How We’re Building The World’s Largest & Most Important Commerce Event
My Shoptalk 2017 Opening Remarks
Apr 4, 2017 by Anil D. Aggarwal, Founder & CEO, Shoptalk
Welcome to Shoptalk 2017
Our goal is for Shoptalk to be a catalyst for the growth and development of an increasingly complex retail and ecommerce ecosystem as it continues through a period of profound change.
The event is designed to help you answer the hard questions about new technologies, trends and business models that are transforming commerce and that you must now address to meet the needs of today’s consumers.
We’re doing this in three primary ways:
First, we’re helping lead the development of a modern retail and ecommerce narrative. Our uncompromised standard in shaping that narrative is the rapid evolution of how consumers discover, shop and buy. The narrative is encapsulated first and foremost in our groundbreaking agenda.
This year’s agenda includes more than 330 amazing speakers. And it puts the most important technologies, trends and business models in context because technology is nothing without a strategy. About half of our speakers are from retailers, brands and direct-to-consumer startups, which allows you to hear directly from those on the front lines of redefining consumer engagement. The other half are primarily from tech and Internet companies, so that you also get to hear from those enabling today’s commerce and creating new capabilities for the future.
Second, we’re helping build the industry’s definitive new community that includes all existing stakeholders and welcomes new ones. That’s not easy because it means overcoming decades-old silos and outdated cliques, and replacing them with a fresh, new and engaged community. But we have done it. The Shoptalk community includes everyone, from startups and the establishment to physical retail and ecommerce. We believe that that is critical to learning, collaborating and evolving.
We’ve also quickly become a primary platform for the industry to share news and announcements. We think that’s an important part of any community. Over the next three days, companies will make more than 175 announcements. And over 225 tech, trade and mainstream media and analysts, are here to cover them--from the Wall Street Journal and CNBC to Recode and TechCrunch.
Our Exhibit Hall has critical mass with over 250 exhibitors, ranging from the largest and most prominent technology companies to upwards of 100 startups, many of which will be responsible for driving meaningful change in the months and years ahead.
But a community doesn’t just result from people coming together. There needs to be meaningful interaction as well. So in addition to the receptions and other opportunities to engage with each other, we’ve introduced programs to facilitate highly curated onsite meetings that we believe will lead to lots of new partnerships.
We’ve arranged over 5,000 onsite interactions. Our Hosted Retailers & Brands Program will bring retailers and brands together with our sponsors for more than 2,100 onsite meetings. And our Funding Founders program will bring together some of the most exciting startups and leading VCs for over 500 meetings.
We believe that recognition of exceptional individuals is also an important part of any community. So we introduced the Heretics Program this year to recognize individuals from retailers and brands who go out of their way to champion disruptive innovation.
And finally, because we live in an environment where change is the only constant, the third cornerstone of Shoptalk is to help create a journey where the narrative and community aren’t static--but dynamic so that they remain relevant and useful.
The result of all of this work over the past two years is an event that truly has the consumer at the heart of an ongoing conversation that includes all the right people. That is our product, and true to our roots as tech entrepreneurs, we’re relentlessly focused on making it the absolute best product imaginable.
As we continue to look for new ways to expand and cross-pollinate the rich ecosystem we help bring together, we welcome your feedback and suggestions.
Thank you, and we’re delighted you’ve joined us for the next three days. I hope to see you all again in just 6 months at Shoptalk Europe--Our new global event and your new Fall event.