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Plan ahead to get the most out of IRC 2019

Busy retailers will want to make every moment count at IRC 2019. There’s a lot to see, but planning ahead will you ensure that you’re navigating the conference in the way that best meets your needs. Here are our tips on how to make the most of your day. But don’t worry if you miss a session that you’d like to catch. We’re recording many of them so that you can catch up online later.

Review the agenda

It’s always worth knowing what’s going to be most relevant before you arrive. That way you can make sure to arrive in plenty of time for the speaker that you really want to hear. There are likely to be queues for the most popular events so make sure you’re in the right place at the right time – if not a little bit early – for the event. Even better, take a colleague and split the events you most want to see between you. The IRC agenda is already available online.

Check in before you arrive in order to avoid the queue for the badges – and plan your day when you arrive for the handy map that you’ll need to orient yourself.

Get a broad overview of the latest industry developments from the plenary session Andy Lightfoot, UK and US chief executive of SpaceNK, Stephen Dowling, vice president, digital growth, at Adidas, Zia Zareem-Slade, customer experience director at Fortnum & Mason are all speaking in the morning plenary of this year’s IRC 2019, which starts at 9.00am with an introduction from InternetRetailing editor-in-chief Ian Jindal.

After splitting into six conference sessions, it then comes back into a single plenary session featuring interviews with senior retailers including Suzanne Westlake, head of corporate responsibility and corporate affairs at Ocado and Andy Harding, interim chief digital officer at Arcadia Group.

Finally the day is brought together in a closing keynote panel featuring Henry Eccles, head of UK commerce, global partnerships EMEA, at Google, Adele Cooper, UK and Ireland country manager at Pinterest, and Ed Couchman, UK general manager at Snap Inc, owner of Snapchat. All together these should offer a good overview of the latest industry thinking and developments.

Take a deep dive in the conference streams

From the broad overview of the morning plenaries, it’s then time to delve more deeply into six specialist areas, all covered by their own conference stream. The customer expectations, omnichannel and customer experience & loyalty streams run between 11.30am and 1.10pm, while the afternoon session, from 2.10pm to 3.50pm, features a further three conference streams, on customer engagement and loyalty, tech enablers and innovation, and growth and new markets.

Each conference features a panel discussion – in the customer expectations conference, Jean-François Bessiron, vice president at Groupon, Nick Burton, VP digital development at Avon, and Grace Roper, head of food digital operations at Sainsbury’s will be debating how retailers can achieve excellence across all their touchpoints.

Share your ideas in a round table

IRC 2019 is a far cry from the days of simply listening to presentations. It’s also about joining in. The round table format gives delegates a chance to join in and discuss the issues that are the top of their mind with a senior retailer and industry peers. Round tables are taking place in the customer expectations and omnichannel conference stream at 12.35pm, led by retailers including Ben Freeborn, head of customer experience at Interflora and Scott Barker, head of customer service at Missguided.

Get practical advice in the workshops

Whether you want to find out more about the future of payments, identifying new revenue opportunties, the importance of product information management or more, a range of expert suppliers will be on hand at IRC 2019 to offer practical, hands-on advice. Workshops are available on a first-come, first-served basis and you can see the programme here.

Network with peers

Many regular IRC attendees say the chance to get together with peers and discuss shared challenges and opportunities is one of the highlights of the day. Take part in the wider conversation by following the IRC hashtags on social media. And stay on for the party – retailers are cordially invited to the Top500 after show party, which runs from 6pm to 8pm.

IRC 2019 takes place on October 10 at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London. A full-price retailer delegate ticket costs £495, but as an InternetRetailing reader we can offer you 75% off full price tickets if you use discount code IRMSEB100 (for retailers only). Vendors can get up to 20% off full price tickets by using the discount code IRMEBDP100.

Read the part 1 and 2 of this series here:

Register here:

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