GlobalShopGlobalShop aims to equip retailers with the necessary tools to build their brand and create a more effective retail environment. By Bianca Herron

GlobalShop will provide its more than 10,000 attendees, including designers working in retail, with a wide-variety of new products and ideas. As one of the leading sources for what’s new in retail design and marketing, GlobalShop has the single largest retail design audience of any event in the nation creating the opportunity for its attendees to network, make new acquaintances, and reconnect with existing ones.

Owned by Emerald Expositions, the largest operator of business-to-business trade shows in the United States, GlobalShop will host more than 500 exhibitors at Chicago’s McCormick Place March 27-29. The GlobalShop 2017 event launched the first ever Experience Journey, which will return this year with the theme of “Inspired Retail.”

Key show highlights include insightful educational sessions, design:retail CitySCENE’s networking event, and IIDA’s product design competition. Kendra Scott’s Chief Marketing and Revenue Officer Tom Nolan will also deliver the keynote address “Inspiring Brand Loyalty, One Store At A Time.”

Presented by WWD, Nolan will discuss how the fast-growing lifestyle brand creates retail experiences centered on family, fashion, and philanthropy. Attendee’s will gain insight into Kendra Scott’s unique culture, staffing, store design, customer service as well as community engagement and branding that propel the billion-dollar brand.

In addition, each day a hidden golden ticket will be placed in a secret location on the show floor. Attendee’s can check GlobalShop’s social media, @GlobalShopShow and #GlobalShop, for clues on where the golden ticket may be found. The first one to find the ticket each day will win a prize.

GlobalShop has also teamed up with The Magnificent Mile® Association on the Windows of The Magnificent Mile program held during the trade show. The program features window displays from 15 to 20 retailer members of the association with materials provided by GlobalShop exhibitors.

The windows displays will be unveiled with a big reveal the first morning of GlobalShop, March 27, and will remain on display through the month of April. The Windows of The Magnificent Mile program is not only a celebration of the retail design industry, but also a nationally marketed consumer campaign to pique the interest of shoppers and drive foot traffic to brick-and-mortar stores. The displays will be branded with a custom Windows of The Magnificent Mile cling featuring the name/logo and booth number at GlobalShop.

bossardIn 2017, the hottest toys included collectibles, squishies, slime, and toys based on popular entertainment properties. By Bianca Herron

At the upcoming Toy Fair show Feb. 17 to 20, every inch of available space at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center will be filled with hundreds of thousands of creative new toys and games, including affordable collectibles and innovative tech toys to licensed product and retro playthings, according to The Toy Association’s Executive Vice President of Global Market Events Marian Bossard.

“Buyers and other trade guests will have access to more than 1,000 innovative global toymakers,” Bossard says. “This not only includes veterans brands, but also more than 100 first-time exhibitors whose never-before-seen toys will be featured in the launch pad section of the show. In all, 30,000 global play professionals vying for a stake in the $27 billion U.S. toy market will be at Toy Fair.”

In addition to being one of the top events to spot the latest trends in toys and play, Toy Fair will also feature educational programming and networking activities to ensure that its 30,000 attendees have a satisfying experience. “Seminar highlights include the always well-attended toy safety seminar, drop-in sessions and workshops for entrepreneurs, a toy trends briefing led by our in-house trend experts, an insight-driven seminar led by staff at Amazon, and sessions tailored to the needs of specialty retailers,” Bossard notes.

Attendees also can plan their visit and navigate the show by downloading the Toy Fair Mobile app, which is free on iTunes and Google Play. The app lists seminars and special events, shuttle bus schedules, the exhibitor floor plan and more. “Buyers who want to get a head-start on discovering new products and companies at Toy Fair can also,” Bossard says. “It’s the toy community’s premier e-commerce platform, which enables retailers and toy companies to connect year-round and conduct business efficiently online.”

