The 2014 Retail Merchandising & Marketing Conference is scheduled for April 26-28 at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa in San Antonio, Texas. The 2014 conference chair is Paul Russell, retail marketing field manager for Williamson-Dickies Manufacturing Co. He reports exhibit space is pre-booked at 30 percent and that committees already are “actively involved in making San Antonio another great success.”
The annual conference is hosted by the World Alliance for Retail Excellence & Standards, formerly known as the National Association for Retail Marketing Services (NARMS).
The 2013 Retail Merchandising & Marketing Conference, held in Scottsdale, Ariz., last month, presented attendees with general and breakout sessions relevant to the theme: “Learn. Change. Grow.” The Saturday evening events set the tone for the conference with open networking. On Sunday, attendees enjoyed music and a state-of-the- association update. Robin Lewis’ keynote presentation on constantly evolving technology, globalization and a saturated marketplace followed. Video, pertinent data and audience interaction laid the foundation for the days to follow, as general session speakers Gerry O’Brion of What Big Brands Know, Lily Lev-Glick of Shopper Sense, Dee Warmath of the NPD Group and Matt Herlevic of Sam’s Club continued to deliver insights.
Two-hundred and fifty attendees representing 146 different companies attended. They represented manufacturing, merchandising, event/demonstration, professional installation, marketing, technology, education, staffing, human resources, transportation, workforce lodging and the advertising industries and hailed from nine countries—Brazil, Venezuela, Australia, Canada, Puerto Rico, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the U.S.
Additionally, the event boasted a sold-out exhibit hall featuring companies with the latest technologies and services. Also, breakout sessions on Monday and Tuesday focused on four tracks—sales and marketing, human resources, performance and the changing world. A total of 12 breakouts were offered with focused learning on topics such as PR and social media, labor force demographics, healthcare and the Affordable Care Act, RFPs, the omni channel, marketing to millennials, valuing your business, today’s complex retail landscape and the business blueprint 12-step process.
Tuesday closed with a retail marketing panel discussion that was driven by audience Q&A and highlighted topics from showroom to catalog to online.
“We came together to learn from each other, collaborate with experts in different fields and gain insight into how we could be ready for whatever comes our way,” said Ron Apel, chair of the 2013 conference. “I can confidently say we did all that and more. People really enjoyed the opportunities to connect, especially with two new events, the International Reception and the Women in Retail Reception.”