This past week I attended for the first time The National Retail Federation’s Big Show that was held at Javitz in NYC. This was the first year that Shop.org combined its First Look Show with the NRF, which is the reason I attended, and I’m so glad I did.
Typically I attend the ecommerce retail shows including the Shop.org Annual Summit, eTail East and West, and IRCE (Internet Retailer). All of these shows focus primarily on eCommerce.
What I liked about the NRF show was that it gave me a much larger purview of all retail priorities and issues, and this 360-degree view gave me great perspective. We met and spoke to many interesting people, and the interest in eCommerce and Social Marketing was evident by many top retailers who don’t focus on those areas as intently as we do on the digital side.
Social Marketing, in particular, was the online cateogry of the most interest for those with limited eCommerce experience, and it clearly crosses over to many other areas within a retail organization. As exhibitors of the show, we had a chance to speak with many of these people and had some great, insightful conversations. It helped us understand retail priorities in the social sphere beyond revenue generation, which is the area most of our clients focus on.
I walked the entire exhibit hall and found that it was very tech focused in terms of ways to automate and make the entire retail process more efficient and streamlined from point of sale to hiring, people counting, digital signage, analytics, and much more.
From an exhibitor perspective, coming from someone who has worked the booth at countless eCommerce shows for 8 or so years, when the NRF attendees stopped by our booth and asked what we did, they really didn’t know and asked their questions with a high level of interest and curiosity. When we are asked that question at the eCommerce shows, what the attendees typically want to hear is how PM Digital differs from the competition.
At the NRF show, though, they really meant they wanted to KNOW what we did. It was refreshing and gave us an opportunity to showcase what we love and are so passionate about which is eCommerce.
I will definitely attend NRF again next year and highly recommend it to all eCommerce professionals.