you can choose the topics that interest you most, including retail technology, retail marketing, shoplifting mitigation, store design, and visual merchandising. EuroShop is one of the largest trade fairs, and it will have something for everyone. 
  • Location: Düsseldorf, Germany
  • Date: Feb. 16 to March 2, 2023
  • Fee: Free with preregistration
  • Type: Hybrid, with physical and digital events
  • Official website:  https://www.euroshop-tradefair.com/

Retail Event #5: Shoptalk Europe

  • Why you should attend: More than 200 industry leaders and rising stars will be speaking on critical trends and opportunities. More than 3,000 key decision-makers from Europe’s most innovative retailers, brands, startups, investment firms, real estate operators, tech firms, and media companies will attend. You’ll have the chance to network with and learn from the industry’s best. If you’re interested in learning about the cutting edge of retail, Shoptalk Europe is where you’ll find it.
  • Location: London, England
  • Date: June 6 to 8, 2022
  • Fee: £2,195 for attendees
  • Type: Physical
  • Official website:  https://shoptalkeurope.com/

Retail Event #6: Festival of Marketing

  • Why you should attend: The Festival of Marketing is the key event to attend if you’re trying to build your brand. Three days of conferences cover topics such as putting employees first, planning for the future, and creating a better customer experience. This learning experience will provide you with strategies you can implement to make an immediate change in your business. As its name implies, the Festival of Marketing is the place to learn and discuss all things marketing. 
  • Location: London, England
  • Date: March 23 to 25, 2022 (check the website later for 2023 dates)
  • Fee: £399, plus VAT
  • Type: Hybrid
  • Official website:  https://www.festivalofmarketing.com/

Retail Event #7: World Retail Congress

World Retail Congress 2022
Source: World Retail Congress official website

  • Why you should attend: The World Retail Congress brings together the creators, leaders, and owners of today’s major retail businesses to share the secrets of their success. You’ll have the opportunity to learn from, strategize with, and partner with leading global companies. You can expect to gain compelling insights and actionable strategies that will drive a transformation in your business. The World Retail Congress is all about connecting with the most innovative names in retail. 
  • Location: Rome, Italy
  • Date: April 5 to 7, 2022 (check the website later for 2023 dates)
  • Fee: Starting at $1,050
  • Type: Physical
  • Official website:  https://www.worldretailcongress.com/welcome

Retail Event #8: Retail Technology Show

Retail Technology Show 2022
Source: Retail Technology Show official website

  • Why you should attend: The Retail Technology Show is aimed at retail and hospitality companies that need tools, solutions, and advice regarding technology. You can expect to learn how to improve your customer experience, increase sales, and improve your operational efficiency. This conference will include topics such as purchasing, IT, marketing, eCommerce, loss prevention, finance, payments, supply chain, profit protection, HR, operations,  omnichannel engagement, and security. You might want to choose the Retail Technology Show if you’re looking to implement new technologies in your business or you’re facing obstacles you think technology can solve. 
  • Location: London, England
  • Date: April 25 to 26, 2023
  • Fee: Free with preregistration
  • Type: Physical
  • Official website:  https://www.retailtechnologyshow.com/home 

Retail Event #9: Natexpo 

Natexpo
Source: Natexpo official website

  • Why you should attend: Natexpo is an international trade show for organic products. In 2022, Natexpo featured 850 exhibitors and attracted 10,000 attendees. It features seven sectors, including food, cosmetics, ingredients, dietary supplements, services and equipment, eco-friendly products and services, and eCommerce solutions. The Natexbio Challenge project offers you an opportunity to get support in developing your organic product. Whether you’re looking to expand your organic offerings or your sole focus is organic products, you’re sure to find hot new items here. 
  • Location: Lyon, France
  • Date: Sept. 18 to 20, 2022
  • Fee: Free for professionals
  • Type: Physical
  • Official website:  https://natexpo.com/

