NRF 2016: A preview of retail's biggest show

Retail Analytics Marketing Manager, IBM

Do trade shows give attendees a good return for the time they spend traveling and in attendance? Some people have fallen into the habit of attending trade shows and turn up simply because they always have, no longer evaluating the return they receive by attending. Other people believe that those who wait to discover new technologies until they attend trade shows have fallen behind the times before they even walk onto the exhibit floor. What trade shows, then, are still worth attending in this day of tight schedules and limited resources?

Go BIG or go home

On Sunday, January 17, 2016, the Jacob Javits Center in New York City will once again open its doors to the National Retail Federation’s annual BIG Show, which in 2016 will welcome more than 30,000 people from more than 40 countries, all gathered to discover the newest stars in a sky of retail technologies and innovations. As a longtime attendee of the BIG Show, I urge my colleagues at IBM to attend if their area of business touches consumers in any way. Whether for manufacturers, for airlines or for banks—as well as for everyone in the space between—the BIG Show is the place to be. I can think of few other events worldwide whose roster of speakers and attendees offers such a degree of thought leadership.

Attendees at the BIG Show have a front seat for what’s truly happening in retail, whether during press releases or while inspecting exhibits. Moreover, they can meet face to face with their peers and competitors, an important opportunity for making personal connections in an increasingly digital world. And that’s apart from the activities taking place throughout the event, themselves worth the effort of attending. Visitors to the 2016 show, for example, will be given the opportunity to tour concept and flagship stores around Manhattan—a veritable treasure hunt for retailers.

Expand your roster of retail tools

As always, IBM itself will maintain a significant presence at the BIG Show, using its sizable exhibit space to highlight retail analytics capabilities demonstrated by seasoned executives from the retail industry. IBM retail tools address modern retail challenges, offering retailers enhanced social insight, demand forecasting, promotional lift analyses and predictive customer intelligence. Indeed, IBM offerings alone provide retailers a compelling reason to attend the BIG Show—everything from IBM Watson retail technologies to ways of using weather insights to avoid running out of retail stock.

While you wait for the BIG Show to open for 2016, learn more about IBM solutions for retail—and when you show up, stop by our exhibit space at booth #1720, near the main entrance. We look forward to seeing you there!