By: Kathy Meader, Vice President of Education at the RSPA
As the sun began to set and a warm breeze blew across the patio at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, RetailNOW 2019 was just getting started. Each year, the RSPA hosts a cocktail reception for all first-time attendees and new association members prior to the official start of the conference. Also in attendance are members of the Education and Membership committees, Board of Directors, and RSPA staff. The purpose of this event is to give new members and first-timers an opportunity to meet and network with veterans of the association and of RetailNOW. Attendees learn tips and tricks for navigating the event and getting the most out of their time at RetailNOW. They also get a jumpstart on their networking activities and meet others who are new to the show.
As the New Member Reception winds down, RetailNOW 2019 officially kicks off with a Welcome Reception. Walking through the Grotto, you could feel the energy and excitement as old friends reunited and new friendships were forged. Sponsored by Intel, this year the reception served up local favorites like Texas BBQ, chimichurri steak, and other local favorites while attendees enjoyed cocktails and collaboration. Many of the 700+ Welcome Reception attendees continued the evening at local establishments after the reception ended.
The RetailNOW show floor – there is no other place like it. With over 150 exhibitors this year, there was plenty of excitement and engagement. The Expo Hall opened its doors on Monday and Tuesday afternoon, allowing participants many opportunities to help them grow their business and succeed. Creativity could be seen in every booth in the hall, with giveaways including candy, cell phone chargers, socks, and hot sauce, to name a few. Regardless of the giveaways, all of the vendors provided valuable technology and industry information for attendees. Before Tuesday afternoon became early evening, the nacho bars and drink bars were rolled out to begin the Show Floor Reception, sponsored by North American Bancard. Each year, to close out the exhibit hall, RetailNOW offers attendees one last chance to grab a drink and relax while they finish visiting booths and networking.
Wednesday was jam-packed with 18 education sessions starting with the General Session featuring business expert and humorist Jeff Havens all the way through until 1:00 p.m. when the closing luncheon reception began. The first things attendees noticed as they entered the lunch area were the slot machines and poker chips. That’s right – RetailNOW 2020 is back in Las Vegas, baby! Luncheon attendees enjoyed a cookout-style meal with hot dogs and hamburgers as they discussed strategy, both business and poker. We’ll party together again RetailNOW-style August 2-5, 2020 at The Venetian in Las Vegas.
RetailNOW 2019 was held July 28-31 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, TX. Known as “Where the Industry Meets,” RetailNOW annually brings together retail IT professionals, channel leaders, and innovators from around the globe. RetailNOW 2020 will be held at the Venetian Resort in Las Vegas August 2-5. For more information, contact Events@GoRSPA.org.