The Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition June 9-12 in Chicago will feature 126 speakers in 72 sessions, a 22% increase in speakers and a 28% increase in the number of sessions, Internet Retailer announced today. Fully a third of speakers are from the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.
Speakers represent all areas of online retailing and include representatives of chains and other store-based merchants, catalogers, web-only merchants, brand-name manufacturers who are using the Internet to sell direct to consumers, consultants, researchers, and vendors to the industry. “Such diversity of speakers is one of the hallmarks of IRCE and it explains why our conference agenda appeals to all players in e-retailing,” says Kurt Peters, editor in chief of Internet Retailer and conference chair. “In addition, all speakers are chosen independently by the editors of Internet Retailer, who are responsible for developing the conference agenda. They select as speakers e-retailing professionals they consider the most qualified individuals to address a particular conference topic based on the thousands of interviews they conduct each year in researching their articles. No speakers are chosen based on their affiliation with a show sponsor or a particular association.”
Keynote speakers are Michael Boylson, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of J.C. Penney Co. Inc., No. 12 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, and Neel Grover, president of Buy.com Inc., No. 38 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.
Other speakers represent such large e-retailers as Overstock.com (No. 25) and Lowe’s Co. Inc, (No. 69) and such smaller retailers as Communicate.com Inc. (No. 469) and iGourmet (No. 393).
The theme of this year’s conference is Web Merchants Dive into the Mainstream. The conference will help retailers understand how the stakes go up as the Internet increases in importance to consumers. It will cover such topics as how chains re-organize and re-think their budget priorities as the Internet accounts for a bigger slice of consumer dollars, how small sites manage growth and technology implementations as they try to keep up with well-heeled Goliaths, what affect Web 2.0 technologies and practices will have on online retailing, how marketing and merchandising will change as online shoppers become more experienced, and more.
Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition 2008 will be preceded by two concurrent workshops on June 9, “Advanced Strategies for Marketing Your Retail Web Site” and “From Entrepreneur to Enterprise” and followed by a workshop on June 12, “Understanding and Harnessing the M-Commerce Phenomenon.”