Like just about everyone we’re all itching to do some travel, hit some trade shows and get back to doing business in person. The pandemic is slowly loosening its grip, so we’re carefully planning what events and shows will provide the most bang for the buck. After all, we don’t want to be spending $thousands only to find that vendors, clients, and prospects are hunkered down.
So, here’s our plan for the rest of the year as we learn how to converse in person again; based on a combination of rumour, verbal commitments and casual shows of hands during Zoom calls, we believe these shows are the ones worth going to in person if you are going to venture out this year. As with everything in our world as the pandemic winds down, our plans include “In-Person” and “Virtual” events:
1. Outdoor Retailer
Denver, CO – August 10-12 (In Person)
The outdoor industry has boomed during the pandemic and the nature of the sessions and day-to-day conversations includes a lot of B2B so this one is a good fit for e-commerce ecosystem vendors. Denver is also easy to get to from either coast and although it’s a mid-Summer date the weather is typically great and the Rocky Mountains are right there for those wanting to tag on a summer vacation after the show.
This show will be heavy with apparel manufacturers, equipment manufacturers, suppliers for different outdoor sports and the most prominent outdoor retailers. Since a lot of pre-booking and purchasing happens at this show we are anxious to see how e-commerce is evolving in this industry.
Learn More: https://outdoorretailer.com/
2. E-commerce Operations Summit
Nashville (Gaylord Opryland) – August 17-18 (In-person)
This is a great conference because sessions typically focus on the “guts” of e-commerce, including logistics, order management and warehouse management, but increasingly the show includes strategic business presentations.
The show is presented by MultichannelMerchant.com whose sponsors typically are heavy into infrastructure and software. There will be a range of folks at this conference from logistics and warehousing providers, ISVs, agencies and service companies and retailers like Tractor Supply that are thriving on the new world of B2B2C in retail (also an Adobe / Magento merchant).
Nashville is a great city to visit and like most of the destinations we are considering is one flight from either coast or the center of the country’s hubs. It makes for a crowded August but it’s definitely one we are considering!
Learn More: https://www.operationssummit.com/
3. Retail X
Chicago (Mccormick Place) – August 24 – 25 (In Person)
We know several key Accorin partners (BigCommerce, Exclusive Concepts and others) are planning to attend and / or sponsor. And with several clients in the Chicago area, with Chicago being a retail, logistics and e-commerce hub in the middle of the country we believe this show will be well-attended because of short drives and easy air transit access for most.
BigCommerce will be playing an important role in two of the Keynote sessions: “Redefining Post-Pandemic Experiences” and “Hybrid Retail”.
We’ll soon be announcing our plans to co-sponsor a not-to-be-missed social event along with BigCommerce and Exclusive Concepts during Retail X very soon!
Learn more here: https://retailx.com/onsite/overview/
4. E-commerce Expo
UK – September 29 – 30 (Currently Virtual)
The UK is lagging behind the US in opening up so this one in the early Fall looks like it will be virtual. This was a fantastic virtual conference last Fall with great sessions, virtual networking software, a fantastic list of vendors presenting new technologies, and speakers presenting current case studies across B2C and B2B.
5. Internet Retailing Expo (IRX)
Birmingham, England – October 12-15 (Currently In-Person)
Think of this event as a Retail X of the UK that also attracts a lot of attendees from Europe. Our thought is that this event could be the first big in-person event in the UK and so long as you are comfortable working a crowd (after being vaccinated, of course) this will be a great one to attend. Accorin is owned by an agency holding company (Wasserman) with a large presence in the UK including its digital agency sister Laundry Service so we’re excited about the possibility of attending this one.
Learn More: https://internetretailingexpo.com/why-visit
Many companies are still figuring out if smaller product-focused events are happening this year. For many it’s too late. Klaviyo (remember Klaviyo:BOS 2019? Or virtual 2020?) has not mentioned if it will hold an in-person or virtual event yet. Given the timing we’re betting on virtual, not only for Klaviyo but for other key partners and e-commerce players, too.
The Bottom Line
It’s time to venture out. There are some decent offerings available for in-person conferences – mostly in the US and ironically in the month of August when folks typically take vacations – but we’re venturing out to a couple of these and we also have our eyes on more virtual conference this Fall as people prep for a wild 2022.