At the end of Sept., Mariana and I ventured to the West Coast for Shop.org 2017: This is Digital in Los Angeles. We were excited to see what NRF had in store for the re-invigorated annual conference.
Shop.org Gets a New Focus and a Fresh Look
Until now, Shop.org’s focus had been squarely on eCommerce. This year, however, NRF shifted the event’s focus to include all things digital, bringing new vendors, perspectives and content into the limelight.
Having attended last year’s Shop.org in Dallas, I can say that the show sure did look different! NRF refreshed the branding with brighter, flashier colors and created more inviting, well-designed spaces on the show floor for attendees to gather for networking, meetings and meals.
Another great addition and surprise was Monday evening’s networking cocktail party. The cocktail party was held remotely at the famous Shrine Auditorium, which over the years has served as home to both the Emmy Awards and the Academy Awards. It was quite a spectacle, with a red-carpet entry hosted by Melissa Rivers, dancers in giant balloons and a genie floating above the crowd.
Retail Innovation Lounge Takes the Popcorn
During Shop.org, we had the privilege of spending most of our time in the Retail Innovation Lounge (RIL). Ketner Group’s good friend, Anne Marie Stephen, founder and CEO of kwolia, invited us to once again serve as the media partner for RIL and support her on site. As we mentioned in our previous blog, this was the first time that kwolia and NRF partnered to bring the event inside the conference.
Over the course of the two-day event, we saw nearly 600 Shop.org attendees stop by the RIL. While the fresh popcorn might have helped (as overheard on the Shop.org shuttle), we were told repeatedly that the content presented at RIL was some of the best at the conference. The Amazon Power Block, featuring sessions from Bryan Eisenberg, author of “Be Like Amazon,” and retail marketing agency TPN’s interactive workshop, drew the biggest crowds.
Ketner Group has been lucky enough to have seen the Retail Innovation Lounge since day one, when it kicked off during SXSW in 2016, and boy, has it grown in the past 18 months! We can’t wait to see what RIL has in store for the retail community in 2018 and beyond.
What’s Next for Shop.org
Shop.org planning is already under way for 2018 and the event is scheduled to take place in Las Vegas, where organizers are hoping to draw big crowds once more.