April 16-18, 2013. GlobalShop claims to be the world’s largest annual event for retail design and shopper marketing. It fancies itself “the only show in the world where you can find the largest, most comprehensive array of store fixture companies, and more in-store solutions than any live event in the nation”. On display were such retail-related products as architectural millwork, countertop fixturing, decorative props, design services, display fabrics, extrusions, fixtures, mannequins and forms, packaging, shelving, shopping bags and showcases. The GlobalShop show floor was conveniently divided into six sections of the retail design industry so visitors could find their particular specialty and learn about others. Among GlobalShop exhibitors were top manufacturers and suppliers of custom displays. Retail experts focused on the retail display fixtures market as a key item on the conference program. Overall, quite a display…!
March 5-7, 2013. The RPA is a self-governed not-for-profit organization comprised of professionals involved in all facets of production and distribution of retail packaging products including boxes, bows, bags, tissue, wrapping paper, tape, and stuff like that. RPA has member companies representing all entities of retail packaging nationwide and abroad. The RPA is a distributor-driven organization offering sales opportunities for manufacturers of packaging products. Exhibitors had to be producers or manufacturers of retail packaging products or providers of services that benefit RPA members. People came for client referrals, discounts on services, scholarship opportunities for students, and other benefits. There was a “Lunch & Learn” opportunity – participants could reserve a box lunch and attend a sales seminar. No-one felt “boxed in”, though there was plenty of “red tape” on view…
February 22-26, 2013. CAMEX is the Campus Market Expo, and it positions itself as the premier educational event for college store professionals. Approximately 1,500 store pros meet to take part in more than 120 educational sessions, keynotes, learning tours, and workshops led by both professional speakers and education industry experts. People were here to learn. Educational opportunities included everything from Deep Dives (2-hour sessions designed to provide an in-depth exploration of critical topics impacting the industry) to Flash Sessions (20-minute presentations allowing just enough time to hear a great idea and ask a few questions). For those whose curiosity was still not sated, there were learning tours of mainstream retailers, campus stores and local apparel vendors. Then there was the Book Tour Luncheon, and for new arrivals in the industry, the First Timers’ Program. It’s never too late to start….
February 10-12, 2013. NGA is the National Grocers’ Association. President Obama recently signed H.R. 2750, the Food Safety Modernization Act, into law, thus ushering in the most significant overhaul of U.S. Food Safety laws in decades. The bill gives the FDA mandatory food recall authority, directs the FDA to establish science-based standards for safe production and harvesting of fruits and vegetables, increases inspections at high risk facilities, and requires food facilities to have written food safety plans. Accordingly, food safety has become a hot topic for this industry. Effective and credible representation of independent retailer grocers and wholesalers is the primary goal of NGA’s Government Affairs team. This includes enhancing and creating new relationships with elected officials and their staff, identifying opportunities for NGA and its members to testify before Congress, and making NGA the “go to” organization for Congressional leaders looking for information and resources on the independent grocery industry. It’s all food for thought…
January 13-15, 2013. NRF is the National Retail Foundation, and their Big Show lived up to its name, with an all-time record-breaking attendance of over 27,000. Issues under discussion included the idea of retailers encouraging conscious consumerism (Donna Karan had something to say about that), and whether retailers can win with third-party advertising. An international session explored retail trends around the world, Walmart looked at how to help drive American renewal, “omnichannel convergence” turned out to have “a Southern State of Mind”, and a panel of experts advised on how to implement criminal background checks. A highlight was International Man Of Peace Kofi Annan, sharing his “Three Keys to a Prosperous Society”. Prosperity? Now that’s what retailers wanted to hear about…
Oct. 21-26, 2012. TFWA is the world’s biggest duty free and travel retail association. This was the so-called World Exhibition, the Duty Free and Travel Retail Industry Premium Event. TFWA President Erik Juul-Mortensen’s state of the industry address reflected on current industry performance, focusing on how changing economic dynamics are leading to new consumer and passenger profiles. He also discussed how new dimensions to marketing and interactive communication are impacting consumer behavior, and raised a question about what the industry can do to address constant and fast-moving evolution to keep ahead of change. Another keynoter suggested that businesses need to rethink their business models and strategies in the face of global societal shifts. Now, should I get the 12-year-old malt, or the XO cognac…?
Nov. 11-13, 2012. PLMA is the Private Label Manufacturers’ Association, and their annual meet also goes by Store Brands Decisions. An Innovation & Marketing Summit, developed with input from a Retailer Advisory Board, featured sessions on hot topics like consumer insight, product development, packaging innovation and digital media. Devoted entirely to innovation and marketing, the summit has become widely recognized as the premier educational and networking event for store brands retailers, manufacturers and solution providers. Panelists and speakers included executives from Kroger, Safeway, Walgreens, Ahold, Delhaize, Loblaw, Winn Dixie, 7-Eleven, and Supervalu. A sustainability seminar included a two-hour SP Essentials of Sustainable Packaging session, and a panel presentation featuring sustainable packaging success stories. There was “sustained” applause….