This year’s SPS In:fluence conference in Minneapolis was filled with so much information about retailing in today’s world that we’ve come home with a lot of notes.
Since we thought it was a great conference, we figured we’d share some of the biggest information we heard.
THE BIGGEST RETAIL ADVANCE YOU NEED TO MAKE IN 2016
As an SPS partner, we were privileged to attend a partner kick-off meeting. The overall message was that the omnichannel experience is driving a lot of positive change. Providing a seamless experience with visibility in inventory will continue to be of utmost importance for today’s retailers to stay competitive.
Sadly, we aren’t at liberty to share everything we were told. However, we can say that customers attending next year will not be disappointed. The information we got about omnichannel was in-depth and mind boggling.
THE WELCOME RECEPTION
The welcome reception allowed all attendees a chance to meet with the 23 sponsors. The resounding feedback from our team is that all the vendors participating were very relevant to the audience. In addition, the speakers and presenters over the two-day event were exceptional and showed how technology is playing a large part in their overall success.
Brendan Witcher of Forrester Research wowed the crowd with stats focused on omnichannel fulfillment and heightened consumer expectations. For a flavor of what Brendan talked about, check out his in-depth reports with Forrester.
George Zimmer, formerly of the Men’s Warehouse, also delivered a gripping talk. His new venture, GenTux, uses RFID chips embedded in clothing to streamline the formal wear rental, shipping, returns, and cleaning process. Another business he’s launching, Z-Tailors, focuses on value-added services.
PARTIES AND PEOPLE
Networking opportunities abounded for customers and partners, as did learning opportunities. Of course, the off-site party, Northfest, at Old Town Minneapolis’ train depot, was not to be missed. Life-sized games, live music, and the most amazing ice-themed party décor still have our team talking. But that’s just the “icing” on the cake. (Get it?)
Even after we had partied all night, the next day’s speaker had us and the rest of the audience entranced. Author and optimist, Simon Sinek, a TED speaker, talked about inspired leadership. We expect that attendees returned to work with a new spring in their step as a result. We know we did.
THE LARGEST RETAIL CONFERENCE… YET IT FEELS INTIMATE
While In:fluence is planned seamlessly, as you would expect from the largest retail conference, the feeling at the conference is intimate. Attendees receive personal attention and have many opportunities to interact with presenters, staff, vendors, and fellow customers. We’d love to see more of our customers attend next year, because we all felt it would help our incredible customers do business more even more efficiently.
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