Retail Event #10: The Business Show

  • Why you should attend: Europe’s largest business event, The Business Show is designed to help small businesses grow and develop. This conference focuses on business innovation and survival. With more than 500 exhibitors and 200 speakers, you’ll be able to choose the presentations and masterclasses that provide the solutions you need. The Business Show isn’t exclusively dedicated to retailers, but it still has a lot to offer retail business. If your business is small but looking to grow, you’ll benefit tremendously from The Business Show. 
  • Location: London, England
  • Date: Nov. 16 to 17, 2022
  • Fee: Free with preregistration
  • Type: Physical
  • Official website:  https://www.greatbritishbusinessshow.co.uk/

How to Properly Prepare for an Industry Event as an Attendee

How you prepare for an event will have an enormous impact on what you take away from it. While some events are free, you will likely still have travel expenses and, of course, your time. Other events are quite expensive to attend. Regardless, you undoubtedly want to take advantage of the opportunity to make as many connections and learn as much as possible. Here are some tips on how to prepare for the best retail events: 

  1. Look at the agenda and list of attendees, companies, sponsors, and speakers. Make a prioritized list of your key targets, based on your strategic goals. 
  2. Find their contact details and prearrange some meetings. Do this at least 14 days prior to the event, because most of them will reply with some sort of delay.
  3. Plan ahead for which speakers you want to see and which classes and workshops you want to attend.
  4. Pack business-casual clothes that will allow you to be comfortable while still looking professional. Bring a tote that will be big enough to carry the swag you’re bound to accumulate during the event as well as business cards, a notebook, and some pens. 
  5. Don’t be shy. Be prepared to introduce yourself to others. Meeting new contacts is one of the biggest advantages of attending a retail-week event. 
  6. After you get back home, take some time to do a debriefing with everyone who attended. Determine whether your objectives were met and whether the cost of attending the retail conference was worth it. 

How to Properly Prepare for an Industry Event as a Vendor

A retail event will be more hectic if you attend as a vendor, but advanced planning will make the process easier. Even if you’re attending as a vendor, plan to take some time to participate in workshops and listen to speakers so you can continue to grow your business. Here are some ways you can get the most out of attending an industry event as a vendor: 

  1. Set clear goals for your participation. What do you want to get out of it? Do you want to sell a certain amount of your inventory, or are you more focused on making connections and increasing your brand awareness? Deciding ahead of time will let you plan with your goals in mind and help you determine whether attending was worth it when the event is over. 
  2. Research trade shows to determine which one is the best match for your goals. You want to find one that attracts your target audience so that your booth will be relevant to the attendees. 
  3. Plan your budget and get as much information as possible about your booth. Ask questions about where your booth will be located, what size it will be, what kind of lighting and outlets will be available, and whether it’s in a high- or low-traffic area. Knowing as much about the conditions as possible will help you optimize your display. 
  4. Customize your display for your audience. If most of the attendees will be wholesalers, your booth will have a different focus than if most of the attendees are retailers. 
  5. Let your current network know you’ll have a booth at the show and ask everyone to spread the word. Invite your current contacts to attend as well and give them your booth information. 

Event-ually, Make It Count

Your ROI for a retail event will depend on your preparation and strategy. These are just a few of the numerous retail events in Europe. There are events for retailers in all specialties and at all stages of development. Attending a smaller, more specialized event will provide different benefits than attending larger, more general ones. Strategically researching and planning ahead will help you decide which events will be most beneficial for you. 

You may want to create a retail event calendar with general information and rank the events that interest you most. From there, you can compare events and narrow down your choices to the ones that suit your schedule and goals best. Once you know which retail events you’re going to attend, you can tailor your preparation accordingly. 

Hopefully, this article has helped you get an idea of what retail events are available to you and how you can get the most out of the ones you attend. When you get back home, email ContactPigeon at marketing@contactpigeon.com and share your feedback. We’d love to know how your event went and what tips you have to share with others.

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