What to Expect at DRCE: The Connecting Point for Design Leaders & Experience Strategists 

What to Expect at DRCE: The Connecting Point for Design Leaders & Experience Strategists 

Digital channels may influence purchase decisions, but stores still play a core role in the customer experience. Many say stores aren’t going away — their roles are just changing — and we would agree! That’s why we’re seeing more stakeholders play a role in the decision-making process for store experiences. It is not just store design and merchandising executives who have a seat at the table; marketing, operations and IT do, too!  
To respond to this new reality, we developed the Design:Retail Conference agenda to touch on trends that impact all these roles and highlight brands embracing thoughtful storytelling and technology integration to bring their brand experiences to life! With our expanded 45-minute sessions, we want to create a dynamic environment where attendees can ask questions and get inspiration and insights to guide their future projects.  

Pro Tip: With an All-Access Pass, you’ll be able to sit in on sessions in ALL three of our conference programs (IRCE, Design:Retail and Retail Innovation Summit). We know how difficult it can be to take time out of the office with your teams, but we’ve curated the agenda programming to make it easy and valuable for all your cross-functional team members to attend, too. If you’re working from home full-time or have a hybrid schedule, this is a great way to get some time with your colleagues. (Group rates are available!)  

You can check out the full agenda on our site, but for now, let’s spotlight some key sessions we have planned for the design-focused content programming:  

How Leveraging Purpose Drives Brand Success 

During his time with Timberland, Bevan Bloemendaal had an impressive career that supported the brand’s mission of integrating sustainability into all experiences and investments. Now, as Chief Brand & Creative Officer, he’s encouraging all design teams to incorporate purpose into everything they do. This session will define how a brand’s “path to purpose” can be a powerful means to guide brands into the future, as well as how infusing purpose into every aspect of your business can strengthen the relationship your brand has with its consumers.

From Store Building to Mind Building: Leveraging the Senses to Drive Immersion 

Our Sensory Design Innovation Chair, Ari Peralta, is going to bring his research and years of work to the #RICE23 stage to showcase how retail businesses can harness the power of all senses to bring customers closer to their brands. We all know that stores create a unique opportunity for consumers to touch, smell and even taste a brand, but how can these (and other) senses be combined impactfully? Ari will share how you can embrace the power of the mind to guide your decisions.  

PANEL Session: Sustainability’s Impact on Store Design 

We’ve seen more businesses report on their ESG goals and showcase how they’re making more ethical and sustainable choices. But how can these choices be made at the store design level? And how can teams ensure their concepts and tactical decisions ladder up to organizational goals? Led by consultant and store experience expert Ian Scott., this panel is bound to be a fascinating conversation, Ian will glean insights (as well as action-oriented guidance) from Amber Bazdar, Director of Global Retail Design for Timberland, as well as Philip Donovan of Little Diversified Architectural Consulting.  

Render to Reality: A Functional Framework for Bringing Your Brand Promise to Physical Spaces  

One of our top-rated sessions of 2022 was a co-presentation featuring Chip Cook of M&M’s Retail and Ashley Randolph of Landor & Fitch. Together, they showed the power of collaboration, sharing how the two teams worked together to bring several unique (and highly localized) concepts to market. This year, we’re going a layer deeper into the creative process with Robert Price of FELBRO and Cindy Speters of Purple. Longtime collaborators, Cindy and Robert will outline how they go from concept to creative execution, and some of the lessons they’ve learned along the way. If you want to level-up your store concepts and unlock more creative value from your relationships with key design partners, this session is for you!  

COMING SOON! Executive Insights on the Future of Retail Convergence 

How have the past three years impacted how retail teams think about customer experience? What trends and technologies are top-of-mind as they build their future plans? Stay tuned to find out which executives will take the hot seat and share their musings on the industry’s evolution.  

Want to discover what’s next in connected commerce and how your design team can make an impact? Register now to get an All-Access Pass. You’ll get even more perks, such as access to the D2 Summit, which is focused on Web3 and “phygital experiences,” Innovation in Action case studies and so much more. Our Early Bird rate is available until April 6. 

Request to be invited to join us for the #RICE23 Masterclasses!

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