Dusseldorf, Germany February 23-27. Euroshop is held every three years in Germany.

I always get a kick out of the fact that Europe has the largest retail show in the world with over 100,000 attendees and over 1900 booths and they call it EuroShop, while in the US we have a retail show with 15,000 attendees and over 900 booths and we call it GlobalShop.

The big German trade shows are very different than US ones. In the US we tend to have convention centers with a few giant exhibit halls and many exhibits per hall, while the German centers tend to have many more smaller halls with a more manageable number of exhibits in each hall. I prefer the smaller halls because it’s easier to make sure I see everything, and it’s easier to organize the halls by type of business.

I was particularly interested in the Shop Fitting halls. It does seem that European consumers will give a preference to higher quality designed stores, and so the basic fixturing systems on display at Euroshop are a bit nicer/better designed than their US counterparts. It’s always fun to visit the Exhibit Design, Retail Design, and Lighting halls to get a some great inspiration for your own designs (even if much of what you see isn’t necessarily cost effective or practical).

As with every other show in the world, there is now a large digital signage pavilion at the show. Although there are some great digital signage deployments in Europe, it does seem that the largest Digital Signage Software Vendors in the U.S. have a bit more mature software solutions than those exhibiting at Euroshop. Of course there are some large vendors with a presence in both markets like SCALA. Also, there are dedicated digital signage shows in Europe, and it’s certainly possible that those shows draw more mature software vendors than the ones that choose to exhibit at Euroshop.

If you are retail merchant and have a chance to attend Euroshop, I highly recommend you take it. I always come back with a notebook full of new ideas, and a recharged battery. As much as I enjoy the show, I also really like getting to visit the European retailers that I don’t get to shop often.

For German consumer electronics retailers that’s mainly MediaMarkt and Saturn (same ownership). This year I went to Dusseldorf via London so got to visit Curry’s Digital, and the overwhelming number of shops on Tottenham Court Road as well. Not to mention what feels like 1000 different mobile phone stores (aka "handy" stores) between the two cities.

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