By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
After 35 successful RetailVisions, the venerable meeting and networking event for retail buyers and product vendors has added a few new wrinkles in time for RetailVision No. 36.
Offering vendors even more access to the retailers they target was the goal of the newly rolled out RetailVision 2.0 program for attending companies.
New to the agenda are Category Presentations, a powerful opportunity to present to multiple groups of retailers within a chosen product category (accessory, hardware, peripheral or software) that could be used in conjunction with the existing Private Boardroom Appointments. Category Presentations are two-minute theater-style opportunities where a vendor can communicate a brief, high-level message to all of the category buyers at once, arousing their interest to initiate a One-on-One Meeting.
Also new is Fresh: A First Look at New Technology — an innovative new program that will launch 10 emerging companies into retail for the first time.
"One of the key reasons retailers value RetailVision so much is that it provides an unparalleled opportunity for them to identify new vendors, products and programs to interact with vendors in an efficient and effective environment. There has been high demand from the retailer community for us to bring a sharper focus to these new vendor opportunities and Fresh is the ideal platform to deliver that experience," said Pete Prentice, Gartner VP, global channel events.
Also new, and replacing the former Grand Opening Preview, Intro adds a new level of focus to the event kickoff. The Intro program will be a fast-paced, highly focused opportunity for retailers to see as many relevant vendors as possible so that they can finalize their short list of must see vendors for the event. Retailers will be given a customized itinerary for the afternoon guiding them to Vendors who match their buying focus. The brief introductory interactions will be facilitated by show organizer Gartner to keep the pace moving and to ensure that both vendors and retailers maximize their opportunity to discover.
Under the RetailVision 2.0 banner, Gartner has added a new set of online community tools — customized, interactive schedules for retailers and vendors to maximize their interactions on site. A new Agenda system will bring together each individual vendor's boardroom, One-on-One and overall event schedule as one consolidated agenda making it easier to execute strategy. Customized pre-event and on-site target lists identify the right buyers and prioritize a retailer's meetings. These granular, detailed reports let retailers focus on which specific vendors they should seek to set up meetings, helping prioritize both their time and the vendors' time before and during the event.
Also new this time around are Product Shootouts. For the first time, select retailers will identify specific product opportunities pre-event. Qualified vendors will have the opportunity to present their solutions based on the pre-agreed upon criteria and retailers will make a purchasing decision on site at RetailVision.
The rest of the event will mirror recent RetailVision events and will include the popular RetailVision University Powerviews and Channelviews sessions for vendors, as well as the usual late-night parties, sponsored by D&H and Ingram Micro.
The event will close, as usual, with the "Best of RetailVision" awards ceremony on Wednesday night, April 16, at 9:30 p.m.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.