Top Trends of 2017

In 2017, collectibles, squishies, slime and toys based on popular entertainment properties were a huge success across all age groups. Traditional toys with tried-and-true play value – from board games and puzzles to dolls and plush – also drove sales, says Adrienne Appell, director of strategic communications.

“Affordable collectibles of all kind – a trend we dubbed Collectibles 2.0 – was one of the year’s biggest trends,” she says. “From skill-building and innovative collectibles to collectibles in blind packs, these toys were a top contributor to industry growth. We also saw a surge in educational toys for all age groups, and an array of licensed toys infused with creative components and educational play value.”

In a tech-driven world, it’s hard to believe that classic toys and games, including plush, are experiencing a surge in popularity, she adds. “Recent sales growth in traditional categories proves that millennial parents are seeking traditional toys that empower their kids to use their imaginations and limit screen-time,” Appell says. “For generations, kids have played with dolls and stuffed toys, which allow kids to act out their future roles as parents and foster open-ended play.”

2018 Toy Trends Forecast

The Toy Association’s top trends of 2018 will be announced Feb. 18 during its “Toy Trends Briefing.” “Our trend experts will share each of the top-line trends using product examples directly from the show floor,” Appell explains. “While I can’t give the trends away just yet, I can say that toys that teach a wide spectrum of topics will be popular this year, including playthings that teach kids how to make the world a better place. We’re also expecting to see a surge in classic toys and retro brands that attract parents looking to engage with their kids on an unplugged level.”

SLTSMore than 2,000 attendees will gather Jan. 23-25 in Las Vegas. By Nikki Puckett

The 12th annual Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show takes place Jan. 23-25, 2018, at the Las Vegas Convention Center. This year’s show is expected to be the largest to date, and will feature an expanded educational program for retailers and be co-located for the first time with the ICLA Winter Symposium.

Products for Every Fan

More than 2,000 qualified retailers and universities are expected to be in attendance. Attendees represent stores of all sizes and range from specialty shops to department stores to mass-market retailers. The vast array of product categories on display from exhibitors make the show appealing to a variety of retailers.

Approximately 400 companies will exhibit, showing off the latest fan gear to expand the product offerings of retailers. Exhibiting licensees represent all professional and collegiate leagues and teams, and will showcase merchandise in every possible product category from toys and games to apparel, pet products and more. Licensors and agents that participate include IMG College Licensing, Learfield Licensing Partners, NASCAR, Fermata Partners, NHL, and the NBA and NFL Players Associations.

More than 70 new exhibitors have already signed up. First time exhibitors include: Alex and Ani, All Star Dogs, Badger Sportswear, Branded Custom Sportswear Inc./Nike, C&I Collectables, Campus Crew, Catstudio Inc., Charles River Apparel, CI Sport, Coopersburg Sports, Covo Drinkware, Dependable Solutions, DGL Group LTD, Epicurean Cutting Surfaces, Fan Brander, Gracious Living Corp, Greeting Pen Company, Groove Life, Hex Head Art, Hype & Vice, J.F. Sports Canada, College Wallets- College Coolerz, Jardine Associates, Jerzee Art, Kotis Design, Landway, Lauren James, Let’s Light It Up, Lokai Holdings, Nap Cap, Neil Enterprises and NEU Retail.

Additional first-time exhibitors include Nuboard Media, Otter Products, Ouray Sportswear/Holloway, Outugo Inc, Pennington and Bailes, Potter Manufacturing Co, Profile Ent., PROUD Athletics, 2Undr, Score! Designs LLC, Signature Announcements, Simple Modern, Sparta 2002 Designs & Promotions, Spirit Products Ltd, Sports Coverage Inc., Stahls, Strand Art Co, SWEN Products Inc., Tailgater Plates, Tailgating Specialties, Teamwork Athletic Apparel, The Life is Good Company, Timex, Tradition Ever Since, Tribal Inflatable Standup Paddleboards, U.S. Digital Media, University Frames Inc., Vive Le Fete Collegiate, WNA Inc. and Zags LLC.

