In 2019, IRCE will be co-located with two other retail events—GlobalShop and RFID Journal Live—under the RetailX banner.

First, there were stores. Then, there were websites. Now, the commingling of stores and sites is blurring retailing’s borders, creating changes that demand more acuity of retail executives.

This continual morphing of retail is behind the move by Emerald Expositions, the owners of the Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition (IRCE), to bring together under one roof three retail events. In June 2019, IRCE, GlobalShop and RFID Journal Live! retail events will be co-located under the RetailX banner at Chicago’s McCormick Place South.

Emerald Expositions owns all three events, and organizers say combining these retail-focused events, which until now have been hosted in different cities and at different times of the year, will deliver more to attendees than running them independently.

“In order for retailers to transform themselves, they have to break down silos,” says Doug Hope, spokesman for RetailX at Emerald Expositions. “We see bricks-and-mortar retailers growing online and with omnichannel, and pure-play e-retailers opening stores. And underneath that, there’s the secret ingredient of RFID technology, which becomes vital and essential to retailers breaking down their silos.”

The co-located shows will deliver insights to attendees about retail’s transformation, Hope says, and by drawing executives from across all aspects of retail—online, stores, merchandising, technology—to one place, retail teams will be able to more effectively make the ideas they learn about real.

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Hope says Emerald conservatively estimates 20,000 attendees will be at McCormick Place South June 25-28 next year for the combined events—that’s double the projected attendance of IRCE 2018. Each event under the RetailX banner will have its own exhibit hall, but attendees will be able to move freely among them. For instance, a person who registers for IRCE can visit exhibitors in the GlobalShop exhibit hall to look at store fixtures and talk to store design experts, and a GlobalShop attendee can shop for a new e-commerce platform in the IRCE exhibit hall. Networking events, such as cocktail receptions, will be open to all attendees.

“RetailX will have the scale and scope that is way beyond anything in the [event] marketplace,” Hope says, adding that networking and matchmaking opportunities will be enhanced under RetailX.

GlobalShop drew just over 10,000 attendees and had more than 600 exhibitors when it was held earlier this spring. The event, which has been held for 27 years, is the leading retail design, planning and merchandising show. RFID Journal Live! has been held for 10 years and draws about 3,000 attendees, the majority being from retail but also from fields such as healthcare and aerospace. Like IRCE, the two events were founded by business publishers in those fields.

“RetailX will enable greater success for anybody in the tech side of the business that touches the shopper to be where the people who design stores are,” Hope says. Hope founded GlobalShop.

IRCE vice president David Southworth will introduce RetailX in greater detail to the IRCE audience in his opening remarks during IRCE’s general session on Wednesday, June 6.

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Each show will retain its own branding and identity, Hope says, and attendees will still register to attend at their event’s website. For instance, IRCE attendees will still register at IRCE.com. Conference content—such as workshops and main-day educational sessions—will continue to be developed by each event’s content team.

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