Tomorrow sees the start of the Retail Business Technology Expo and Cards Payments Solutions event (RBTE) at London’s Earls Court, at an exciting time for retail innovation.
This year’s event has doubled in size from its launch last March, with an estimated 7,000 retailers, hospitality and leisure providers expected to visit, and over 300 companies exhibiting at the show.
Innovation is going to be one of the main themes of the show, which is free to attend, with so many of the major technology suppliers to the retail industry on hand to demonstrate their latest products to the sector.
For the first time this year the RBTE will host an ‘Innovation Showcase’ allowing businesses, which were hand-picked by the event’s steering committee, to display their most ground-breaking new products to the event free of charge.
Another new feature of the show will be the Pecha Kuchar seminar, named after the Japanese for chit-chat, which will see speakers present 20 slides, with each slide presented in 20 seconds, so that speaker have just six minutes and 40 seconds to explain their ideas.
Nick Field, Event Director for RBTE 2012, said: “Our visitors told us that they love the Retail Business Technology Expo and Cards & Payments Solutions seminars. But they like them to be independent and not vendor sales pitches.
“But they do really do want to hear from smart innovative solution providers too but in a different format. Thus Pecha Kucha. It is a Vendor Theatre with a difference and free of charge to participants.”
Among the speakers and exhibitors at the two day event will be communications giant BT, multinational technology firm IBM, fast-rising mobile solutions business Eagle Eye, and online delivery enabler Shutl.
Major retailers such as John Lewis, Jaeger, Marks & Spencer and Debenhams will all be hosting speeches in the main theatres, as traders set out their strategies to adapt along with changing face of modern retail.
Boots, Morrisons, McDonalds, Specsavers and Spar will be among the companies hosting seminars over the two days at the IMRG Theatre on site.
Field added: “Our free, independent seminar line up represents best practice across a broad range of subjects and disciplines for retail, hospitality and leisure organisations.
“Time invested in visiting the Expo will be paid back tenfold by the knowledge that will be taken away from our education programme.”
Technology is moving at such a pace within retail that the RBTE show represents a eye-opening look into the near future of shopping, with innovations such as clienteling, facial recognition, augmented reality and biometric voice signatures all being displayed at the event.