Next week, Curalate will be joining an impressive list of who’s-who, including retailers, Internet companies, startups and investors, at Shoptalk – the newest endeavor from serial entrepreneurs Anil Aggarwal and Jonathan Weiner.
We know to expect groundbreaking conversations around the e-commerce trends that are shaping our future. We know to expect an unprecedented agenda – which we are excited to be a part of! We know to expect to see many technology innovators in the exhibit hall. We know there will be a lot of parties as well as informal networking and learning opportunities.
What we don’t know, given this is an inaugural event, is how to navigate our way through three days of what’s sure to be an incredible experience, which includes 3,000 attendees, 380 CEOs, 1,000 C-level executives, 1,300 companies, 100 VCs, and leading retailers and startups that have raised more than $13 billion to disrupt retail and e-commerce. The last thing we want you to do is to head home from Vegas having missed out, so we hit up Anil for some advice on how you can navigate Shoptalk like a pro. Here’s the scoop:
Shoptalk has put together a killer agenda, mostly accepting only CEOs to speak on carefully curated panels. There are over 320 speakers and over 100 sessions that all look amazing. So, how’s an attendee supposed to choose? We’re super stoked to be included in the agenda, by the way!
We have an incredible number of keynotes, each lasting about 20 minutes. Our recommendation is for attendees to join all of these sessions—there’s a wide variety of companies—from large established retailers to startups and Internet companies. You can hear from everyone from Google and Facebook to Birchbox and Postmates to Hudson’s Bay Company and Rebecca Minkoff.
Where it gets harder is to pick from among the four concurrent tracks. We have so much great content that it is a difficult choice. We’ve covering so much ground that we need over 320 speakers and 100 sessions to do it. The good news is that whatever you pick, you really can’t go wrong. If you’ve done Shoptalk right, you’ll leave with many pages of notes and lots of new thinking – thinking that can help you answer questions that everyone in the industry is presented with almost daily now but to which the answers are anything but obvious.
Obviously besides the main networking events, there are going to be multiple unlisted events. It’s Vegas! How can attendees figure out what’s happening when, and how can they score an invite?
There are lots of events being held each night of Shoptalk by many participating companies – from a women’s event on Monday evening hosted by Andrea Weiss and Stacy Berns to Re/code’s co-located Code/Commerce event on Tuesday evening. We also know of lots of dinners and receptions being put on by VCs ranging from NEA to Bain Capital Ventures.
If you’ve received an invitation to one of these events – that’s great. If you haven’t, that’s ok too. We have planned multiple events on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday evenings – just check the agenda and you’ll see them listed. Of course, we have networking breaks in the Exhibit Hall where you can visit with many amazing companies, but you can also join a Poolside Reception we have on Monday evening – that’s a great opportunity to also spend some quality time outside and get some fresh air. On Tuesday night, we’ll have an Industry Night featuring Wyclef Jean … that’ll be a ton of fun. Just come along for the ride we’ve created for you and you’ll have a tremendous event.
The Physical Stuff
Shoptalk is going to be B-A-N-A-N-A-S! How can attendees stay on top of everything and not collapse?
If you’ve done Shoptalk right, there’s no escaping it – you’re going to leave Las Vegas completely exhausted. Stay hydrated, get to sessions, network to the max.
The Mental Stuff
Judging from your rhyming brochure, you’re a fun bunch. Shoptalk is all about innovation and fresh thinking. To take full advantage, what dusty “conferencing” habits should attendees throw out the window, and what should they replace them with?
Shoptalk is an opportunity to get up to speed on the latest technologies and trends in retail and e-commerce. It’s critical to come with an open mind – to understand how billions of dollars are being deployed to disrupt every aspect of the ecosystem. It’s an occasion to absorb incredible learnings and to understand how others think about the evolution of how consumers discover, shop and buy any product, service or experience.
We also believe that networking is the most important part of learning and business development and we’ve developed an open and friendly environment where people can get to know each other without pressure. That’s a lot different to the short-term lead generation and vendor/retailer dynamic that permeates the events landscape. So come with a mindset to build a new peer group … not just get the next sale.
Interested in meeting up with us at Shoptalk? Let’s chat.