Part of what goes into providing the greatest value to our clients is to stay on top of the latest trends in the industry. This week, our CEO and Vice President of Sales attended the Entertainment Experience Evolution conference, located in Beverly Hills, CA. The event brought together over 700 industry executives, made up of restaurateurs, entertainment and retail operators, retail developers, designers, and futurists to discuss the evolution of the physical retail environment.
Here’s what we saw:
The conference was all about the emphasis on experiential retail, and the impact that it has on people going to physical retail locations. Sessions included discussions around successfully integrating entertainment into retail, how technology will affect brick and mortar business, using social engagement as a key component of location-based entertainment experiences, and much more.
The focus of the sessions revolved around all attendees being most interested in working, as Jonathan Casson, VP of BD at Sony Pictures shared, “to create places where people can be immersed in the brands they love … by creating unique entertainment concepts that cannot be replaced.”
Probably the biggest takeaway we had from attending this conference was that the future of Food & Beverage is bright. Some developers even claimed to be considering 50+% of space in upcoming plans to be in consideration for Restaurants alone.
Scott Pollack, the Principal at Arrowstreet, offered a lesson that retailers and builders could take away from winning restaurant models during a panel: “Spaces need to be changeable – very few chefs keep the same menu for long….and there is a reason for that.”
There is clearly a direct relationship between engagement and feet in retail spaces. This was demonstrated to be fact through research shared across almost every time slot, location, regional demographic, and open/closed space mall examples.
Brett Busconi, Worldlink Vice President of Sales, shared his thoughts, “Retailers have told us that the thing they value most about Worldlink is our investment in their future and our flexibility in working to help them realize that. Attending a show that is focused on ways that developers are creating entertainment and engagement spaces for their next retail locations was a fantastic way for us to learn a ton of hard data that is being utilized to show what is working and what is not. Meeting people from this part of the industry connects us – and allows us to provide additional value to our clientele. Retail IT leaders deal with construction, real estate, and operations – and this is who we learned alongside this week.”
We also caught up with John Fecteau, our CEO: “As a 30 year retail industry veteran who continues to see retail evolve both as a businessman and a consumer, it was impressive to see all of the new and exciting uses for retail space. My objective was to learn as much as possible concerning the entertainment experience evolution, add in our value and capabilities and evangelize that information to our clients and prospects. With what I saw and heard, I feel very well positioned to execute on that plan.”
Altogether, it was a very productive conference, full of takeaways that the team is eager to discuss with our clients. If you would like to connect with us regarding improving your IT infrastructure in order to deploy some of the ideas in this article, we encourage you to utilize our Calendly scheduler that is in the upper right-hand corner of this page.