Paris Retail Week vs DMEXCO
Another battle on these pages has arrived. This time you will find in the left corner, weighing approximately 44000 visitors and 890 exhibitors, DMEXCO. In the right corner, the newcomer, the challenger, weighing 30000 visitors and 600 exhibitors, Paris Retail Week.
I had the chance to visit both DMEXCO and Paris Retail Week this year, and I thought you bloodthirsty readers could be interested in a new face to face (think of the one of Anuga vs SIAL).
For those who don’t know these events., let me remind you about each of them.
Paris Retail Week is the ‘fusion’ of Ecommerce Paris and Equipmag. (or once every two year, Digital instore). The event is set in Paris and targets the players active in retail interested in ecommerce, new technologies, new instore concepts …
DMEXCO (which I discovered only this year, shame on me or shame on their communication department?) is set in Cologne. It positions itself as a leading international exhibition and conference for the digital economy. The seminars and exhibitors you will encounter are all evolving around marketing, media, technology, the Internet of things…
Three rounds of comparison
Round 1: Content
In terms of content, both events impressed me. Both presented interesting conferences and seminars. The internationalism could really be felt in the cases presented.
Among the exhibitors, I must say that Paris Retail Week presented more concrete examples of items that could be or were already implemented instore. However, many exhibitors were French. DMEXCO’s exhibitors on the other hand were more international and one could visit the booth of many big names such as Facebook, Spotify, Google…
Round 2: Visually
Personally I have a preference for the venue in Cologne if I need to compare to Paris Versailles. The exhibition center of the Koelnmesse is brighter, more spacious and changing halls gives you the impression of changing environment.
On the DMEXCO side, the different halls, and the different conference venues were quite pleasant.
At Paris Retail Week, the halls were ok and the seminars also pleasant. However, I thought it was sad to see some visual mistakes. Those going to the toilets would have to make way through a corridor made of palisades. Those not so well closed revealed quite a messy backstage.
Round Three: Organization of the conferences
On the conference side, the content was interesting at both events. One could easily find topics and build an agenda full of learning. But some topics are so interesting that they draw big crowds, and the seats are limited. At DMEXCO, the organization is definitely better. When the quota of people was reached, the doors closed and someone would stay and guard the door. Politely he or she would then explain that attendees couldn’t come in once the doors are closed.
At Paris Retail Week it was not that smooth. I experienced the frustration of not entering a seminar due to too many attendees. But while waiting for the next conference to start, the responsible at the door disappeared. Which led to a ballet of people entering and coming out frustrated. I didn’t care and just enjoyed my lunch while waiting, but I could see many complaining about this.
My 20/CENT, Final score
Is it fair to compare? On one hand yes, because both events are reaching to a similar crowd, and are located in a similar region, at a similar time. But on the other hand, DMEXCO already exists for years, when Paris Retail Week has just started its life.
To be honest, the ‘minor’ points mentioned above concerning Paris Retail Week are easily forgiven, especially for a first event.
Furthermore, if you ask me, you should try to visit both events. The train is easy to get to both locations, so you have no excuse. But most importantly, you have the chance to visit and attend conferences revolving around ecommerce, and new technologies etc…within the same week. And you can be sure that since the organization is different you will experience these different topics from different angles. So both are complimentary, and worth a visit.
DmexcoParisCologneParis Retail WeekKoelnmesseComexposiumRetailDigitalEcommerce