The Record - Issue 15: Winter 2019

100 www. t e c h n o l o g y r e c o r d . c om E V ENT P R E V I EW Setting the stage for retail in 2020 National Retail Federation’s senior vice president for conferences Susan Newman highlights how NRF’s Big Show will help retailers to execute their strategic vision for this year and beyond W hat makes NRF 2020 Vision: Retail’s Big Show an ideal platform for discussing the future of retail? NRF’s Big Show brings together more than 38,000 retailers, vendors and industry experts from over 100 countries, and it’s the largest retail event in North America and the third largest in the world. It is produced by the world’s big- gest retail trade organisation and offers confer- ence sessions that focus on top-of-mind and forward-thinking ideas and solutions from glob- ally recognised brands in the retail, technology and business sectors. Featuring multiple stages and floors at the Javits Center in New York City, NRF’s Big Show programme will offer a platform for experts, industry practitioners and speakers from retail and adjacent consumer-facing verticals to share contemporary ideas and actionable proof- points to help retailers win over consumers. The education programme will feature a high density of C-level leaders across multiple retail verticals, who will share successful strategies and provide battle-tested advice that retailers can use for themselves. Can you tell us about the theme of NRF’s Big Show 2020? We want to show that retail is much more than just an industry; it’s a platform that empowers consumers, employees and communities. Our ‘2020 Vision’ theme will do that by reflecting the fact that the retail industry must aspire to clearly see, plan and execute strategies in a way that both predicts and creates its future. As the rules of retail are constantly being rewritten, we’ll outline why retailers must develop a ded- icated vision that reveals new opportunities, establishes a clear route for innovation and improves their competitive advantage. Which transformative technologies can delegates expect to see at the show? We’re expanding the Innovation Lab this year. Here, we’ll see the newest technologies that are changing retail’s future. They will include the latest applications in artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality, machine learning, facial rec- ognition, robotics, 3D food printing and much, much, more. Will you be adding anything new to the show for 2020? Sessions will be structured around six pillars that support the 2020 Vision theme. The ‘busi- ness process’ pillar will allow delegates to explore how general automation, AI, machine learning, robotics and data analysis resources are becom- ing key enablers for retail success. Meanwhile, the ‘business models’ pillar will focus on the disruptive forces that will be felt by retailers as digital-first companies and start-ups seek to quickly fill the gaps left by heritage retailers. BY R E B E CCA G I B SON “NRF’s Big Show brings together more than 38,000 retailers, vendors and experts from over 100 countries”