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The present and future of the retail industry will be the focus of the first edition of the Retail & Brand Experience World Congress (RBEWC), the new event organised by Fira de Barcelona which will be held from 27 to 29 May at the Gran Via venue. One hundred experts representing international brands will participate in the event and will debate how the digital explosion is transforming a key industry in the economy. The RBEWC offering will be completed with a start-up area and an exhibition area, which together will total 120 companies, as well as two routes through innovative establishments in Barcelona that present the new emerging trends in the field of retail.

Shops that are first set up online and then established off-line; lifelong establishments that enter the digital universe; brands that offer unique shopping experiences to set themselves apart from e-commerce; proposals that turn everyday products into premium products. The world of retail and branding is undergoing a real revolution and Fira de Barcelona wants to be part of it. For this reason, it has organised the first edition of Retail & Brand Experience World Congress with the aim of generating an enriching dialogue between the main players of this key moment whose aim is to advance the proposals for the future of the industry.

Salvador Tasqué, Core Business Director of Fira de Barcelona has highlighted that “Retail & Brand Experience World Congress aims to be a global event in the transformation of the business model of brands and retail and also how they face the challenge of connecting with their end consumers through all channels, either offline or online”.

Customer and brand experience, digital retailing and much more

The Congress will bring together some of the world’s leading experts in this industry who will address the impact of digital transformation on different environments. The programme of the first edition of the Retail & Brand Experience World Congress will focus on six themes and eight sectors from which around fifty sessions will be developed. The topics will be: customer experience, omni-channel approaches and digital, the real estate sector, retail technologies, customisation and new retail models and trends. And the sectors: fashion, consumer goods, department stores and shopping centres, beauty, electronics, online, furniture and banking).

Among the hundred speakers that will participate in the fifty conferences of the RBEWC include Scott Galloway, founder L2 Gartner and author of a best-seller who dissects critically the four main technological giants today, who will talk about how technology is changing the ” purchase experience. In the same vein, professors José Luis Nueno (IESE) and Bernd Schmitt (Columbia) will share their vision of the changes that will be experienced in the not too distant future thanks to virtual reality, artificial intelligence and robotics. While Fuencisla Clemares, General Manager Google Iberia, will announce the solutions that it makes available to retailers. For its part, Alex Cruz, President and CEO British Airways, will address issues such as consumer service, customer experience or efficiency. And Juvencio Maeztu, Deputy CEO and CFO Ingka (Ikea), will unveil the vision of the future of the Swedish multinational.

Innovative start-ups

The RBEWC congress will be complemented with a start-up area and an exhibition area with the participation of 120 companies in total. The Start-up Village will have more than 75 emerging companies, 80% of which are international companies from countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, France and Israel, among others.

Among the innovative solutions that will be shown to the public are applications to transform traditional stores into smart outlets; systems to know how much stock of a product there is at all times and cameras to monitor customers entering the outlets, and conversion rates, among others. Among the participating start-ups, 24 will take part in the ‘Next! Awards ‘that will reward the best initiatives in three categories: digital, digital branding and disruptive technology.

With regard to the exhibition area, companies such as SAP, Cisco, Deloitte, Beabloo Accenture, Epson, Open Bravo, Asts Solum – Samsung, and Tiendeo, among others, as well as institutions such as Barcelona Turisme will be among those featured.

Stores that set trends

In addition, under the name Retail Safari, two routes that will encompass five of the current retail trends: online stores that are making the leap to off-line; omni-channel approaches; products that have projection capacity beyond themselves (e.g.: craft beer); aseptic establishments that lead the renewal in the shopping experience; and sustainability.

The first route includes global brands such as Tous, Massimo Dutti, Camper, Muji flagship store, B The Travel Brand, Cotton House Hotel, H&M Flax & Kale. And the second, local firms, such as Kave Hombre, Casa Bonay, Si Vas Descalzo, Boquería Market and Ametller Origen WTC