Important Tech, Design, Fashion and Retail Conferences to Attend in 2019

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Cover image for  article: Important Tech, Design, Fashion and Retail Conferences to Attend in 2019

Consumers in Motion Group has attended major industry events around the world since 2000 to learn about the technologies and consumer trends that are shaping our future.  We have curated these events based on the quality of their content, exhibitors and attendees and have culled the top events to attend in 2019.  We focused on four key criteria: 1) Distinct, value-added programming that highlights the direction our industry is going; 2) A diverse, high-caliber attendee list of marketing leaders; 3) An environment and format that supports learning, networking and community building, and 4) The intent to highlight technologies that will enable meaningful consumer experiences.            

CES 2019--Las Vegas, January 8-11 

CES features hundreds of content sessions -- and with 5,700 exhibitors you could only spend 15 seconds with each one if you wanted to sample all of them in the four days.  Broadly, the most effective way to navigate CES is to identify the themes and to see and experience these technologies in action, among them the practical consumer and business applications for artificial intelligence; the enabling processors and chip sets in development; the roll-out and capabilities for 5G; vehicle tech and self-driving cars; the rise of smart cites; technologies useful for disasters and personal safety, and medical therapeutics.

NRF 2019 Retail’s Big Show-- New York, January 13-15

NRF 2019: Retail’s Big Show is a marketplace for ideas and relationships.  A chance to forge new partnerships, try out best-in-class experiences and learn from some of the biggest players transforming retail today.  An event guaranteed to drive impact.  Because after all, what’s the point of a show if you have nothing to show for it?  Highlights will include over 800 exhibits, collectively featuring digital commerce, acquisition and blockchain, future tech, innovative new products, in-store and customer experience tech and logistics, supply chain and fulfillment.  The NRF Retail’s Big Show is a major forum for global retail industry and world leaders.

World Economic Forum -- Davos, Switzerland, January 22-25

The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting is the only yearly gathering that brings together leaders of global society.  The heads and members of more than 100 governments, top executives of the 1,000 foremost global companies, leaders of international organizations and relevant non-governmental organizations, the most prominent cultural, societal and thought leaders, and the disruptive voices of the Forum’s young global leaders, global shapers and technology pioneers come together at the beginning of each year to define priorities and shape global, industry and regional agendas.

Fashion Week Store Tours-- New York, February 8-16

Fashion Week Store Tours curates the best fashion designer stores in key fashion cities around the world.  It looks at the unique fashion designs outside and inside stores.  Attendees learn how savvy fashion designers are using their understanding of changing shopper behaviors and technology to enhance their customers’ journeys.  Learn how innovative fashion designers are empowering their teams to develop a dynamic store experience to give shoppers a consistently positive fashion retail experience.

MWC Barcelona--Barcelona, Spain, February 25-28

The theme of this year’s event is “Intelligent Connectivity” – the term used to describe the powerful combination of flexible, high-speed 5G networks, the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and big data.  Intelligent connectivity marks the beginning of a new era defined by highly contextualized and personalized experiences, delivered when and where people want them.  This is the future of our industry and our world.  Within Intelligent Connectivity, MWC developed eight core themes around which we will focus our content for this year’s event.

South by Southwest--Austin, Texas, March 8–17

South by Southwest (SXSW) dedicates itself to helping creative people achieve their goals. Founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas, it is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film, television and music industries.  The event, now an essential destination for global professionals, features sessions, showcases, screenings, exhibitions and a variety of networking opportunities.  SXSW offers five days of compelling presentations and panels from the brightest minds in emerging technologies, along with scores of networking events hosted by industry leaders and an unbeatable lineup of special programs, video games and startup ideas.  There are four main shows designed to enhance and complement conference programming, held in niche pavilions including Come and Capture, Future of Food, The Sport Spot and The MedTech Pavilion.  Several stages located throughout the shows feature content aimed at promoting discovery, education and inspiration, including Next Stage, Pitch Stage and Podcast Stage.

ShopTalk -- Las Vegas, March 3-6

Shoptalk covers the ongoing transformation of retail and the evolution of how consumers discover, shop and buy in a digital age -- from new technologies and business models to the latest trends in consumer behaviors, preferences and expectations.  Established retailers and brands, startups, tech companies, investors, real estate operators, media, Wall Street analysts and others attend Shoptalk to learn, collaborate and evolve over four days of valuable content, curated meetings, wide-ranging exhibitors and productive networking.

NAB Show--Las Vegas, April 6–11

The NAB Show is the world's largest convention encompassing the convergence of media, entertainment and technology.  With 100,000 attendees from 161 countries and 1,800+ exhibitors, it is the ultimate marketplace for solutions that transcend traditional broadcasting and embrace content delivery to new screens in new ways.  From creation to consumption, across multiple platforms and countless nationalities, NAB Show is where global visionaries convene to bring content to life in new and exciting ways.  New gear.  Impressive tech.  Big thinking.  NAB advances the art, science and business of content.

