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NRF 2019, Out 'n' about with Glen

Posted 25 January Glen Irving

New York, New York, let’s start spreading the news. Another trip to the Big Apple for NRF is over for this year, I thought I would put into words my experience out ’n’ about in the city that never sleeps.

Truth be told this year, I felt the show lacked giant leaps forward in innovation and I had already seen a lot of the tech that was on offer.

I saw clever robots delivering food and drinks and virtual and augmented reality used in lots of applications. All this tech will make the high street a more desirable location by improving the shopping experience. This is key in a market that is having to reinvent themselves to stay current and afloat.

The range of digital shelf edge options was the thing I saw and believe could really inspire that purchase instore. This tech is vibrant, easily changeable and catches your attention. It makes those valuable advertising spaces really work by driving sales for businesses and makes the store come alive.

Something that really stood out from this show was the active encouragement for more women to get into the industry. I especially loved the girls lounge, something I have never seen before. This visual and social encouraging and respecting female colleagues to develop careers. In this traditionally male dominated industry it is something topical, fresh and inspiring! It was great to see a diverse show of speakers and females achieving industry leader roles. I am interested to see the ripple effect this will have!

I think the key to really getting the most out of the NRF event is not just what you see, but who you spend time with. These events I believe are key to hitting that partnership button. By allowing a fantastic opportunity for all parties to engage in a less formal atmosphere. Of course, everyone always comes away with a few stories and that’s all part of the fun!

My favourite social engagement this year was the PCMS gathering at the Brooklyn Brewery, on the outskirts NY in Brooklyn. This cool and yuppy cultural hub was something new to the NRF experience this year and gave the whole experience a fresh new feel.

The event consisted of an interesting tour and opportunity to sample all that the Brewery has to offer. This was not a business heavy lads’ function, but a chance to say thank you to customers and partners. A great night was had by all, and my comedic challenge, since I am a short arse, was keeping up with the giants in attendance, luckily a ladder was on hand!

Reminiscing I do look forward to engaging with all the new people we met during our 4 days and 2019 already is shaping up to be an interesting year! I would really like to thank those people who helped me survive the gruelling 4 days. Peter and Stuart from Box Technologies, who kept us up late and still were there for breakfast. Mark at Ingram Micro who put up with my endless geek chat on the plane about why the Dreamliner is really good. Finally, my partner in crime John, who made sure we kept our Fitbits busy by walking everywhere!

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