“Tools to Captivate the Connected Customer” IBM Retail User Group’s 34th Annual Conference

The Board of Directors and sponsors of the IBM Retail User Group (IRUG) are looking forward to the 34th Annual Conference, scheduled to take place on May 15-18, 2011 in Orlando. We have been busy planning for speakers, sessions, the mobile conference app and the new technology pavilion with more networking and experience sharing opportunities then ever before. 

The conference agenda has been crafted based on topics requested by the retailers through our extensive survey process.  This year’s theme is “Tools to Captivate the Connected Customer” with a focus on solutions and tools to captivate the increasingly mobile and technologically savvy customer of the 21st century. This year’s conference will not only demonstrate leading technology trends, but will also introduce a working IRUG mobile application to showcase the technically, and assist attendees in getting the most out of this years event.

We have lined up a diverse and robust variety of compelling speakers and presentations all focusing on addressing the Connected Customer. Attendees will have the opportunity to network with key retail executives and their peers making this conference the must attend retail event of the year.  In these times of rapid advancements in technology it has never been more important for retailers to embrace change and apply creativity and uniqueness to enhance the consumer experience. Technology and innovation has been the driving force behind competitive advantage in retail.


The competitive terrain of retail IT continues to be ever changing. The role of IT must focus not only on the technical and business aspects of the company in order to be truly successful, but be in touch with the new connected customer.

With all that in mind, retailers must avail themselves of every opportunity to prepare for the 21st century and turn today’s technological challenges into competitive advantage.  Here are just a few of the IRUG speakers to help you do just that:

  • James Canton, PhD – Futurist, Author and Visionary Business Advisor
  • Darrell SandefurTechnology Architect, The Kroger Co.
  • Andrew B. Morris – CEO & Founder, Morris Advisors, Inc.
  • Richard Gilbert – Director, Store Systems, Duane Reade
  • Chris Schwanz – Program Manager, International Dairy Queen
  • Richard Mader – Executive Director, ARTS
  • Daniel L. Hopping – President and CEO, Next Retail Group, Inc.

IBM’s John Gaydac, Vice President, WW Retail Solution Sales, IBM Retail Store Solutions and Steve Ladwig General Manager, IBM Retail Store Solutions, will share “IBM Executive Perspectives” ― their view of the revolution taking place in Retail and how it is driving IBM’s Global retail strategy.

The conference will feature two Super Sessions hosted by IBM and Motorola and 33 Elective Sessions. Since the IBM Retail User Group is fundamentally about education and the sharing of experiences, many of the retailers, IBM and IBM Business partners participate in the sharing of experience. The strength of the IBM Retail User Group conference has been the quality of content, industry relevance and the open exchange of member experiences. Informative content generates enthusiasm, and establishes the atmosphere for discussion and dialogue to meet the competitive challenges of our times. We believe that now more than ever, retailers must seize the opportunity to turn the technology challenges they face today into competitive advantage of tomorrow. Plan to join us in May; check us out:  

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