#RIC19 Panels: Experts Will Tackle AI, Pop-Ups & More In Candid Conversations - Retail Innovation Conference & Expo

#RIC19 Panels: Experts Will Tackle AI, Pop-Ups & More In Candid Conversations

The Retail Innovation Conference prides itself on its ability to create an intimate environment for retail experts to gather and share insights, success stories and tips with their peers. That’s why thought-provoking panels, led by retail executives, influencers and analysts, are a mainstay of the RIC agenda. At #RIC19, an eclectic group of panelists will be on tap to dive deep into hot-button topics that include: artificial intelligence, women’s leadership, influencer marketing, consumer shopping habits, next-gen pop-ups and more. 

Artificial Intelligence Panel: How To Build A Pragmatic AI Roadmap That Drives Commerce Results

As AI-based platforms continue to gain traction, retailers now have a major question on their hands — what steps do they have to take to use these technologies effectively for their business needs? This panel aims to provide more concrete direction about how retailers can leverage the technology on a practical level, and reveal where retailers can use it to benefit the bottom line. 

Panelists include: 

  • Garrett Eastham, Open Conjecture (Moderator)
  • Jason Stutes, BBQGuys
  • Bryon Colby, Cornerstone Brands

Women’s Leadership Panel: Creating A Supportive Business Culture

Kelly Stickel, Founder and CEO of Remodista/Women2Watch, will be moderating an RIC panel for the second time (she moderated “The Community-Commerce Connection” in 2017). This panel of female leaders, representing all facets of the retail industry (brands, VCs, tech companies) will discuss the ways businesses can develop and sustain a strong focus on female leadership and empowerment in all types of business environments. Topics will include brand development and funding; company mission and culture; employee empowerment and training; and community-building. 

Panelists include: 

  • Kelly Stickel, Remodista/Women2Watch (Moderator)
  • Amy Shecter, Glamsquad
  • Virginia Wong, L Brands
  • Monika Tockstein, Retailwinds

Influencers Panel

This panel will discuss the evolution of influencer-based social media in an age of micro-influencers, and how brands are using events to drive loyalty and engagement. As micro-influencers and events become larger (and less expensive) drivers of brand advocacy for younger consumers, particularly Gen Z, retailers must learn how to leverage this base to create content and their audience cares about. 

Panelists currently include: 

  • Lauren McGrath, ACTIVATE (Moderator)
  • Mary Orton, Trove

The Consumer Is Changing, But Perhaps Not How You Think

Kasey Lobaugh, Principal and Chief Retail Innovation Officer at Deloitte, will be joined by a retailer panel to reveal new insights on how shoppers are evolving. This panel will be the culmination of a year-long study, correcting some strongly held myths about demographics, spending and in-store shopping habits. 

Next-Gen Pop-Ups – Instagrammable Moments, AR And Shoppable Showrooms

Pop-up stores have become a staple among brands seeking to gain exposure in front of a new audience or generate brand awareness in a flash. But as shopper preferences change, retailers must keep up if they want to keep their pop-up models fresh. This panel will give insight into the strategies retailers should take to optimize pop-up shops, particularly at a time when more shoppers integrate social and mobile technologies into their buying experience. 

Panelists include: 

  • Melissa Gonzalez, The Lion’esque Group
  • Matt Alexander, Neighborhood Goods
  • Jessica Dalton, Tanger Outlets
  • Caren Sinclair-Kay, Dormify

Behind The Leaders: Women Executives Share Their Stories, Successes And Lessons Learned

A group of C-level women executives will share their personal success stories within the industry and discuss some of the key lessons they have learned throughout their careers. 

Panelists currently include: 

  • Alicia Esposito, Retail TouchPoints
  • Traci Inglis, TechStyle Fashion Group

Financial Analyst Panel: Navigating Retail Growth In An Uncertain Economy

Although retail had a bounce-back year in 2018, global trade tensions and a recent government shutdown have created uncertainty regarding the industry’s ability to sustain that growth in 2019. Glenn Taylor, Senior Editor of Retail TouchPoints, will moderate this discussion of the state of retail through the eyes of financial services and investment banking professionals. 

Inside The VC World: What Retailers Can Learn From Disruptive Brands

The VC community has become increasingly interested in retail, largely due to the success of disruptive, tech-enabled brands such as Rent the Runway. But what can more established retail businesses learn from these brands and the firms that invest in them? 

During this in-depth discussion, Rachel Bentley, Co-Founder of The Citizenry, will share the story of its rise in the retail ranks, and the influence of the VC community in its evolution. Additionally, one of the Citizenry’s investors, David Matthews of RevTech Partners, will share his perspectives on the relationship and what other brands can learn from this evolving trend in the retail world.  

Check out the #RIC19 agenda to discover more of the jam-packed sessions and keynotes throughout the event, headed by retail executives at Wayfair, Orvis, Shinola, Boscov’s, Brooks Brothers, The Vitamin Shoppe, Rebecca Minkoff, Macy’s and other brands, along with industry experts such as Brian Solis, Deb Gabor, Brian Smith and Jeff Fromm.

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