Expanded Education for Retailers

A new lineup of educational sessions is in the works, with help from the International Licensing Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA), the Independent College Bookstore Association (ICBA) and The Mann Group. LIMA will present trends in the licensing industry for 2018 and beyond, based on its industry survey data.

The Mann Group and ICBA will focus on topics relevant to all types of retailers, including developing healthy supplier partnerships and strategies for assortment planning. All of these sessions are free to registered attendees and are designed to give retailers the tools they need to efficiently and effectively grow their businesses.

The educational program kicks off with the 2nd Annual Industry Breakfast and Keynote Speaker. The Industry Breakfast was introduced in 2017 when University of Alabama Athletic Director Bill Battle delivered the show’s first keynote address to a full room. The 2018 Industry Keynote and Breakfast is open to all attendees and exhibitors and will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 23. The keynote speaker will be announced in the coming weeks.

In addition to the SLTS sessions, the International Collegiate Licensing Association (ICLA) will host its Winter Symposium in the days leading up to the show. The ICLA Winter Symposium will consist of two days of educational programming and networking opportunities. Separate registration is required to attend the Winter Symposium. Visit for more information.

Money Back on Purchases

The License To Buy Show Specials Program will be back in 2018. A favorite among exhibitors and retailers, this exclusive rebate program gives buyers money back on orders they are already placing at the show. Retail buyers are rewarded based on the number and dollar amount of orders placed with participating exhibitors. Last year more than $3.9 million in orders were written across the three-day show with 98 participating exhibitors. The show gave back nearly $70,000 in rebates to buyers.

Other show highlights include The Opening Night Party and the New Product Zone. The Opening Night Party is the official gathering of all attendees and exhibitors for food, drink and networking. The party will convene Jan. 23 in the Sports Lounge. The New Product Zone is a special display area that lets buyers preview exhibitors’ latest products before they even enter the show floor.

Qualified buyers can register for just $60 prior to Jan. 22. Visit for more information or to register.

ETAIL PREVIEWCES is a high-level business event that touches every industry, reflecting and driving global technology innovation as it evolves. By Bianca Herron

CES® 2018 will bring together more than 170,000 attendees from more than 150 countries when it convenes Jan. 9-12 in Las Vegas. Touted as the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technologies, CES’s exhibit floor boasts more than 2 million square feet featuring 3,900 exhibiting companies.

From keynote addresses to more than 300 conference sessions and events and awards, CES has it all. The CES 2018 conference sessions touch on nearly every topic arising from the show floor including key trends as well as emerging technologies. 

Taking the Podium

Owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), CES is one of the world’s top podiums for CEOs. Esteemed speakers tout disruptive technology and envision new trends and markets through the CES conference program.

This year’s keynotes will take place in two venues this year — the Venetian’s Palazzo Ballroom and a new location, the Monte Carlo’s Park Theater. Intel Corporation CEO Brian Krzanich will return to the CES keynote stage to deliver the pre-show address Monday, Jan. 8, in the Monte Carlo’s Park Theater.

Krzanich last delivered a CES keynote in 2016 where he outlined the expanding boundaries of technology and how the world is being reshaped. The following year he hosted a first-of-its-kind press conference in virtual reality (VR) at the show.

This year, Krzanich returns with a keynote that will explore how the industry is entering an artificial intelligence revolution. Additionally, he will showcase the new experiences that are possible when the power of data is unlocked, according to a release.

“We love hosting Brian Krzanich as a CES keynoter,” Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CTA said. “Not only is he an incredible visionary, but he backs up his visions with action. Intel’s focus on data combined with Brian’s forward-thinking outlook is shaping innovation of the future.

“Brian’s fourth keynote at CES will show how Intel is taking the next steps to reimagine how data will create amazing new experiences that will transform daily lives,” he adds.

