Not Just Talk, Not Your “Grandfather’s” Conference
About five minutes into the conversation, I realized that Anil sees the world through the eyes of an entrepreneur, with a unique vision about thought leadership that, in my opinion, is achievable. The immediate eye opener was learning that he’s the guy, along with his co-founder, Jon Weiner, who created Money 20/20, the absolute “must attend” conference in the FinTech industry, which attracts 10,000 financial tech attendees and 1,000+ CEOs. It continues to get even bigger each year. He sold it because he’s an entrepreneur and was ready to move onto the next big thing. And that would be the retail industry and his vision for Shoptalk. He saw similar parallels between the financial world and retailing: disjointed conversations across industry players with little cooperation or shared intelligence, virtually all operating in silos.
In the meantime, the consumer is light years ahead of the industry in leveraging their knowledge and use of everything digital, as well as increasing their demands for greater shopping experiences. And of course, we’ve watched the steady stream of entrepreneurial startups responding to these demands and in many cases disrupting and replacing antiquated retail models.
Thus, the vision of Shoptalk became a reality: to form a community and start a new conversation that will bridge the chasm that separates innovative entrepreneurial startups and traditional models; to devise systems to break down the silos; to share knowledge and to find synergies between the old and new worlds. Shoptalk will bring together C-level and senior executives from every major retail sector as well as related industries in a three day event, May 16-18 in Las Vegas. Over 2000 attendees are expected and 250+ speakers (about 200 have already signed up!).
Some of the Shoptalk speakers include executives from retailers and brands such as: 7-Eleven, Abercrombie & Fitch, Ashley Stewart, Best Buy, Cole Haan, Dunkin’ Brands, Express, Foot Locker, Kohl’s, Luxottica, Macy’s, Mondelez, Neiman Marcus, New York & Company, Sears, Target, Under Armour and Westfield. Confirmed CEOs of disruptive startups are from companies such as American Giant, Casper, Curbside, Deliv, Dollar Shave Club, Enjoy, Jack Threads, Jet.com, Modiface, Poshmark, Postmates, Shyp, Sols, Stitch Fix and The Honest Company. Shoptalk speakers from other sectors of commerce include the heads of product at Airbnb, eBay, Google Shopping and Hotel Tonight; heads of monetization at Facebook Messenger and Pinterest; and heads of delivery initiatives Amazon Prime Now and Google Express.
I was also very impressed with the fact that Shoptalk is not just aggregating hundreds of participants. They are thoughtfully creating content themes around all the major issues confronting the industry during this epic transformation. As we know, many of the fundamental and structural changes are being driven by startups that are not on the radar screen of most retailers and brands though they are rapidly becoming part of the consumer’s consideration set. Shoptalk aims to change all that.
Anil and his team are building Shoptalk for its social, community and learning aspects, and have applied a high degree of intellectual rigor to assemble speakers across 12 tracks, each addressing the various ways in which this disruptive innovation is transforming commerce. Speakers from traditional major retailers and brands will mix with disruptive innovators for a dialogue that I have not witnessed at such a scale. If nothing else, attendees can get a good sense of the future by just listening to so many innovators. The Robin Report is excited to participate in this unique and important dialogue and we hope to see our readers there as well. Check out the following links.
Here’s the link to the brochure: http://shoptalk.com/assets/shoptalk_2016_brochure.pdf
Here’s a link to where retailers can buy an individual ticket: http://shoptalk.com/tickets.php
And here’s a link for retailers to buy tickets at discounted group rates: http://shoptalk.com/form-retail-pkg.php