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Introducing Shoptalk’s Spark Networking Program

Oct 4, 2016 by Sucharita Mulpuru

When I joined Shoptalk in September, we mentioned that I would be leading a new networking program to take place at our upcoming March 2017 event. In just the few weeks since then, hundreds of companies--including retailers and brands--have reached out to learn more about the program, including how they can participate. This confirmed our view that a formal networking initiative would be extremely valuable to the retail and ecommerce ecosystem, while helping make Shoptalk the most important and exciting event of the year.

Today, we’re excited to announce the formal launch of our ‘Spark Networking Program’--a name that describes well our objective to ignite meaningful conversations and connections. The Spark Networking Program will take place onsite during Shoptalk and has three primary formats:

  1. 1-2-1 Meetings are carefully curated 15-minute one to one meetings between retailers, brands, direct-to-consumer startups, tech companies, investors and other attendees. We will be setting aside space at Shoptalk for these meetings and will schedule them at fixed times for all the participants. We’re working through lots of applications now from attendees who want to participate and look forward to hundreds more in the coming months. Applicants complete a short questionnaire to tell us who they want to meet, and we will do our best to facilitate introductions. All meetings will be double opt in, so an attendee’s meetings will be determined by how many people want to meet him/her.

  2. Peer Dinners, which will be dinner groups of approximately 15-20 individuals who are peers at retailers and brands. These events will be invitation-only and are designed to provide a fun and efficient activity after the day’s activities on Monday, March 20, for retailers and brands to unwind, connect and talk shop. The dinners will be held in private rooms at great restaurants in and around Las Vegas’ City Center, and will each have a Shoptalk Ambassador serve as a host. The Ambassador will be a neutral third-party who is an industry influencer or thought leader and will ensure that all dinner guests meet one another.

  3. Tech Tours will help provide attendees with a curated, efficient and educational view of technology solutions and providers. These tours are intended to answer frequently asked questions like “What should I see on the exhibit hall floor?” or “What’s new this year?” Attendees looking for new technology partners will get an easy and painless way to develop shortlists of solutions they want to investigate in the months to come. Our Tech Tours are led by a select group of neutral Shoptalk partners who are experts in various areas of retail and ecommerce technology, and will cover categories of specific interest to retailers and brands.

That’s not all!  We will also have Demos & Announcements Presentations for technology vendors in sectors like mobile or in-store technology, and a Concierge Program for large retail and brand groups to help them get the most out of Shoptalk.

Our goal in all this is to enable the thousands of Shoptalk attendees to forge collectively thousands of new, valuable relationships, partnerships and friendships that will in turn generate value for the entire retail and ecommerce ecosystem. To learn more or participate in any of these initiatives, click here for more information.