The world’s largest e-commerce event yet

More than 9,500 online retail pros will attend IRCE 2013 in Chicago.

Zak Stambor

More than 9,500 online retail professionals from more than 40 countries will descend on Chicago next week to attend the world’s largest e-commerce event, the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition 2013, to be held June 4-7 at the McCormick Place convention center, says Craig Dooley, senior vice president and group show director for the IR Events Group. That represents an 11% increase in attendance from 2012.

Dooley works for George Little Management, the company that last year bought Vertical Web Media’s three e-commerce events: IRCE, the Internet Retailer Web Design & Usability Conference (IRWD) and the Internet Retailer Mobile Marketing & Commerce Forum (MMCF). This will be the first IRCE since GLM bought Vertical Web Media’s e-commerce event business.

The attendees represent a broad array of retail chains, web-only merchants, catalogers and consumer brand manufacturers, as well as travel, hospitality, nonprofits and financial services companies and the e-commerce vendors that provide services to them.

The diverse pool of attendees shows that e-commerce-related issues are on most businesses’ radar, Dooley says. “E-commerce is relevant to nearly every business,” he says. “They have to think about how to incorporate tools and technologies to develop relationships with their customers.”

The content theme for IRCE 2013 is “Breaking barriers toward a new retail economy,” and sessions will detail how retailers can connect the disparate parts of their organizations to provide a better shopping experience for consumers and drive sales.

More than 200 speakers will speak on hot button e-commerce topics, including technology trends and marketing developments. Special guest speaker Al Gore, the 45th vice president of the United States who is also an Apple Inc. director and Google Inc. senior adviser, will share his perspective on how the Internet unifies the globe and what businesses need to do to make sure they remain competitive with companies around the world.

Attendees also will have the opportunity to visit with representatives of about 600 exhibiting vendors of e-commerce services, up from 562 last year, in the 250,000-square foot exhibit hall. The Internet Retailer booth will feature its annual Win-the-Wheels contest, in which attendees who visit the booths of 20 participating exhibitors are entered into a drawing to win a 2013 Lincoln MKZ.


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