57A0384The IRCE event will provide attendees with solutions-driven educational sessions about e-commerce, including marketing trends. By Michelle Soriano

To excel in e-retail, you need to have the right strategies, technologies and connections in place to stay competitive. The Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition (IRCE), the must-attend event for e-commerce and retail professionals, has what you need to stay ahead in your business. Taking place June 6-9,2017, at Chicago’s McCormick Place West, this gathering of nearly 10,000 professionals is where experts, insights and innovation converge.

Knowledge is more than power – in e-commerce, it’s profit. IRCE offers practical, relevant education sessions – in six workshops and ten tracks – that cover the topics e-retailers want to learn about, from marketing trends, B2B-specific challenges to the latest technology and more. Our experts know exactly how to translate the information you need into the results you want. 

Find solutions to your most pressing challenges, and come away with actionable answers and practical tactics for building your sales and your brand. This year, the agenda has been expanded to include a dedicated track for the fashion/apparel/home furnishings industry, as well as two new workshops, focusing on direct-to-consumer and design and usability.

The adjacent expo hall boasts nearly 600 of the top technology and solution providers. Your company needs to stand out in the crowded e-commerce marketplace, and we have the technologies to keep your sales growing. Whether you’re looking to build loyalty, optimize search or drive revenue across every channel, you’ll find what you need here to keep you ahead of your competition.

When it comes to building your professional network, IRCE knows that there’s nothing better than connecting face-to-face. That’s why we’ve designed an unbeatable experience that brings you together with e-retail leaders, expert speakers and peers facing similar challenges. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to share insights, trade experiences and solidify relationships, all in a professional environment that facilitates connections.

Don't miss our main stage speakers, including Shark Tank's Barbara Corcoran and Under Armour. For mre information, check out IRCE's educational programming and tracks agenda:

Wednesday, June 7

Track: Fashion: Try it On!

10:30-11:30 a.m. – “How to Win the Sale When Going Head to Head with Your Own Brand”. Speaker: Jose Nino, Vice President of E-Commerce Digital Marketing for Perry Ellis International.

1:15-1:45 p.m. – “Knock It Off! Tactics to Combat Counterfeits”. Speakers: Alan Behr, Partner and Chairman of Fashion Practice for Phillips Nizer LLP and Zach Toczynski, Director of Global Brand Enforcement for Levi Strauss & Co.

1:45-2:15 p.m. – “Preserving Brand Value on Marketplaces”. Speakers: Matt Kubancik, President of Founder Street Moda and Tony Chvala, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Marketing Officer for Pricefails.com.

3:15-3:45 p.m. – “Best in Show: Apparel Innovations”. Speaker: Lauren Freedman, Senior Vice President of Digital Strategy and Chief Merchant for the etailing group.

3:45-4:15 p.m. – “Fashion Apps: What’s in, Hot and Not”. Speaker: Lauren Kaufman Witten, Vice President of Luxury for Retail L2.

4:15-4:45 p.m. – “Live Reviews: Is Your Site On Trend or a Fashion Faux Pas?”. Speaker: Scott Kincaid, Vice President of User Experience for Usability Sciences.

Thursday, June 8

Track: Marketplaces

10:30-11:00 a.m. – “The Marketplace Pioneer—What’s Next at the Amazon Marketplace”. Speaker: Peeyush Nahar, Vice President for Amazon Marketplace.

11-11:30 a.m. – “Where It All Began – eBay Today and Tomorrow."

1:15-1:45 p.m. – “The State of Online Marketplaces: Who Offers What to Whom”. Speaker: Fareeha Ali, Senior Research Analyst for Internet Retailer.

1:45-2:15 p.m. – “How to Figure Out Which Marketplaces You Should be Selling On”. Speakers: Andrew Vagenas, Chief Executive Officer for Pharmapacks and Nathan Gordon, CIO for Christmas Central.

3:15-3:45 p.m. – “Advertising on Amazon: How to Implement a Large-Scale Ad Strategy on the Amazon Marketplace”. Speakers: Gavin Herbert, Manager of Digital Marketing for Mophie and Rick Backus, Chief Executive Officer for CPC Strategy.

3:45-4:15 p.m. – “Marketplace Financials: Do the Numbers Work for You?”. Speakers: Ian MacDonald, Director of E-Commerce for Silver Star Brands and Jason Boyce, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Dazadi.com.

4:15-4:45 p.m. – “Make Sure Your Marketplace Sales Fit Into Your Broader Strategy”. Speaker: Fahim Naim, Founder of eShopportunity.com.

Friday, June 9

Workshop: Direct to Consumer Workshop

8:15-8:45 a.m. – “Mapping the New World: How to Make the Transition to Consumer Selling”. Speaker: Callie Lushina, Vice President of Marketing for BioElements.

11:15 a.m. -12 p.m. – “Getting the Right Content to Where Consumers Are”. Speakers: Christian Santiago, Strategic Partner Development Lead for Google Manufacturer Center, Rob Gonzalez, Co-Founder of Salsify, and Sonesh Shah, Director of Digital for Bosch Power Tools.

12:30-1:15 p.m. – “Live Review: Does Your Site Have That Consumer Appeal”. Speakers: Adam Brown, Executive Creative Director for Gorilla Group and Kevin Eichelberger, Founder & CEO of Blue Acorn.

