Global Shop has long been one of my favorite shows. I love to hang out with lots of smart people who spend their days thinking about great retail experiences.
This year’s show got off to a slow start. After getting swamped in our booth the last two years, I was surprised to the trickle of people coming by. Our traffic is probably down 25% from last year, and although we’re seeing most of our key clients, we’re not seeing as many new prospects as we’d usually expect.
As for other exhibitors. The digital signage area would be a big disappointment to anyone who was at DSE. Of the 20+ software vendors who were at DSE, only NanoNation, Wireless Ronin, Stratache, and Symon are at GlobalShop.
As for more traditional visual merchandising and retail design tools… I haven’t seen anything I didn’t see at Euroshop.
I didn’t make it to any of the seminars on day one, so I can’t speak to the attendance or quality.
There are a number of theories to explain the low turn out. The show is in Chicago which is an exhibitors nightmare (in terms of cost to exhibit), and isn’t as big of a draw for attendees compared to Las Vegas. It’s the week before Easter. It’s the day after St. Patrick’s Day. The economy is soft. It’s a Euroshop year. DSE was just a few weeks ago. Etc… Personally, I suspect it’s a combination of all of the above.
Usually Day one is the busiest day of a show, but hopefully I’ll be surprised by traffic tomorrow.