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Attendance is expected to outpace last year by 16.5%.
Attendance at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition 2011 next week in San Diego is on track to reach 7,500, up 16.6% from the record-setting attendance recorded last year at the show in Chicago, which drew 6,432. Moreover, 503 exhibiting companies will pack the sold-out exhibit hall, up 20.6% from 417 a year ago, says Jack Love, publisher of Internet Retailer.
The growth in IRCE attendance mirrors the growth and growing importance of the e-retail industry, Love says. “For any type of retailer, the web is the number one area for growth,” he says. “I believe IRCE attendees will come away from the show with the understanding that really maintaining an ever-improving web site has to be a top corporate priority because the competition is increasingly sophisticated and high level.”
Correspondingly, the theme of this year’s show is “E-commerce Shifts into Overdrive: The Race is On!”
Now in its seventh year, IRCE has become the global meeting place for all online sellers of merchandise, says Love. It is the largest e-retail show, he says, adding that he sees IRCE growing in the coming years to become one of the largest business trade shows in the world.
Attendees, who will come from 30 countries, will represent retail chains, web-only merchants, catalogers and brand-name manufacturers, as well as travel, hospitality and financial services companies.
Love says he is especially looking forward to special guest speaker Arianna Huffington’s presentation on June 15. The president of The Huffington Post Media Group and editor in chief of online news site The Huffington Post, her presentation, titled “The Internet Disruption is Just Beginning” will delve into how the Internet is causing a sea change in consumer behavior.
“The online media business where Arianna operates is developing even faster than online retail, but the industries are on the same path” Love says. “What’s happening in established media is going to happen to retailers in three or four years and e-retailers should be excited by that.”