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Looking back at 2015

Looking back at 2015

For these pages, 2015 was the first full calendar year. During the year I tried to bring you some good articles, did learn a few things in the process (not just about blogging), and also had quite a lot of fun. The activity and the focus towards the retail world and its events gave me different experiences in 2015. Allow me to share a few of the best, and worst moments with you guys.


The confirmations

As mentioned in the different articles, I choose carefully the events I attend, and sometimes pick new events to expand my scope. In the process I could experience that ANUGA and E-Commerce Xpo totally confirmed the expectations I had this year.

This year ANUGA, was as usual well organized, and full of interesting content (the exhibitors presented some great innovative products, but also the side events were worth a visit). This year’s edition kept its promises by being bigger than ever. It seems to me that on next edition, the organization will have to place booths on the Rhine River as the entire Koelnmesse area was used.

Ecommerce Xpo was in its second year and it confirmed the promise of the first year by gaining in maturity. The amount of exhibitors grew drastically, the quality of the exhibitors as well. I could see more variation in the services presented and also different kind of companies who also exhibit at different well-established events. Just the conference program needs more fine-tuning, but one could see how this event will continue to develop in the coming years.


A few regrets and disappointments

Then again, a year without any setbacks, bad or disappointing experiences is a utopia.

Brussels Urban Food was announced with big and loud communication. However, I feel the event/concept died off in the months following its launch. Surely the launch was perfect. But I didn’t see any communication on the finalists, or the winners being made. Also I didn’t read great feedback about the event presenting the finalists (the Brussels Urban Food Festival).

Another disappointment was seeing the poor turnout for the event Vending, Pizza and Take Away Benelux. The content was there, sadly visitors were not.

Finally, I mostly regret that some planned visits couldn’t take place. Illnesses, bad luck in transportation and the loss of my father forced me to change my schedule more than once last year. Sometimes also in writing. So for MDD Expo, SILMO Paris, Broodway, or Meat Expo, don’t worry, I will visit you again.


The surprises

Thankfully there were more good surprises.

The omnichannel hype was graced in 2015 with such events as PARIS RETAIL WEEK, CONEXT and DMEXCO.  

PARIS RETAIL WEEK was a new initiative in Paris. Actually it combined an existing event (Ecommerce) and a new one (Digital instore by Equipmag). I must say that for a first edition, obviously there were a few glitches. But it is definitely worth to visit. The conferences seduced me mostly, but I was amazed to see very active exhibitors. Not all trade fairs can say that.

CONEXT: was a small event in Lille (France). However, for a small event I was pleasantly surprised. It presented very active exhibitors willing to share their services and to get to know you. But I must say the highlight of the event was definitely the space reserved for innovative technologies (l’Espace Innovation)

DMEXCO: a well-established event that I discovered for the first time. Not only the organization was up to par, but mostly the conferences. The program was filled with big names and they delivered (not all of them, but that’s normal). I must admit I spent more time in conferences than visiting exhibitor booths.

Of course, finally, I cannot forget to mention that the growing number of visitors on these pages is also a nice surprise every time I check Google Analytics.


A few numbers on 20/CENT’s 2015

  • 18 trade fair visits
  • 4 press conferences
  • 4 visits cancelled
  • 6 overnight stay (there are some fun hotels out there)
  • 5 round trips in high-speed trains (although one not so fast after all)
  • 2 plane takeoffs and 2 landings (funny how those always come in pairs).
  • The amount of km’s done by car or on foot? I lost count

But if you ask me: “Would you do it again?”. My answer is simple: Absolutely. And let me tell you, 2016, here I come. 

AnugaParis Retail WeekEcommerceConextDmexcoKoelnmesseParisCologne