San Diego Comic ConWith more than 135,000 attendees each year, San Diego Comic-Con showcases the latest, on-trend programming in pop culture. (Photo credit: Melia Robinson/Tech Insider) By Bianca Herron

San Diego Comic-Con returns to the San Diego Convention Center beginning with Preview night on Wednesday, July 19 through Sunday, July 23. 

This year is San Diego Comic-Con’s 48th year, making it North America’s longest continuously run comics and popular arts convention.

Organized by the San Diego Comic Convention, its parent organization, San Diego Comic-Con is held each July in San Diego, Calif., at the San Diego Convention Center. More than 135,000 people and over 1,000 exhibitors attend the pop culture convention each year.

Some of its highlights include a diverse exhibit floor featuring publishers, movie studios, television networks, game manufacturers, interactive multimedia and retail art. San Diego Comic-Con prides itself for featuring 2,000 hours of programming on all aspects of comics and popular art.

Attendees will be able to peruse a wide selection of timely programs, including new movies, television shows, comics, games and other aspects of popular art.

“As fans of pop culture ourselves, we always try to produce the type of event we would want to attend,” Communications & Strategy Coordinator Robert Sayler told Retail Merchandiser.

“I think this is part of the reason for our continued success,” he adds. “No matter your interest, you’ll love our programming. If you are a film fan, then news and celebrities (both from behind and in front of the camera) might be the most outstanding for you. However, the same is true for comic fans, fans of costuming and videogames, amongst other things.

“It’s wonderful seeing so many people have a genuinely great time,” Sayler concludes. “Even if they have to wait in line, they make the most of it by making new friends and sharing stories of their experiences at the show. Hopefully they were introduced to new adventures and look forward to taking part in those adventures again.” 

ETAIL PREVIEWeTail provides a high-quality, curated platform to ensure its attendees take away solutions and are networking with the right people. By Bianca Herron

Founded in 1999, eTail was born with one goal in mind: to provide an outlet for online and multichannel executives to grow their business.

Eighteen years later, eTail is a global conference series with major events in Palm Springs, Fla.; Boston; and Toronto, London, Berlin, and other international cities.

This year’s event will be held in Boston, Aug. 15-18 at the Sheraton Boston Hotel. Organized by the Worldwide Business Research, the solutions-driven conference will cover hot topics such as e-commerce through interactive roundtable discussions, panels, workshops and presentations.

Through premier content, eTail is designed to help its versatile mix of retailers – who make up 60 percent of the event’s attendance – to optimize profits from their business.

With 3,000 attendees, more than 100 speakers and hundreds of retail companies – from start-ups to travel, beauty, arts, electronics and more – eTail provides a high-quality, curated platform to ensure its attendees take away solutions and are networking with the right people.

eTail will feature an elite panel of speakers from across the retail industry, such as apparel and accessories to major department stores and electronics. Notable speakers at this year’s show include John Yesko, senior director of digital experience for Walgreens; Paul Murray, director of digital innovation for Dunkin Brands; and Rajeev Rai, CTO for Neiman Marcus.

Highlights of the event’s educational and track program include:

Panel Discussion: “Keep Your Customer Coming Back For More: Enhancing The Relationship With Your Brand.” Speakers: Vice President of Direct Marketing for Wayfair Robert Sherwin and Bridget O’Brien, vice president of brand, communications and creative for Vistaprint.

Panel Discussion: “Going Beyond Omni-Channel: Removing Channel Barriers To Better Serve Your Customers.” Speaker: Rajeev Rai, CTO for Neiman Marcus.

Keynote Panel Debate: “Understanding Disruption, Innovation and Brick and Mortar Success.”

Panel Discussion: “The e-Commerce Platform Landscape: Taking A Look At What Powers Your Business.”

Panel Discussion: “Making The Mobile Experience Better For Today’s Consumers To Convert Traffic To Sales.

JCK Las VegasThe event will feature more than 2,300 exhibitors from around the globe showcasing the latest on-trend collections and technology. By Bianca Herron

More than 23,000 retailers and industry professionals will gather this spring to attend JCK Las Vegas, the jewelry industry’s leading annual trade event. Part of the Reed Jewelry Group division of Reed Exhibitions, JCK Las Vegas will be held at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas June 5 - 8. 

The event will feature more than 2,300 exhibiting vendors from around the globe, showcasing finished jewelry, timepieces, loose gemstones, equipment, supplies, security and business solutions. Attendees will have the opportunity to view thousands of new and trendy styles, collections and technology. 

Each year, JCK Las Vegas aims to bring together the world’s most influential industry professionals in an upbeat environment for order writing, educational sessions and networking.

One major highlight of the show is its end-of-show celebratory event called JCK Rocks the Bowl! It takes place at Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas, the hottest venue on The Strip, on Wednesday evening. 

