Groceryshop has returned. The popular convention got underway Monday at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada.
According to the convention’s website, “Across four days, our jam-packed agenda will feature informative, unrivaled talks on the changing grocery landscape from 200-plus industry leaders, as well as opportunities to connect and network with peers and potential partners.”
Some uniform topics will be seen throughout the conference’s four days. These include changing consumer behaviors and preferences; winning marketing, loyalty and personalization strategies; e-commerce strategies; sustainability and payment innovations.
Each day, conference-goers can choose between several speaking tracks to attend. Each 40-minute session has four paths to follow.
The tracks focus on different aspects of the grocery industry. Track one tackles “fresh perspectives on grocery and CPG;” track two targets “exceptional omnichannel experiences;” the third track is called “’Shark Reef’ Startup Pitch;” and the final track follows “the future of convenience.”
The Shelby Report is on site this week and caught up with Bree Vaughn, marketing manager for Groceryshop, on Monday to get a sneak peek.
Can you tell me a little about the history of Groceryshop?
“Groceryshop is the leading CPG and grocery event. As a lot of people know, it’s our sister event of Shoptalk, which is also a massive event. We found that [grocery and CPG] is a big sector of retail and that entire industry. So we thought, ‘Let’s make it an event.’ It’s come a long way. It’s actually the biggest Groceryshop to date – biggest in attendees and revenue. We have been here since 2019. This is our third event for Groceryshop.”
How did Groceryshop adjust during COVID?
“We had our meetup events, which are still running through the event this year. And they are actually very strong. During COVID, we decided to not just hold general virtual events like webinars but try to think outside of the box. We came up with our meetup events that are entirely online. They are essentially a meetings event.
“Like what we have here, we have Table Talks. They are more interactive and one-on-one than traditional virtual meetings and we saw the opportunity to bring those into the event. We now have the Hosted Program, which are double opt-in, one-to-one, face-to-face meetings.
“We have about 700 brands and retailers meeting with exhibitors and sponsors throughout the event. We have a big section of about 500 tables that are set up for these one-to-one meetings and it’s just like how you and I are talking right now. They are scheduled meetings and timed.
“It’s a way for people to connect with each other and talk and network, and we’ve seen great success with it so far. That’s what sets us apart from other events, the Hosted Program. Those participants get free travel and hotel reimbursement for having those meetings, which is a huge incentive.”
How many people are you expecting to attend this year’s event?
“We are looking at about 200 speakers. We have about 25 percent C-level VPs and above. It’s really great numbers-wise. For women speakers, we are at a little over 50 percent. We really try to hone in on that. Diversity, equity and inclusion is also something our content team really focuses on.”
What should attendees be looking forward to this week?
“This is our biggest Groceryshop. We have more than 4,000 attendees coming through the doors. We have just launched a new dedicated convenience store track, which is brand new for GroceryShop. We found that convenience is a really up and coming area.
“We have a new connect lounge that is open to all attendees. We found that people love to connect to people outside of the traditional convention space. It’s designed with our theme, which this year is kind of “The Jetsons,” space, whimsical and silliness. On Thursday, we have a bunch of deep-dive sessions that go more in depth and more interactive where people can ask questions.
“We have our big Grocery Fest concert that is taking place on the beach here in the Mandalay Bay Resort on Wednesday. It is, again, one of those things that lets people talk and connect outside of the traditional meeting hall. Those [gatherings] are really exciting because it’s a time where you can kind of relax a bit more. This year we have a festival theme with bonfires, music and it’s going to be a lot of fun. Connections are being made and drinks are flowing. It’s fun.”
What are some speakers and tracks that attendees should think about attending?
“Our keynote speakers are amazing. One thing to really highlight for speakers is Jason Buechel, the CEO for Whole Foods is speaking. This is his first appearance publicly as the CEO. All the speakers we have are great, but that is something I’m really excited about. I’m sure many people are interested in hearing what he has to say.”
For more information, visit groceryshop.com.
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