What Retail Conferences to Attend in 2018

With the holidays behind us, retailers and brands are looking to hit the ground running in 2018. In the midst of what some may call a retail revolution, retailers are eager to keep up with the latest trends to best serve their customers.

The retail conference is a favorite among retailers as they are typically events not just packed with thought leadership and new insights, but also the best place to network and pick the brains of people in the same industry. However, with numerous conferences in the retail space, it can be challenging for retailers to identify, which show is the best to attend based on their specific strategic needs.

With years of experience being in the retail conference circuit, here’s our take on what shows to attend this year for each initiative on your list of 2018 goals.


NRF Retail’s Big Show

Why go: For overall Retail Trends

January 14-16

Arguably the largest show in retail kickoffs at the beginning of the New Year. Big Show is perfect to get a fresh outlook on the year ahead and get firsthand insights on developing trends and strategic outlooks from leading retailers. As one of the largest retail conferences, there is no lack of content for this show. Tracks are well rounded this year but expect to see a technology heavy focus with many talks covering innovative technologies, AI and the future of retail in the digital age. The key for this show is to set an objective and focus in on the topics that are most relevant to you.



Why go: For a first look at new products

January 9 – 11, 2018

As a consumer electronics retailer it’s important that you keep up with the consumer’s ongoing demand for constant innovation. With a fiercely competitive smart phone market, and Google and Amazon duking it out for the top spot in the voice assistant speaker category, being able to differentiate and know what developing products are up and coming is key. CES provides first looks at the latest and greatest technology products. For electronics retailers, this conference is key in staking out the competition and staying ahead of trends.


eTail West

Why go: For eCommerce Optimization

February 26 – March 1, 2018

With news of Amazon making up 44% of all ecommerce sales, etailers are eager to find ways to make their business Amazon proof. eTail brings together ecommerce experts from every industry, and showcases their experiences in driving sales, building brand loyalty, and catering to the ever evolving customer experience. The show is great for retailers looking to get firsthand perspective from other retailer peers about driving better results online. Expect to hear talks hitting hard on building online communities, optimizing mobile, and perfecting user experience at this year’s show in February.


Innovation Project

Why go: For all there is to know about payments

August 13-14, 2018

In recent years, payments has become a hot topic among retailers. With the growing popularity of crypto currency, like Bitcoin, younger generations looking to get credit cards, and the overall desire for better payment experiences, it can be challenging to sort out what is merely a trend and what could pose long term value. Innovation Project brings together leading experts in the payments, banking, and financial technology space to discuss where new payments technology and trends fit into the retail picture. More and more retailers are turning to payments and retail credit as a way to enhance their customer experience and build brand loyalty.



Why go: To get the shopping journey big picture

March 18-21, 2018

In its third year, ShopTalk has become one of the largest retail conferences. With an audience made up of strategic decision makers, retailers are looking to make investments that they know will help them to meet and exceed their sales goals. ShopTalk’s content does a great job of breaking down every touch point across the shopping journey. “Every” could arguably be an understatement. Tracks cover topics ranging from the state of ecommerce, grocery, product and merchandising, to disruptive technology and shopping experiences of the future. Additionally through ShopTalk’s retailers and brand program, retailers have the ability to meet directly with solution providers and other brands to help them meet their 2018 goals.


Forrester’s CX Forum

Why go: To enhance your customer experience

June 19-20, 2018

Customer experience has been a hot topic among retailers for the past few years. Retailers know that customers crave experiences that empower choice and convenience. Forrester’s CX Forum strives to highlight strides being made in customer experience and what CX and innovation executives should look to bring into their CX experience. Packed with the latest in customer experience trends and dozens of case studies as to how different players are reinventing customer experience for their brand, you’re sure collect new insights that could be valuable to your experience strategy.


Going to be at any of the shows above? So will we! Meet with us at the show to learn more about how we are helping retailers enhance their customer experience and expand brand loyalty.

by Veronika Clough

The smartest retailers are choosing Vyze. Find out why.

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