In addition, Huawei’s CEO of Consumer Business Group Richard Yu will deliver a keynote address Tuesday, Jan. 9, in the Venetian Palazzo Ballroom. In 2017, Yu took to the CES keynote stage to discuss the future of mobility, specifically in the areas of artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality and connected technologies.

He returns in 2018 to share Huawei’s exploration on future connectivity and strategy in AI, the Internet of things and new smart devices. Yu’s keynote mirrors many of the key industry trends that will be showcased throughout CES.

According to a release, numerous exhibitors at CES will display the latest connected technologies, specifically focused on IoT, 5G connectivity, transportation, artificial intelligence and data analytics.

“Mr. Yu is an industry visionary pioneering the future of mobility,” Shapiro said. “Under his leadership, Huawei has become a world-class, global brand that represents innovation and the power of connectivity. We look forward to welcoming Mr. Yu back to the CES keynote stage.”

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NACSMore than 23,000 attendees will convene in Chicago to network and learn. By Bianca Herron

Each year, the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) Show brings together convenience and fuel retailing industry professionals for four days of learning, buying and selling, and networking to help them grow their bottom line.

As the industry’s premier event, this year the NACS show will be held Oct. 17-20 in Chicago. More than 23,000 attendees from around the world will convene at the 400,000 square foot expo, which features thousands of the latest products and services that c-stores sell and use every day.

The NACS expo is segmented into six categories: Fuel Equipment & Services, Food Equipment & Foodservice Programs, Candy/Snacks, Facility Development & Store Operations, and Merchandise and Technology. Each area of the NACS show provides all attendees a one-of-a-kind, hands-on experience to meet everyone of their individual and very unique needs.

For example, the expo’s Cool New Products Preview Room is loaded with new innovations, products, services and other growth opportunities. The preview room is segmented into seven areas to help attendees easily locate new products: Green (eco-friendly), Health & Wellness, New Design, New Flavors, New to the Industry, New Services and New Technology.

Fresh Ideas

Attendees will be able to dive into specific industry topics with the show’s more than 55 educational sessions. Each session at the show is thoughtfully developed by industry leaders and led by respected industry experts.

The learning possibilities for attendees are limitless, with topics such as succession planning, retaining employees within a changing workforce, trends in foodservice culture and strategizing under uncertainty.

For many, learning from education sessions is one of the primary reasons for attending the annual NACS show. To optimize its attendees’ experience, for the second year in a row, NACS is offering Session Sign-up.

“Each year we strive to deliver value through our educational content while offering a satisfying experience that is conducive to learning,” NACS Chief Marketing Officer and Vice President of Training and Development Doug Reed said in a release. “The use of Session Sign-up demonstrates that we’ve listened and have worked to improve the on-site attendee experience.

“By encouraging NACS Show attendees to sign up for education sessions in advance, NACS will be better able to match session demand with room sizes and give attendees a seat in the sessions they want to experience most,” he adds.

Engagement Efforts

This year’s NACS Show general session speakers aim to inspire attendees on various topics, including culture and employee engagement. This year’s general speaker lineup includes William Shatner, Chip Conley and Eric Chester.

On Oct. 17, motivational speaker and author Eric Chester will focus on creating a culture that makes a retailers’ company a great place to work. “Culture is nothing that can be passed down from the corporate office,” Chester said in a release. “You’ve got to be a great place to work.”

During his talk, he will focus on how to achieve that through compensation, alignment, atmosphere, growth, autonomy, communication and acknowledgement.

Conley, a strategic advisor for Airbnb, said he learned how to be a great manager by observing one of his former bosses at McDonald’s do everything wrong. On Oct. 18, Conley’s session will focus on how to keep c-store employees motivated and share tips like listening to employees, and asking what retailers can do to support them.

On Oct. 20, Hollywood icon and philanthropist Shatner will serve as the closing speaker of the NACS show. With a career that has spanned more than half a century, Shatner has been a director, actor, producer, recording artist, author, horseman, pitchman and screenwriter.

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