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Launching Reed Exhibition’s

landmark retail show and getting outstanding results


RetailEXPO is the new unified retail trade show from Reed Exhibitions, combining Europe’s largest retail tech show, Retail Business Technology Expo (RBTE), Retail Digital Signage Expo (RDSE) and Retail Design Expo (RDE), the UK’s leading event for retail design.

New for 2019 in its single show format, RetailEXPO challenged Fieldworks to deliver a dual stream campaign to raise its profile among retailers to drive attendance. They also needed help ensuring tech vendor and design businesses – the exhibitors – would commit to exhibit at the show and ideally rebook for RetailEXPO 2020. RetailEXPO took place at Olympia London on 1st an 2nd May 2019.

The campaign needed to:

  • Generate brand awareness for the show delivering PR coverage in trade, online, national and broadcast media as read by its show visitor and exhibitor audiences
  • Drive visitor and press registrations
  • Provide PR support to pre-booked exhibitors in order to support the wider show team’s net promoter score / exhibitor satisfaction KPIs
  • Use PR to assist email capture to widen the show’s existing database
  • Drive web traffic from media own websites to RetailEXPO’s own digital properties / landing pages


To form its PR and show strategy, Fieldworks consulted RetailEXPO’s research, conducted by Foundation, of over 150 senior retailers that represent the shows’ audiences – from CEOs to sole traders, multinationals to independents, pureplay to omnichannel businesses and across business functions.  The findings revealed greater need for collaboration amongst retail teams, with tech, marketing and design working more closely to deliver enhanced customer experience (CX) to drive business performance.

Additionally, to ensure alignment with the new target audiences – show personas – Fieldworks hosted the RetailEXPO’s Advisory Board member roundtable, made up of over 50 senior retailers across different tech and design business functions, which informed campaign strategy and messaging.

To position RetailEXPO as a single source of industry insight, Fieldworks used the findings from the Foundation and Advisory Board research to inform a consumer research-led market report, ‘One vision: How to re-energise retail in 2019 and beyond’.  This mapped to RetailEXPO’s show themes and the retail priorities and pain-points identified in the planning phase.

The One Vision report was hosted as a central piece of gated content behind an email capture form on RetailEXPO’s website.  The consumer research was then split in to six PR news generation sell-ins mapping to key personas of the show and themes to drive brand awareness as well as web traffic, email capture and report downloads.

We leveraged our retail sector specialism to capitalise on the business news agenda.  Stories of struggling retailers, CVAs, business rates, declining footfall on the high street and changing shopping behaviours in the light of ecommerce underpinned key messages for the show around the role of technology and retail experiences in driving business performance.  This was a key angle and topical way in which Fieldworks could engage press interest and drive media attendance at the show.

In the run-up to this vast but as yet untested show, the main activity was to create brand awareness among visitor audiences, to provide exhibitor support, and to drive show registrations.

As part of the ‘show news’ we put out, from waves of exhibitor announcements and show installations, achieved extensive media coverage.

News gen included four consumer research sell-ins, promoting the One Vision report across key industry themes. These included CX; ‘retailtainment’ and the role of design supported by tech; payments; the role of store staff in CX.  This was designed to drive traffic to the report landing page – where the report was gated meaning email addresses could be obtained for future comms (with consent).

Press registrations: We provided regular updates on show news (confirmed speakers and interview opportunities) and pitches based on retail news agenda

Exhibitor support: Fieldworks presented ‘PR best practice’ workshop to 50+ exhibitors at RetailEXPO Masterclass event and created PR material templates to deliver ‘value adds’ to exhibitors in line with RetailEXPO’s NPS targets

During the show we provided media and exhibitor support: Production and distribution of the RetailEXPO Show Daily, a press newsletter distributed on each day of the trade show. Fieldworks contacted exhibitors to source their show news for inclusion in advance to support NPS efforts.

Post-show we devised and managed communications to drive validation of show success. This included producing a post-show release including key success metrics, and a range of news gen sell-ins promoting the One Vision report.

Both activities were timed to extend visibility of the show post-event, and also drive brand awareness of the show for exhibitor audiences in the crucial rebooking phase.


  • 147 pieces of press coverage were generated
  • Total opportunities to see >18.2m globally
  • 2,328 social button shares from press coverage

Press registrations rose 22% YOY.  Key media attendees including Financial Times, Associated Press, Retail Week, Drapers, Computer Weekly, Retail Gazette, TechHQ, Internet Retailing, Design Curial, Darc

We assisted greatly with email capture via downloads of report:

  • 716 page views of the One Vision report
  • 242 downloads of the One Vision report, which provided new emails for RetailEXPO database
  • Retailers downloading included: Sainsbury’s, Tesco, John Lewis, Boden, LEGO, H&M, Debenhams, JD Sports and Pandora