Michelle Soriano is the director of marketing for the IRCE. 

SWEET SNACKS PREVIEWMore than 17,000 attendees will gather to focus on trends, shopper engagement and the state of the market for candy, snack and specialty segments. By Bianca Herron

At the 2017 Sweets & Snacks Expo – the industry’s premier candy- and snack-buying event – providing insight for retailers and wholesalers is the top priority.

During the three-day event held May 23 – 25 at McCormick Place in Chicago, more than 17,000 confectionary and snack professionals from 90 countries will gather to focus on trends, retail technology, shopper engagement and the state of the market for candy, snack and specialty segments.   

Hosted by the National Confectioners Association (NCA), this year at the Sweets & Snacks Expo attendees can check out several educational learning sessions not only before, but also during the show, such as:

State of the Industry – These pre-show briefs focus on the candy, snack and specialty sectors. Attendees will learn from the nation’s most sought-after strategists and category specialists on topics that will help them succeed each morning before the show opens;

Small Business Innovator Award - Designed to recognize companies with net sales of $500,000 and under so incubating companies just starting in the industry have a chance to gain recognition along with well-established companies;

Destination Retail – Retailers can get hands-on with technology and merchandising to shape the way they engage with shoppers; and

Specialty Market – See nearly 200 companies displaying the latest in premium, and natural and organic.

The Sweets & Snacks Expo will also showcase more than 160 new exhibitors, with a total of nearly 800 companies, including McKee Foods, maker of Little Debbie snacks, and Clif Bar.  

“We know brands like Little Debbie and Clif Bar have options when it comes to choosing which shows to exhibit at,” National Confectioners Association Vice President of Industry Affairs Larry Wilson said in a statement. “We are honored that they recognize the value the Sweets & Snacks Expo will offer each of their established businesses as they look to gain even greater penetration across all core channels in the marketplace.”

0007ShowFloor 1154Licensing Expo continues to bring retailers and licensees together as the world’s largest tradeshow dedicated to licensing and brand extension. 

Licensing Expo is the world’s largest and most influential annual trade show dedicated to licensing and brand extension.Licensing Expo is owned and organized by UBM Americas and sponsored by the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers' Association (LIMA). The Expo will be held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas on May 23 to 25.

For 37 years, Licensing Expo has connected the worlds' most influential entertainment, character, fashion, art and corporate brand owners with consumer goods manufacturers, licensees and retailers.  This show is the meeting place for the global licensing industry where brands and products come together to explore and cement licensing partnerships. The 2016 show featured 5,000+ brands and 489 exhibiting companies across 240,000-square-feet of exhibition space with 218 new exhibitors. This year will likely be the biggest show yet.

Chef Rodriguez and Rachael Ray at SOBEWFF Burger Bash

Satiate your taste buds in Miami Beach this year at the annual Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival.

By Janice Hoppe-Spiers

Sixteen years, $24 million dollars and more than 90 events continue to attract foodies to Miami Beach every February for five days for the annual Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival (SOBEWFF). With so much excitement surrounding the festival and events to attend, an extra day was added this past year to accommodate festival fans’ need for more.

“We’ve created a robust program of events for the festival’s 16th year,” says Lee Brian Schrager, founder and director who also serves as senior vice president, communications & corporate social responsibility for Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits. “With an array of dinners, tastings, seminars and parties showcasing a variety of cuisines, wines and spirits from around the world, guests will find plenty of ways to satiate their taste buds at this year’s festival.”

Signature events return as the festival kicks-off with Barilla’s Italian Bites on the Beach hosted by Valerie Bertinelli and Alex Guarnaschelli. The famous Burger Bash goes into its 11th year evolving into the Heineken Light Burger Bash hosted by Rachael Ray. Last February’s Amstel Light Burger Bash included fireworks and an 850-pound cake in celebration of its 10th anniversary.

Fan-favorites will also return to Miami Beach this year, including Tacos After Dark, Oyster Bash hosted by Josh Capon, Fun and Fit as a Family featuring Goya Kids Kitchen, Chicken Coupe hosted by Andrew Carmellini and the Wine Spectator Wine Seminars presented by Bank of America.

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FN PLATFORM is promising big names and even bigger surprises at the February 2017 show.

By Leslie Gallin, President Footwear, UBM

With more than 1,600 men’s, women’s, juniors' and children’s footwear brands from 20-plus countries expected on the FN PLATFORM show floor, February 2017 is anticipated to be their best market yet.

Known as the global showcase for branded footwear, FN PLATFORM’s international presence has grown to represent 250 exhibitors from more than 20 countries, including top brands from Italy, France, Britain, Spain, Brazil, Portugal and more.

This February, FN PLATFORM is especially focused on meeting consumer demand to find inspiring products on store shelves. The show will provide retailers new and amazing brands to discover at the show. One example is Lacoste’s FN PLATFORM debut with an enticing custom booth experience and, for the first time ever, France will have a dedicated area to showcase ADC, an elite group of French footwear brands.

With an incredible turnout of new brands, FN PLATFORM is aiming to expand upon this important trend by showcasing new exhibitors in pre-show, as well as highlighting them on the show floor.

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