Welcome to the 14th annual Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition. Upwards of 10,000 retail executives will congregate in Chicago this week, and the next four days are packed with opportunities to learn, network and shop for the technologies and services that can help you grow your business. Use the tips below to help get the most out of your time at IRCE.
- Download the IRCE mobile app. The app has the most up-to-date information on conference sessions and exhibit hall events. You also can use the app to set appointments with exhibitors and network with other attendees.
- Wear comfortable shoes. If you are an IRCE veteran, you know this already. If you are new to IRCE, you’ll learn this fast. 600 companies are showcasing their products and services in the exhibit hall and hauling from one end to the other takes some stamina.
- Register for a pre/post-conference workshop. It’s not too late to take advantage of these add-on days to the main conference. Workshops offer deep dives into specialized topics and greater opportunities to ask questions of expert speakers. This year’s workshop topics are: Amazon & Me (Tuesday), E-Commerce Technology (Tuesday), New Recruit Boot Camp (Tuesday), Search (Friday), Design & Usability (Friday) and B2B E-Commerce (Friday). Visit the onsite registration desk for more information.
- Link up. The WiFi signal is strong and free. Search for “IRCE_Hotspot” and connect—no login required. Hashtag your social posts—or see what others are saying about IRCE—using #IRCE18.
- Get social. The social opportunities kick off late Tuesday afternoon with a cocktail reception in the exhibit hall starting at 4 p.m. A second cocktail reception runs Wednesday from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Breaks also are built into the conference schedule to ensure you can meet up with colleagues and make new connections.
- Main Day 1. Wednesday is the official opening of the conference, and the morning’s can’t-miss main stage speakers are Dave Gilboa, co-founder of Warby Parker, and best-selling author and change agent Seth Godin. Don’t be late: Gilboa takes the stage first at 8:30 a.m.
- Main Day 2. Thursday will kick off with main stage presentations from Alon Cohen, co-founder of the Houzz marketplace, and Mariah Chase, CEO of Eloquii, the fast-growing e-retailer that’s taking on the plus-size apparel market with a savvy digital strategy.
- Mix and match. Wednesday and Thursday combined offer up 80 educational sessions across 10 themed conference tracks designed to deliver strategies and takeaways attendees can put into practice in their own businesses. Conference attendees can pick and choose among the tracks to create the conference experience that best addresses their needs. Check the IRCE app for the schedule.
- Get the tech scoop. If you are spending most of IRCE in and around the exhibit hall, there are several ways to learn more from exhibitors. The IRCE Tech Stage, located at the center of the exhibit hall, features speakers from exhibiting companies explaining their services. Speakers will take the Tech Stage Wednesday and Thursday. Select exhibitors also will be hosting their own meetings and workshops with invited attendees via “Straight Talk” sessions. A complete schedule for the Tech Stage and Straight Talk is available in the IRCE app.