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Wednesday 21st of September saw AIS's second Retail and Marketing Show, held at Cranmore Park, Solihull exclusively for AIS, Flooring One, INTERSPORT and Playroom members and suppliers.

The show brought together an exciting mix of retailers, exhibitors and speakers for a day of ideas and inspiration to keep ahead of an ever changing and competitive market.

The exhibitors were zoned by four main areas to help attendees source the right supplier and services, plus a varied speaker programme throughout the day:

Marketing & Customer Insight

  • Deciding how and where to invest precious marketing money is becoming ever more complicated. We had exhibitors and speakers from various channels.

Retail Theatre & Display

  • Professionals from shop fitters and events companies helped attendees create retail theatre and draw customers into store.

Retail Technology

  • From epos and ecommerce to niche business support solutions, the show had a number of experts ready to discuss attendees needs and requirements.

Professional Services

  • Vital support and advice from specialists in health & safety, recruitment, procurement and legal.

The morning kicked off with Jason Spencer, from ITV, sharing how businesses can harness the power of TV regardless of budget through working in partnership with ITV to drive brand and business success, as audiences’ viewing habits evolve. Jason was then followed by Steven Harris, from Energize, who outlined the key factors necessary to ensure that teams are maximising sales, average spend and conversion. He covered the importance of staff attitude, mind-set and motivation in adopting the right front line behaviours, explained pragmatic techniques to help front line teams engage effectively with their customers and described the role leaders have to play to ensure that any improvement in customer engagement is sustained over a period of time so it becomes “how we do things around here”.

The morning concluded in the Presentation Theatre with Tod Norman, from Royal Mail MarketReach, and Libby Plowman, from Callcredit, talking about understanding how people of different ages consume, interact with, and feel about mail and how understanding current customers and prospects is key to ensuring relevant marketing communications and efficient targeting.

Whilst the presentations were taking place in one theatre, visitors also had the option of attending a series of seminars in the Seminar Theatre. Bill Wilson, from Atom Pictures, Tracy Arch and Rosalyn Newsome, from Barker Brettell, Chris Jones, from Lock Stock, and James Rodger, from Retail IT, all drew good audiences and provided the delegates with a number of really useful takeaways from the day.

During the lunch break, delegates had the opportunity to visit the excellent variety of exhibitors stands or attend the social media workshop run by Tom Grocott, Social Media Director, McCann Central, who covered all things social media and gave hands on practical tips on how to use social media straight away in your businesses.

The afternoon sessions in the Presentation Theatre saw Michael McIntyre, of Global Radio, talk about digital radio opportunities and share recent research by Global about the psychology and recognition of sound.

And the day concluded with Kate Nightingale, the founder of Style Psychology, talking about how with the growing use of digital solutions by customers for shopping, stores need to take a different role; that of providing entertainment and a chance to connect with a brand on a much deeper, human level.