Retailers have teased and rolled out online deals for days, even weeks, but the real Black Friday is here.
IRCE 2011 sets new records for an e-commerce event.
Despite lingering uncertainty in the overall economy, there was nothing uncertain last month about the steady growth of the annual Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition, the largest online retailing trade show.
The seventh annual IRCE, which was held at the San Diego Convention Center, attracted 7,318 participants, 14% more than the 6,437 who attended last yearÕs IRCE in Chicago.
"To achieve conference attendance growth of 14% is excellent even in a strong economy, but to experience that type of growth in an economy as weak as ours is truly remarkable," says Jack Love, CEO of Vertical Web Media, which organizes IRCE, publishes Internet Retailer magazine and operates InternetRetailer.com. "It underscores the fact that IRCE, the largest of all e-commerce events by far, has unmatched conference content and that online retailing is the one bright spot in the overall retail market."
Love also noted that 502 companies exhibited at IRCE 2011, a 20% increase from the 417 at IRCE 2010.
The IRCE conference included 100 sessions with some 175 speakers. Keynoters included Christopher Payne, president of eBay North America; Sona Chawla, president of e-commerce at Walgreen Co.; Doug Mack, CEO of e-retailer One Kings Lane; and Arianna Huffington, president and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Media Group, now part of AOL.
IRCE 2012 is scheduled for June 5-8 in Chicago.
A full report on IRCE 2011 will appear in the August edition of Internet Retailer.