EuroShop (www.euroshop-tradefair.com) covers all the latest developments in retailing, merchandising, shopfitting, displays, and exhibitions and events, with one hall dedicated to the exhibition and events sector.
South African exhibition, events and display specialist, Scan Display, has taken a team to the show since 1999. Again, this year, Scan Display representatives were able to network with colleagues from around the world, build the company’s international client base, and take in all the latest innovations in design, lighting, carpeting and technology.
This was the third time that Scan Display has exhibited as part of the International Federation of Exhibition & Event Services (www.ifesnet.org) pavilion – an easy and effective way for the company to exhibit at EuroShop.
There was greater use of colour on the stands, compared with the dominant monochrome palette and natural materials of the last few shows. It felt like - post-pandemic – exhibitors wanted their products and services to be showcased with more vibrant, colourful exhibits.
The lighting on the stands was bright (sometimes too bright) and really made a statement. Exhibitors used extensive backlighting, enhancing the bold colours. The backlighting quality was better than ever before, and the graphics really ‘popped’. Some exhibitors also used uplighting and mood lighting very effectively.
The quality of lightboxes was also better than before, creating eye-catching displays. There were quite a few stands that used a combination of semi-transparent or gridded structures paired with different lighting techniques, which created a whole new visual layer in the stand presentation.
There was extensive use of LED walls. Plasma screens and monitors have become outdated and were used in a limited way.
The risk of damage has historically made exhibitors reluctant to use LED panels. However, the latest LED panels incorporate technology which protects them. The cost of LED screens has come down over the years, making them more affordable.
Scan Display’s Cape Town branch manager, Jacob van Zyl, says that the creativity of the content used on LED screens stood out for him, “Exhibitors used beautiful, abstract, colourful content on their LED panels. The videos were created specifically for the show and tied in with the look-and-feel of the stand. The videos changed over time to give the impression of the stand being alive.”
Sustainability has been a part of EuroShop for a while now, but this year it was more mainstream, and it was incorporated into everything: product offering, marketing messaging, stand materials, lighting. The sustainability of products and services was the primary marketing message – way ahead of any cost saving messaging.
The top three Innovation Award winners showcased their sustainability projects. The winner of the Innovation Award, US-based Moss Inc, showcased how they upcycle waste plastic recovered from the ocean to create the fabric for the tension fabric products the company makes.
The Gold Award winner in the XL Category (more than 200m2), Hans Boodt Mannequins, repurposed raw scaffolding and containers to create its stand.
There were very few double decker stands and private meeting rooms on stands. Exhibitors and visitors were interacting right there on the stand, in the middle of the activity. There was a sense that people were looking for connection after years of relative isolation.
At previous EuroShop shows, it looked like Virtual Reality (VR) was set to take off at exhibitions and events. However, at this year’s show there were hardly any VR elements. Exhibitors engaged directly with their visitors and demonstrated their products face-to-face without any VR tools.
There were only a few stands that used Augmented Reality (AR) - one example was the projection of images of moving parrots onto a wall.
Interactive elements including games and activities, and the more conventional coffee and snack bars, were used to draw visitors to the stand.
Justin Hawes, Scan Display’s managing director, sums up the EuroShop 2023 experience, “The dominant feeling was about human interaction. People wanted to connect and chat. Bright colours, powerful lighting and LED walls were the stand-out features. Sustainability and telling a story in a novel way made for award-winning stands.”