Now in its sixth year, GlobalShop expects to draw 15,000 design professionals to Chicago

This month, many walks of the retail design community converge on Chicago for GlobalShop, an event designed to enlighten design and construction professionals with the latest in retail displays and educational forums.

GlobalShop comprises four separately themed shows under one roof: * The Store Fixturing Show, sponsored by the National Association of Store Fixture Manufacturers;

* The Visual Merchandising Show, sponsored by the National Association of Display Industries;

* The Retail Operations & Construction Expo and The Exhibit Ideas Show, sponsored by Exhibit Builder magazine;

* And for the first time, POPAI Marketplace (for the point-of-purchase advertising industry) will independently co-locate with GlobalShop and will have its own seminar series and expo.

With more than 1,000 exhibits, the event covers a broad array of retail design and operation concepts. The latest trends will be highlighted in fixturing, visual merchandising, operations and construction products and services, exhibit systems, and point-of-purchase displays for retailers, store design professionals, brand marketers, and exhibit designers and builders.

GlobalShop also features a new "centerpiece" to its exposition offerings, called The Vendor Shop Store III. The effort teams brand marketers with leading design firms and fixture manufacturers to showcase vendor shop design and other merchandising concepts. Vendor Shop III participants include Clinique, Sector Sport Watches, Calvin Klein, LaCrosse Footwear, Mercantile Stores, MET, Enesco and Electra.

This year, GlobalShop is peppered with some of the nation's leading speakers to complement the show's exposition. Tony Mancini, vice president of retail store development for Walt Disney Attractions Inc., will deliver "The Magic of Disney Retail," a session detailing Disney's world-recognized retail brand. (Mancini plans to donate his session proceeds to PAVE, the Planning and Visual Education fund for educational scholarship programs).

GlobalShop also features noted trend-tracker Faith Popcorn, who returns to GlobalShop to hold retail court on "Clicking," a presentation based on her book of the same name. Popcorn will focus on eight industry trends as a means to assist listeners in anticipating industry changes before they happen. Also, Brian Dennis, noted author and president and chief executive officer of ServiceworX, Salt Lake City, Utah, will lecture on the link between strong customer service and store longevity.

POPAI Marketplace's marketing and advertising slant equals GlobalShop in its diverse session subjects. Among the topics are "Mind-to-Market Leaders," presented by Roger Blackwell, president of Blackwell Associates Inc.; "World Premiere: Global Consumer Buying Habits," presented by Regina Berg, vice president of POPAI; and "Cross Branding: The Final Feat of Your Marketing Campaign," presented by Rob Gruen, executive vice president of worldwide marketing and retail business development for Warner Bros.

Now in its sixth year, GlobalShop is produced by Atlanta-based Shore-Varrone Inc., publisher of Display & Design Ideas and Point Of Purchase magazines. The show expects to welcome more than 15,000 attendees.