By Cheryl Lesniak
Following this year’s trade show season, Frank Mayer & Associates VP of Business Development Joe Holley, Account Executive Carl Maglio, and SVP of Business Development Ron Bowers shared their takeaways from three spring shows: The M-PACT Show, GlobalShop 2018, and the Digital Signage Expo 2018.
The M-PACT Show
About: The M-PACT Show brings together leaders in the energy and convenience industry as well as support companies affiliated with the trade. This year’s show was held March 13-15 in Indianapolis, Ind., U.S.
Insight: A key takeaway for Frank Mayer and Associates Inc. representative Holley was the interest from big energy companies to expand their loyalty programs using self-service kiosks in their stations. Utilizing these kiosks not only allows fuel stations an opportunity to encourage customers to walk through the door, but offers convenience to patrons who can sign up for reward programs, print coupons, view their accounts, and more. Holley predicts an increase in these loyalty program kiosks at convenience stores and fuel stations as more energy companies recognize the benefits.
About: The largest retail design industry trade show, GlobalShop brings together representatives from store design, visual merchandising, retail technology, and shopper marketing industries. GlobalShop 2018 took place in downtown Chicago March 27–29.
Insight: Often a hub for the latest innovative ideas in the industry, the show provided companies an opportunity to showcase the latest trending products. Smart flooring equipped with built-in sensors to track the movement of customers through a retail store has been generating more buzz lately, and Maglio saw more exhibitors featuring this technology at the show. In addition, he noticed more creative use of LED lighting, with some businesses highlighting dramatic shelf-edge light capabilities that could bring a new look to merchandising displays.
Digital Signage Expo 2018 (DSE)
About: According to the DSE website, the show “is the world’s largest and longest running conference and tradeshow exclusively dedicated to showcasing innovative digital display and interactive technology solutions for customer and employee communications.” This year’s expo was held March 26–29 in Las Vegas.
Insight: Staying true to the industry move toward “personalization,” the show’s buzz was all about the importance of collecting data on the consumer so the retail experience could be customized to the patron. Big name companies presented on the significance of data management in retail systems. Bowers states, “Many companies had exciting demonstrations that utilized data gathering and input utilization of consumer interaction with face recognition and product interaction.” He continues, “It is now becoming mainstream for self-service digital screens and touchscreen systems to gather and use the consumer information to offer real-time analysis of customer interaction with brands and services.”
From self-service kiosks and trending technology to personalizing the customer experience, recent trade shows have illustrated what’s important to both brands and retailers as well as customers in the coming year.
Cheryl Lesniak is integrated marketing manager for Frank Mayer and Associates.