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Successful second annual DISTREE #ConnectDays Paris reflects growing interest in smart tech products

by Stuart Wilson, Wednesday 20 April 2016

The second annual DISTREE #ConnectDays event, organised by DISTREE Events in association with INNOV8 Group, took place on the 12-13th April at the Carrousel du Louvre in central Paris. In total, 110 brands of connected devices, smartphones and high-tech accessories exhibited at the event, meeting 500-plus buyers and senior executives from France’s leading retailers and e-tailers across multiple channels.

A total of 547 retail executives responsible for buying and supplier relationships attended DISTREE #ConnectDays 2016. Attending retailers were able to meet representatives from a wide selection of established consumer technology brands including HTC, Microsoft, Samsung and Wiko among many others. In addition, attending retail executives had the chance to meet and evaluate products from 50 start-ups active in the connected device, Internet of Things (IoT) and smart accessories space.

The event also gave international brands a valuable opportunity to meet face-to-face with potential French channel partners. One international company that took full advantage of the business development opportunities offered by DISTREE #ConnectDays was smart appliances manufacturer Redmond.

Tatiana Ivanova, Marketing Director at Redmond, said: “We are delighted to have taken part in DISTREE #ConnectDays Paris 2016. There was an excellent atmosphere at the event, superb support and high-quality discussions with genuine retail buyers. We have established promising contacts during the one-on-one meetings that took place at the event.”

The opening day of DISTREE #ConnectDays included the popular 60 Seconds to Convince Awards where exhibitors had the chance to deliver a one-minute elevator pitch for their latest products on stage in front of the entire event audience. The winners in three categories were determined through live electronic voting by the audience. Mipow picked up the award for Best Product Design for its connected smart light.

MyKronoz secured the Best Product Innovation award for its smartwatch for children. Boris Brault, CEO at MyKronoz, said: “The quality of this year’s DISTREE #ConnectDays is down to the organisation and experience of the team behind it. It is the perfect platform for suppliers and retailers to meet at a strategic time in the calendar pre-summer. We were able to present our new line-up of connected objects to buyers as we seek new commercial opportunities.”

Gear 4 claimed the award for Best Presentation during 60 Seconds to Convince. To showcase its range of protective accessories for smartphones, the Gear 4 presenter put on a highly entertaining presentation, which culminated in vigorously hammering his hand to visually demonstrate the strength of the materials used.

DISTREE #ConnectDays also included a conference programme focused on topical issues impacting market developing. OpinionWay presented the results of a survey exploring whether or not manufacturers and distributors of connected objects were pursuing development paths that were truly in line with consumer expectations. The session, attended by 300-plus delegates, raised important issues related to the value of use-case scenarios for connected objects. The session also explored consumer purchasing behaviour and the importance of online and physical sales points as purchase triggers.

The second day of DISTREE #ConnectDays 2016 included the Smart Tech Show, where six brands were pre-selected by a jury made of up of senior retail executives and journalists. Prior to the show, the jury assessed a huge number of start-ups on product innovation, market potential and business approach to decide on the six eventual winners. The six winners were:

Idosens long range home automation sensor

Helixee connected back-up device from Novathings

Oliba cuddly toy tracker and storyteller

Sevenhugs smart home remote control

Zembro intelligent personal alarm for the elderly

SmartHalo smart biking system

The third annual DISTREE #ConnectDays event is scheduled to take place on April 24-25th 2017 at the Carrousel du Louvre in central Paris, with double the number of exhibitors expected to attend. Companies wishing to reserve their booth are encouraged to do so as early as possible. Many of this year’s exhibitors have renewed their participation already.

Farouk Hemraj, CEO & Co-Founder at DISTREE Events, said: “DISTREE #ConnectDays is open to all smart technology brands that want to make a real impression in the market. It is not just an event for showcasing new products, it is an event where the wider industry gathers to explore new distribution models. The new generation of connected devices and smart products is driving the transition to Distribution 2.0 and DISTREE #ConnectDays helps everyone make sense of these changes.”

Stephane Bohbot, Founder & CEO at INNOV8 Group, added: “The market for connected devices needs a show dedicated to marketing. DISTREE #ConnectDays promotes interaction between smartphones, accessories and connected devices brands with trade and retail buyers of these products. The event includes many French technology start-ups. INNOV8 Group and its subsidiaries Extenso Telecom, Ascendeo and Lick, are delighted to support this market and the continued momentum we are seeing in these product categories.”

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