The most innovative international startups in the retail sector will attend the RBEWC

Newly-created companies from the retail trade sector with a distinct calling in innovation will feature at the first Retail and Brand Experience World Congress, organised by Fira de Barcelona. The event will complement its exhibition and congress sections with an area for emerging companies, bringing together more than 75 exhibitors from all over the world, together with a competition involving the best emerging proposals and talks and workshops for entrepreneurs. 
Thus, over three days Fira de Barcelona’s Gran Vía venue will become the capital of retail sales with the celebration of the first Retail and Brand Experience World Congress. The event will address the main challenges posed by the digital revolution that the sector is currently undergoing by means of talks involving representatives of leading international companies. There will also be an exhibition area and a space with a selection of the most innovative international startups.
This area, known as the Startup Village, will be include the participation of 75 emerging companies, 80% of them from abroad (from countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Israel), which will showcase their innovations to visitors. These are companies who will provide solutions in fields such as technology applied to trade, digital marketing, operations analysis, resource planning and supply chain systems, e-commerce applications, research and consultancy, IT services and big data.
According to Aleix Valls, head of this area and general director and co-founder of Liquid, “the purpose of this space is to become a meeting point for dialogue among the main solution innovators which, at a time of digital dawn such as that which is currently being seen, will revolutionise the way we buy and relate to the retail sector”. 
As for Salva Tasqué, the Director of Fira de Barcelona’s Own Business, he declares that “the Fira is leading the way in the organisation of events to promote innovation. We therefore aim to give visibility to the most innovative startups and become a platform for introducing the most disruptive technology to small and large businesses”.
Stock control and sales monitoring
This area will also bring together the 24 companies nominated for the Next! Awards for the best digital initiative, the best disruptive technology and the best digital brand.
The 24 nominees include companies offering solutions to transform analogue retail stores into the smart establishments of the future, technological applications to ascertain the available product stock in real time via a smartphone or tablet, tools to improve the indexing of online stores in the main search engines and directories and on social media and GPS, as well as a solution to track the number of visitors and potential purchasers by means of a camcorder located in the door frame at the entrance to the store so as to measure the conversion rates at the establishment, the effectiveness of its advertising and promotional campaigns, etc.
The Startup Village space will be complemented by a programme of workshops, with more than 25 proposals designed to provide tools and knowledge to entrepreneurs addressing topics such as marketing, sales and thoughts on design, the innovation model that is proving so successful in Silicon Valley, as well as talks, debates and panel discussions on innovation and the digital transformation.
Digital revolution
The Startup Village will form just one part of the first RBWEC, whose main focus will be the congress section. The event will be attended by around a hundred speakers, directors and senior executives from companies such as Google, Ikea, Nestlé, British Airways, Carrefour and Levi Strauss, who will share their experiences and discuss the major challenges facing the present and future of retail through more than 90 talks which have been scheduled. These will be divided into six thematic areas (customer experience, omnichannel and digitalisation, the property sector, technologies used by retail trade, customisation and new models and trends) and eight sectors (fashion, wholesale, department stores and shopping centres, beauty, electronics, online, furniture and banking). The event will also include an exhibition area for the 100 participating companies.
Barcelona, 11 March de 2019