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DISTREE Events launches Smart Channels summit to focus on retailing connected devices, wearables and IoT

by Stuart Wilson, Tuesday 19 August 2014

DISTREE Events has launched a new summit series focused on how the retail channel will evolve to deliver smart technologies, solutions and services to consumers. The new session, entitled ‘Smart Channels: Retailing Connected Devices, Wearables and Internet of Things (IoT)’, will make its debut at DISTREE APAC in Singapore, which takes place from 8-10th October 2014. The ‘Smart Channels’ summit series will continue at DISTREE EMEA in Monaco from 24-27th February 2015.

Farouk Hemraj, CEO at DISTREE Events, said: “The new Smart Channels summit will encourage channel stakeholders to work together to increase consumer awareness of smart technologies and solutions and create viable routes-to-market. It will provide an opportunity for product vendors and platform providers to meet senior executives from each region’s leading retailers and e-tailers.”

DISTREE Events is partnering with ICT research provider CONTEXT to deliver the Smart Channels summit series. CONTEXT is currently forming an Advisory Board comprising vendors, distributors and retailers to structure the content and participants for each Smart Channels summit.

“Vendors, distributors, retailers, e-tailers and service providers will need to develop new models and new retail approaches to accelerate consumer take-up. As consumers start using more connected devices and deploy smart home solutions, there is also the need to deliver a range of installation and support services. The Smart Channels summit will explore all the opportunities that exist,” Hemraj added.

Deloitte predicts that by 2017 smart home solutions in Europe alone will generate revenues of more than US$5.57 billion. By linking together connected devices, wearables and IoT, the Smart Channels summit will encourage a more integrated approach to marketing and retailing these solutions.

“We’re already seeing a proliferation of companies positioning themselves to take advantage of these growth markets,” added Hemraj. “From platform providers such as Google Nest and QIVICON, through to smart appliances from LG, Philips and Samsung, plus wearables and connected devices from a myriad of vendors, this sector is evolving rapidly.”

Consumer reality

“The time has now come to turn the IoT vision into a consumer reality and that means creating viable retail channels that can stimulate demand, educate consumers and deliver all the necessary support and services. We are launching the Smart Channels summit series to drive this interaction and create new retail opportunities,” he continued.

For technology and consumer electronics retailers, growing demand for connected devices and wearables represents a significant opportunity, but also raises a number of crucial questions that need to be addressed. Traditional departmental boundaries between white goods, televisions and IT products become obsolete as IoT creates a network of connected products spanning all these areas.

Adam Simon, Global Managing Director for Retail at CONTEXT, commented: “We are delighted to be supporting DISTREE Events for the Smart Channels summit series covering growth areas that underpin CONTEXT’s new retail thinking.”

“The Smart Channels summit will be a unique opportunity for vendors, distributors, retailers and e-tailers to develop their businesses further. We are pleased to work with DISTREE Events to bring this session to both DISTREE APAC and DISTREE EMEA,” he added.

Retailers, vendors, distributors and service providers that wish to participate in the Smart Channels summit – either in APAC or EMEA – can contact DISTREE Events for further information. The Smart Channels summit format will include panel discussions, keynote speeches, workshops and networking opportunities.

“With major European retailers such as Dixons Group and Amazon now beginning to look at how to present smart solutions to consumers, the time is right for the Smart Channels summit to launch. Major ICT vendors need to quickly establish their position and offering in these new sectors to ensure they maintain the retail exposure and shelf space they currently enjoy,” added Hemraj.

“IoT was a vision that is now becoming a reality through the growth of connected devices, wearables and the penetration of smartphones across the globe. The challenge now is to make sure the channel is fully switched on to this growth opportunity,” he concluded.

Channel EMEA is an official global media partner of DISTREE Events.

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