We love working with new voices to spark inspiration for our retail audience! That means bringing in experts from different industries, whether it be hospitality, banking, media or entertainment.
This week, we’re spotlighting one of the most creative, talented and overall amazing speakers we had the pleasure of working with for #RICE22, B.Earl. As you can probably already tell from the title of this blog, he rocks many creative hats!
B.Earl has been working in the entertainment industry for the past 20 years, working on everything from documentaries to graphic novels, feature films and community building. Currently, he’s writing for Marvel Comics and producing projects with his creative partner, Taboo under SkyView Way Studios. But wait, there’s more! He is also heavily involved in the blockchain space, using NFTs as storytelling nodes for both community and world-building. To summarize, he lives and breathes to create multi-media experiences in entertainment using new and emerging technologies that engage communities into creative activity.
Learn more about B.Earl’s attendee experience and his key takeaways from #RICE22.
Retail Innovation Conference & Expo team (RICE): What were your key takeaways from attending the Retail Innovation Conference & Expo?
B. Earl: My key takeaway was the people; I think that’s always a key thing in any sort of conference or convention. It’s all about being able to connect with great people. And having great conversations, I made a lot of friends! I was grateful that you had Matt Maher as our panel moderator. He was great and he and I have now continued to stay in touch and looking to do some things together. So that for me is really exciting and that’s what I would say is really the key takeaway: really great people and a really great community feeling.
RICE: What were some of your key takeaways from the broader event?
Earl: What I was able to gather by going on the floor, meeting with people and talking with them, there is a sort of feeling that people are looking to connect more with the customer in a much more physical way through brick-and-mortar. Coming from an entertainment background, I am very much into fandoms and being able to give people something that’s physical, gives them a sense of meaning to those fandoms and creating a community. I was able to see how these worlds or industries come together: As much as online shopping and ecommerce has grown, people still have a desire to be connected to that physical shopping experience and community.
RICE: What are you planning to prioritize in 2023 and how did the event help validate your decisions?
Earl: What I’m planning on prioritizing in 2023 is what I’ve always prioritized: creating great stories, telling great stories and connecting people. And really, my goal is to find the right people to work with, build with and grow with, which the event helped validate. There were some really incredible people that I connected with, met and became friends with. Hopefully, we’ll have lifelong friendships and potentially work great together, as well as learn from each other. Retail is not my typical wheelhouse, so it was a big learning experience for me coming from the creative side of writing, storytelling and producing. But I do think it has helped build out this new idea of creating commerce and retail-driven ecosystems around these stories.
If you didn’t attend the 2022 Retail Innovation Conference & Expo, you’re in luck! Powered by Retail TouchPoints, the Retail ThinkTank will be featuring key takeaways from our #RICE22 session content. The free digital hub also will feature dozens of exclusive and high-quality resources on the hottest retail trends. Be sure to sign up today to access the ThinkTank all summer long!