Almost eight years after the start of the economic recession, the US retail industry is now seeing a significant turnaround in profits and investment. Consumers are back in the stores, yet their approach and mindset towards the shopping experience have been changing over the last few years. Not only they are more educated, more interested and more demanding, but they also look for different omni-channel services, by mixing the in-store experience with online and mobile shopping.
In the midst of this massive transformation, it is critical to keep tabs on innovations, market activity and trends. We also offer our modest contribution, by sharing our conversations with top industry experts, publishing the results of our research work and sharing case studies.
It is also important to attend select events and conferences that focus on the industry’s evolution. Today, we are publishing our list of the Top Ten 2016 events for Retail in the United States (ordered by date):
1. NFR Big Show 2016
Known as “Retail’s BIG Show”, the National Retail Federation’s annual event is today the flagship event for the retail industry, held every year in New York City. From unparalleled education to collegial networking, it showcases new technologies and solutions for C-level, senior executives, regional managers, and single store operators interested in the retail word. If you have to attend one retail event this year, this should be it.
When: January 17-20, 2016
Where: Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, New York
Started in 1999 at the height of the dot.com boom, eTail morfed over the years into one of the preeminent event franchises for online and multi-channel retailers including some of the country’s most recognizable retail brands. If you are looking for an event focused on innovations in personalization, content marketing, mobile engagement, social marketing, big data, omni-channel and more digital commerce topics, this event should be in your 2016 travel plans.
When: February 22-25, 2016
Where: JW Marriott Palm Springs, California
Considered the world’s largest annual show for retail design and shopper marketing, this year’s show will feature the industry’s most comprehensive array of store fixturing companies and in-store solutions. In addition to fresh ideas and innovative solutions to optimize retail environments, the show will also provide insightful educational sessions led by today’s retail industry thought leaders.
When: March 23-25, 2016
Where: Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas
4. Retail Tech Con
Organized by RIS and focused on the technology and IT side of retail organizations, this event showcases a marketplace of ideas and solutions that help reinvent the shopping experience. Each session and networking opportunity at Retail Tech Con offers attendees great content, best practices and meetings with potential partners. If you are responsible for a technology-enabled function in retail, you should check out the program.
When: March 30-April 1, 2016
Where: Ritz Carlton, Orlando, Florida
5. RECon The Global Retail Real Estate Convention
This global convention for the shopping center industry provides networking, deal-making, and educational opportunities to retail real estate professionals from around the world. With more than 34,000 attendees and 1,000 exhibitors, RECon has become the place to be if you want to meet retailers and discuss new or existing leases, discover the latest industry products and services critical to your business, attend educational sessions or find the next deal.
When: May 22-25, 2016
Where: Las Vegas, Nevada
By gathering nearly 600 vendors in a 250,000 square feet of space, the Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition is the largest e-commerce trade show in the industry and a must attend for multi-channel retailers. As e-commerce is evolving faster than ever, experts will find an exhibit that features the latest and greatest solution providers, while joining the industry community to network with thousands of like-minded industry peers.
When: June 7-10, 2016
Where: McCormick Place West, Chicago
7. Retail Executive Summit
Effective collaboration across departments to deliver a uniquely personalized retail experience to each consumer has been one of the main industry challenges. The search for a competitive edge based on innovation is the main goal that will be explored during the 2016 Retail Executive Summit. This event is designed to deliver a fairly intimate and networking-oriented opportunity for CEOs, CIOs, CTOs, CMOs, CHROs, Merchandising, Marketing and Operations executives to interact with one another and share their experiences.
When: June 22-24, 2016
Where: Montage Resort in Laguna, California
8. Future Stores
Future Stores is one of the few conferences — if not the only one — focused on the challenges faced by store, operations, IT, cross-channel and retail customer experience executives. This event is the place-to-be for in-store experience innovators to discuss and learn how to bridge the gap between the digital and store experience.
When: June 20-23, 2016
Where: Sheraton Seattle Hotel, Seattle
9. CIO Retail Summit
Obviously focused on retail information technology, the CIO Retail Summit gives attendees an opportunity to explore best practices and learn new ideas to make better business decisions for their organizations. The summit helps companies leverage technology to improve customer experience, produce a better brand message and increase margins, while focusing on the role of social media, mobile and signage technologies and their impact on consumers’ choices.
When: September 13-14, 2016
Where: New York City
10. Shop.org Summit
After a successful 2015 edition, with more than 5,000 professionals gathered in Philadelphia focused on digital and omni-channel retail, this year’s event will move to Dallas, one of the fastest growing cities in the USA. Organized by NRF’s “digital” arm, Shop.org, this event represents one of the premiere opportunities to learn about leading-edge retail applications of digital media, data and technology.
When: September 26-28, 2016
Where: Dallas, Texas