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The inaugural event took place this past April 25-27 in Austin, Texas.

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sHOP! MARKETPLACE, the eagerly anticipated trade event for store design, p-o-p and visual merchandising, made its grand debut from April 25-27, 2023, at the Palmer Events Center in vibrant Austin, Texas. As the first-ever branded trade show hosted by the Shop! Association, the event attracted a diverse range of exhibitors and attendees, including representatives from major retail chains, consumer package goods brands (CPGs), independent retail, retail consultants and brand advisors, and design and architectural firms.

Where Innovation and Inspiration Converged

From the moment attendees stepped foot into the venue, the modern and curated atmosphere set the stage for an extraordinary experience. The fusion of hard-wall and custom booths created an elegant and visually dynamic ambiance, evoking a sense of sophistication that permeated every corner of the event.

One of the highlights of Shop! MarketPlace was the extensive networking opportunities. Attendees and exhibitors eagerly participated in the welcome reception, retail tour, OMA Awards ceremony, PAVE Social evening event, and engaging on-the-show-floor interactions. (In fact, networking opportunities ranked as the second highest motivator for attending the event, receiving overwhelmingly positive feedback in the post-event survey.) The exchange of ideas and experiences fueled collaboration and generated a sense of enthusiasm among participants.

Where Innovation and Inspiration Converged THIS PAGE: Educational sessions took place on the show floor alongside a variety of exhibitors showcasing materials, fixtures, mannequins, lighting and more.

The event also witnessed the presentation of the Shop! Awards, including the highly anticipated Outstanding Merchandising Achievement (OMA) Awards. The number of entries exceeded expectations for the first post-pandemic live judging and exhibit, showcasing the industry’s excitement in rebuilding the prominence of the OMAs.

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Where Innovation and Inspiration Converged Between a welcome reception, celebrations for the OMA Awards, Design and Global Awards, attendees experienced a range of networking opportunities.

Shop! MarketPlace featured 14 compelling conference and Smart! Talk sessions that captivated attendees. From Former Creative SVP of Walt Disney Imagineering Joe Lanzisero’s powerful opening keynote on “Finding the Story Connection” to Coca-Cola’s Oystein Enger and Laura Johnston of Tag’s inspiring closing keynote on “Mastering Creative Commerce,” the event delivered on its promise of providing fresh, innovative ideas to drive retail success.

Where Innovation and Inspiration Converged

Beyond the stages, the show floor exuded an energy reminiscent of a bustling street fair combined with the allure of Fifth Avenue. Experiential zones scattered throughout the exhibition showcased the magic of in-store experiences, leaving attendees and exhibitors inspired to think more creatively about customer interactions within retail spaces.

Where Innovation and Inspiration Converged THIS PAGE: The show floor featured a range of exhibitors and other hands-on experiences to explore.

The experiential zones included the Ideation Retail Challenge Brought to Life, which materialized winning ideas from 2022 Shop! Ideation; the Creative Workshop Experience hosted by ZenGenius, inviting visitors to participate in retail theater and therapy; the PAVE & Home Depot Student Design Challenge, showcasing the innovation of emerging retail design professionals; the Tech Experience Lab hosted by BEL Unified, featuring cutting-edge retail technology; and the LEGO Experience presented by Ryan Scott Displays, providing a hands-on, thoroughly immersive experience.

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Where Innovation and Inspiration Converged RIGHT: Winners from the 2023 Shop! Design Awards were honored on-site during a special presentation and champagne toast, sponsored by Little.

Social events played a pivotal role in fostering connections among industry professionals. The Industry Welcome Reception, PAVE Social co-hosted with Shop! MarketPlace, OMA Awards banquet, and self-guided retail tour in Austin’s SoCo neighborhood provided ample opportunities for attendees to network and build meaningful relationships.

Exhibitors were thrilled with the inaugural show, recognizing the value of networking, innovation, and excitement that Shop! MarketPlace delivered. Attendees also expressed their enthusiasm, highlighting the integration of talks and engagement activities, the invaluable keynote presentations, and the event’s overall impact on their retail journeys.

Where Innovation and Inspiration Converged

Shop! MarketPlace proved to be a resounding success, exceeding expectations and igniting a renewed passion for the in-store retail experience. As participants left the event, they eagerly anticipated the future growth and expansion of this unique and transformative trade fair. Shop! MarketPlace has undoubtedly emerged as the premier destination for those seeking the latest retail innovations and inspirations.

Stay tuned to shopassociation.org and shop-marketplace.com for updates regarding the 2024 show taking place in Cincinnati April 9-11.

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