B2B Next, an annual conference and exhibition, will debut in Chicago next September. It is being produced by a partnership between B2B e-commerce analyst Andy Hoar and Vertical Web Media, the publisher of B2BecNews and the creator of the annual Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition (IRCE).

The expanding world of B2B e-commerce is getting a new annual conference and exhibition for sharing the latest information on business strategies and technology, the event’s organizers—industry analyst Andy Hoar and publisher Vertical Web Media LLC—announced today.

B2B Next will debut on Sept. 24, 2018, as a three-day event at the Sheraton Grand Chicago, a conference hotel in the city’s downtown area near Lake Michigan. The event is being produced by a new partnership formed by Hoar and Vertical Web Media, the publisher of B2BecNews and Internet Retailer and the creator of IRCE, the world’s largest e-commerce conference and exhibition. IRCE is now owned by Emerald Expositions LLC.

For years B2B e-commerce professionals and software and services companies have been asking for a show that offers high-quality, actionable content. B2B Next will provide future-focused, immediately applicable content and hands-on workshops that will turn insights into concrete plans.
Andy Hoar, B2B analyst

Forrester Research Inc. estimates that B2B e-commerce will reach $889 billion this year in the United States—more than twice the size of retail e-commerce—and reach $1.2 trillion by 2021. Forrester also estimates that e-commerce will account for about 13% of total U.S. B2B sales by 2021, leaving plenty of room for companies to grow via e-commerce. That all warrants a new annual conference and exhibition that will help companies build strategies and network with peers as they plan online growth, says Hoar and Molly Love, CEO of Vertical Web Media.

“For years B2B e-commerce professionals and software and services companies have been asking for a show that offers high-quality, actionable content,” says Hoar, formerly of Forrester Research, where he was a vice president and the principal B2B e-commerce analyst. “B2B Next will not only tell attendees why, but show them how, with future-focused, immediately applicable content and hands-on workshops that will turn insights into concrete plans.

“What also makes this joint venture different is that we expect to maintain an ongoing dialogue with B2B e-commerce professionals, not just host a once-a-year event.”

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Adds Love: “B2B e-commerce is at an inflection point similar to what retailers faced in the early 2000s when online shopping began to take off.”

“Vertical Web Media created IRCE 12 years ago to provide quality content to retailers reacting to the surge in e-commerce,” Love says. “And this partnership is uniquely positioned to deliver the same high level of information to B2B professionals. In today’s B2B e-commerce space, if you’re not differentiated you disappear. This show is designed to help B2B companies be different and stand out.”

Sign up for a free subscription to B2BecNews, a twice-weekly newsletter that covers technology and business trends in the growing B2B e-commerce industry. B2BecNews is published by Vertical Web Media LLC, which also publishes DigitalCommerce360.com, Internet Retailer and Internet Health Management. Follow B2BecNews editor Paul Demery on Twitter @pdemery.

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