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RetailVision Upgrades Vendor/Retailer Interaction

Better vendor access to retailers will highlight this week’s RetailVision Fall 2003 get-together at first-time venue JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa here.

At past RetailVision events, the stage was set for vendors to interact with retailers in a variety of proven, dynamic business settings — from private boardroom appointments to structured one-on-one meetings and informal social functions. This year, the one-on-one meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons offer a whole new method of communication.

Vendors and retailers will have access to a new self-scheduling system that allows them to view each other’s schedules and identify mutually available time slots. The meeting requests are sent via e-mail, where the recipient can accept, decline or reschedule the get-together to another time. The new system gives vendors and retailers more control over whom they meet and increases efficiencies and ROI for all involved, said RetailVision.

Retailer participation at RetailVision promises to be outstanding, according to the Gartner-event organizers. Already confirmed are 175 retailers, with over 100 from the top 25 retail organizations, said RetailVision, which claims a 33 percent increase in the number of top-tier retailers attending this semi-annual event. Among those scheduled to appear here are Best Buy, CompUSA, Circuit City, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Micro Center, Fry’s, Staples, Costco and RadioShack.

On the boardroom front, based on customer feedback, RetailVision is scheduling all appointments Wednesday and Thursday this week, so all sessions are completed prior to voting for traditional RetailVision awards. Friday will focus on more one-on-one meetings and a golf tournament.

As for retailer world premieres and channel announcements, Maxtor will have a breakfast premiere on Wednesday, and Palm will announce a world premier the same day, highlighting their partners. AOL will make an industry announcement, which will be open to vendors.

The social focal point of RetailVision continues to be its gala, Thursday evening, when retailers and vendors gather to celebrate the Best of RetailVision Awards. Following an earlier cocktail party, the awards dinner will be held out-of-doors. Here, comedian Henry Cho will host the awards ceremony, preceding a laser and fireworks extravaganza.

Tomorrow’s Casino Night, which has been a huge hit over the last few RetailVision events, according to the organizers, will add a new theme twist this year. Since RetailVision attendees are gathering in the Southwest, Casino Night will offer a distinctive southwestern aura and decor, with the event retaining fun and prizes, but these will be interlaced with a western flair.