NYCxDesign -- New York, May 10-22

New York’s official design festival takes place at various venues around the city.  The annual celebration of design attracts hundreds of thousands of attendees and designers from around the world.

World Retail Congress-- Amsterdam, May 14-16

Each year the World Retail Congress selects a key theme that is impacting the global retail industry.  The 2019 theme truly reflects what successful retail is today -- it’s all about speed and dynamism.  Those that are winning in today’s supersonic environment are zealously consumer-centric; passionately embrace change and risk; have a simple, agile business model and vision; are blind to borders, and are ruthlessly evolving.

C2Montréal --Montréal, May 22- 24

C2 is the annual international business conference that helps established and aspiring leaders unlock their creativity in order to better face disruption and change.  For three immersive days, bright minds from all industries connect, collaborate and build the new set of tools they need to find actionable solutions to the challenges of our times.

Cannes Lions--Cannes, France, June 17–21

Cannes Lions is a multi-day program of creative inspiration, celebration, education and networking.  Over 15,000 delegates from around 100 countries attend the festival, making it the only truly global meeting place for branded communications professionals to connect, share and discover.  The Cannes Lions Festival features health, entertainment and innovation as the themes of three distinct conferences within Cannes Lions.  Lions Health challenges the industry’s norms and motivates it to change the course of healthcare communications -- and explores the ways talent and storytelling can elevate content into the cultural mainstream.  Lions Innovation is an exploration of data and tech as catalysts for creativity.  Over two days it showcases the new and kick-started collaboration.  It brings together the start-ups with game-changing products and services, the investors who back them, the brands that work with them and the storytellers who can bring it all to life.

 MWC Shanghai -- Shanghai, June 26-28

The Conference at MWC Shanghai features thought-provoking presentations from some of the mobile industry’s most influential executives, who will share their visions of the mobile industry while providing essential insights on current and future trends.  MWC Shanghai focuses on how mobile technology -- from connected cars and wearable tech to IOT and smarter cities --         is revolutionizing every aspect of individuals’ lives and creating a personalized experience.  

Fashion Week Store Tours-- New York, September 6-14

Fashion Week Store Tours curates the best fashion designer stores in key fashion cities around the world.  It looks at the unique fashion designs outside and inside stores.  Attendees learn how savvy fashion designers are using their understanding of changing shopper behaviors and technology to enhance their customers’ journeys.  Learn how innovative fashion designers are empowering their teams to develop a dynamic store experience to give shoppers a consistently positive fashion retail experience.

Shop.org-- Los Angeles, September 11-13

Hosted by the National Retail Federation, Shop.org is leading the charge in revolutionizing retail, bringing together the most elite group of international business leaders to drive exceptional businesses that redesign the customer experience. With cutting-edge content, trailblazing discussions and superior networking opportunities, we’ll co-create the future of retail.

dMexco-- Cologne, Germany, September 11-12

dMexco is the world’s leading exhibition and conference for the digital industry and stands for innovative and future-oriented developments and trends in the center of a new digital economy: The digiconomy.  During the two days of dMexco, a top-notch lineup of speakers and a unique presentation of diverse themes will put the crucial trends and business potential in the limelight.  The program for 2019 will include more than 400 speakers from all over the world who will hold presentations on 15 different stages.  The speakers will include digital stars, top executives, newcomers and trendsetters, who will hold outstanding keynote speeches, engage in exciting discussions and presen     t visionary demonstrations.

ANA Masters of Marketing -- Orlando, October 2-5

The who’s who of CMOs and other industry movers and shakers will share their remarkable stories of mastering brands and driving results in ways that didn’t even seem possible a few years ago.  As one past attendee noted, “This is unquestionably the biggest and best gathering of senior marketers in the country, and it's a great opportunity to confirm and learn about the latest trends and recent best practices.”  By any measure, the ANA Master of Marketing Conference is the industry’s premier annual event, attracting more than 2,500 attendees.

MWC Americas -- Los Angeles, October 22-24

The GSMA and CTIA have created a new mobile industry event in the United States.  CTIA and the GSMA are equal partners in the joint event with the GSMA leading its production and management.  MWC Americas showcases how mobile is creating the connected life -- transforming how individuals, businesses and entire industries communicate, interact and innovate.  MWC Americas is set to become the leading mobile industry event in the Americas.

ReMode-- Los Angeles, October 29-30

ReMode is an event uniting fashion brand leaders and industry-wide professionals to inspire solutions for growth and innovation.  The two-day event features talks, demonstrations, exhibits and meetings, through which participants can discover strategies to build and grow an omnichannel business.

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