The National Retail Federation today announced new programming and event updates for its flagship annual conference, Retail’s BIG Show, which begins this weekend in New York City.
The agenda will include 29 keynote speakers, seven feature-stage sessions and more than 500 exhibitors at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Close to 35,000 attendees from around the world are expected for the Sunday-through-Tuesday event, with 95 countries represented.
“We strive to offer new, exciting and impactful programming each year at Retail’s BIG Show,” NRF Senior Vice President for Conferences and Marketing Susan Newman said. “We are proud to offer an extensive list of valuable takeaways, needle-moving networking opportunities and memorable experiences.”
New programming and event updates include:
- Feature Stage: These are breakout sessions on an elevated stage with a keynote feel where retailers will hear from top executives and industry leaders.
- NRF Clubhouse: The entire fourth floor of the Javits Center will be converted to the NRF Clubhouse, providing additional seating, meeting space, refreshments and charging stations.
- Debut of the New York Fashion Tech Lab: The lab will connect select women-led fashion and retail tech startups with leading fashion and retail brands to foster validation and acceleration to advance the industry and will work with the NRF Innovation Lab. Companies presenting include Trendalytics, Thursday Finest, Switch Embassy and Claire.
- Free Retailer Meet-ups: Daily lunches will be available for peer-to-peer networking opportunities.
- EXPO Tours: Tours will be offered to help attendees maneuver the wide array of products and technologies available in the exhibit hall. The tours are two hours long and limited to 20 people per tour, with specific times selected at the time of registration. Tours include:
- Small Business Essentials (Sunday)
- Big Data and Customer Insights (Sunday through Tuesday)
- New Retail Customer Journey (Sunday through Tuesday)
- E-commerce and Omnichannel (Sunday through Tuesday)
- Self-Guided Store Tours via Mobile App: From uptown to downtown and Manhattan to Brooklyn, this year’s store tour presentation is highly visual and will preview a new tour map mobile app with downloadable content. Three tours will cover retail innovation in omnichannel and technology, luxury and fashion, and food retailing. Retail experts representing the city’s top stores will spotlight some of the best retail projects of the past year.
NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.