If you’ve ever visited the Cisco Store Tech Lab in San Jose, California, you’ve probably seen how seamlessly Cisco and our partners’ retail technology is integrated into the store. Now, how do we showcase that technology at our travel stores? Learn about our efficient set-up process at our most recent show, Cisco Live EMEA 2024, held in Amsterdam from February 5-9.
Before the Event
Everything starts with the floor plan of the booth at the RAI Amsterdam Convention Center. Once we have that, I’ll start mapping out where all the store technology needs to go: we work with our partners to decide where to place their solutions to ensure they can work optimally.
For instance, we met with EVERYANGLE to determine what areas we want to monitor for footfall analytics, queue counting, and engagement zones. Cameras had to be placed in strategic locations to give us full coverage of the store.
Cogniac helped us figure out where to place our Meraki MV63 camera to have a clear view of specific T-shirts that were used in a demo in conjunction with Wipro VisionEDGE. When a shirt is picked up off the rack, the MV63 relays that information to Cogniac, and then Wipro VisionEDGE receives a trigger alert to change the screen next to the shirt to educate the customer about the product and explain how our products empower an inclusive future for all.
Before we ship out to Amsterdam, I’ll set up the technology we’re taking in a lab in San Jose to test that everything is functional. I had our equipment road-tested and packed into just three crates by mid-December (a month and a half before the show), and JLL Logistics helped us ship it all over to Amsterdam.
Arriving in Amsterdam
A few days before the start of Cisco Live, JLL delivered the crates to our booth at the RAI, and our team started unpacking and deploying the equipment. Since we had the map ready, placing everything where it needed to go was seamless. I gave the network team the placement of the switches, cameras, smart fitting rooms, and so on beforehand so they could run the proper electrical lines through the booth, and all we had to do once we arrived was plug everything in.
Technology Deployment and Store Operations
This is the first year we’re baselining the store’s power consumption, both at the San Jose store and at all our travel stores, with the help of CAE Labs’ WiserWatts. We plan to schedule our power at next year’s shows to compare energy and cost savings. It took a bit to figure out how to route the power for all the technology through the Meraki MT40s (smart power controllers that monitor and remotely control power). We deployed twelve MT40s for full coverage of the booth, and it took a few trips to the electronics store to get the right adapters, but now that we’ve done it once, it will be a lot easier globally. After that, Fidel (the store’s Merchandising Project Manager) helps us place all our Meraki cameras. Everything is online by the Saturday before the show starts, and then we do any last-minute configuring and deploying our digital signage playlists.
The technology makes it a lot easier for our store associates in their day-to-day functions. Meraki smart buttons were set up to allow the associates to change our digital signage (for instance, changing the screens to indicate that the store was closed) without requiring backend access. Our travel stores utilize temporary store associates, so the process of restocking merchandise was similarly simplified: all they had to do was input the product’s ID, and the corresponding electronic shelf label would flash in the back of house to indicate the item’s location.
Touring the Tech Lab
Now that the travel store and tech lab are set up, I review the tour schedule with Kaleigh (the Cisco Store and Tech Lab’s Program Manager) to make sure the flow of the tours is fluid. We had a tour scheduled for the Cisco Champions the day before the show started, so our rehearsals had to be completed in advance.
We’d set up what we like to call the Triforce of Wisdom, or our triangular tech wall, to display our technology to visitors. Fidel, Courtney (our Marketing Lead), and Anjana (our Product Marketing Specialist) had wired up the products, such as the Meraki MT40, VusionGroup’s SESimagotag electronic shelf labels, and so forth beforehand so visitors could see the technology in-person. Meraki just launched their new MV13 and MV33 smart cameras a few days ago, and tour attendees had the opportunity to gain a sneak peek into those products during the show.
And that’s it! Our set-up process has been streamlined in a way that allows our small team to have things up and running in a matter of a few days.
To learn more about the Cisco Store Tech Lab, come visit us in San Jose, California, or catch us at Cisco Live US in June. If you were able to stop by the store at Cisco Live EMEA, thanks for saying hello! Hope to see you next year.