JCK Talks, a complimentary education program for attendees, is also a notable highlight of the show. The program kicks off Sunday, June 4 - one day before the JCK Las Vegas show floor opens - and continues on Monday, June 5, with a spotlight on JCK’s industry partners called JCK Talks - Afternoon with the Associations.

The event aims to provide retailers with the tools, insights and information necessary to succeed in the current retail climate. Sessions of the event will touch on topics like “Keys to Attracting Customers,” “How to Deal with Key Issues Facing All Jewelry Retailers” and “Understanding Shifts in the Luxury Market.”

In addition, JCK Las Vegas has partnered with the Jewelers Security Alliance -- a nonprofit trade association with nearly 20,000 members -- to launch a new neighborhood pavilion dedicated to security solutions. 

This new destination on the JCK Las Vegas show floor will feature tailored security solution providers whose products and services are designed to keep jewelry businesses safe. Participating vendors will feature physical security solutions, IT security solutions, payment processing, shipping solutions, fraud protection, private security, system integrators, and RFID and tracking technology.

According to JCK Industry Vice President Katie Dominesey, security remains a top priority for both large and small jewelry businesses that are challenged to keep up with new technology that will reduce risks within their businesses. “As the jewelry industry’s premier marketplace, JCK Las Vegas is a natural fit for introducing a dedicated destination on the show floor where vendors can provide critical solutions to keeping retail businesses thriving in today’s world,” Dominesey said in a statement.

Jewelers Security Alliance is also “excited” about its new partnership with the jewelry trade event, President John Kennedy added. 

“Security is a vital issue for jewelers, and buyers at the show will now have a focused opportunity to learn about and order the security protection all jewelers need,” he said. “For exhibitors, the partnership provides a great opportunity to reach a huge, fresh audience of jewelry retailers and manufacturers who do not attend security trade shows, but have extensive security needs. 

“JCK Las Vegas is by far the largest and most important jewelry trade show in the U.S., and this show is the perfect place to bring together buyers and exhibitors which will help to make the jewelry industry safer,” he concluded.

NYCWFFCelebrating its 10-year anniversary, the New York City Wine & Food Festival aims to draw awareness and raise funds to help end hunger. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for NYCWFF) By Bianca Herron

More than 50,000 people attended last year’s New York City Wine & Food Festival (NYCWFF), which serves as an interactive platform where attendees can connect with their favorite chefs and culinary personalities.

Presented by Coca-Cola, this year the festival will celebrate its 10-year anniversary and strives to continue drawing awareness and raise funds to help end hunger.

Since it’s founding, 100 percent of the festival’s proceeds have benefitted hunger-relief organizations Food Bank For New York City and No Kid Hungry. To date, NYCWFF has raised more than $10 million for its charities.

This year’s festival will be held October 12-15 at various venues across New York City, however Piers 92 and 94 serve as the festival’s culinary epicenter of activity during the weekend, hosting many of its signature events. 

With more than 150 partners - including the Food Network & Cooking Channel and Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits - attendees will be able to sample a wide array of wines and spirits, discover new products, and taste carefully crafted dishes created by world-class talent and up-and-coming chefs. Additionally, the New York City Wine & Food Festival will have more than 300 chefs/restaurants present at 70 events that take place throughout its celebratory weekend.

One of the festival’s signature events taking place at Pier 94 on Saturday, Oct. 14 and Sunday, Oct. 15, is the Grand Tasting presented by ShopRite. The event features Samsung® Culinary Demonstrations, which showcases live demos from Food Network & Cooking Channel personalities, plus book signings and various wine, spirits and food tastings that all take place within NYCWFF’s 135,000-square-foot culinary playground.

Other fan-favorite events include the Burger Bash® hosted by Rachael Ray, Tacos & Tequila hosted by Aarón Sánchez, Pigs and Pints hosted by Robert Irvine, Greenmarket Brunch hosted by Geoffrey Zakarian, Variety presents Broadway Tastes, Lucky Chopsticks: An Asian Night Market hosted by Andrew Zimmer, and Oyster Bash.

New events that will be held at the 10-year anniversary festival include a celebration of women mixologists and chefs at Femme Fatale with Speed Rack hosted by Anne Burrell, a Family Italian Harvest Party hosted by Giada De Laurentiis and her daughter Jade, a Late-Night Sandwich Eggs-travaganza party, Isreali Brunch hosted by Michael Solomonov and Rooftop Rosé at The Top of the Standard.

“We are also hosting several family-friendly events this year,” festival Founder and Director Lee Brian Schrager says. “Expanding upon the success of last year’s introduction of the Culinary Demonstrations Only ticket at our signature Grand Tasting presented by ShopRite, this year’s line-up also features an ice cream social and Italian Harvest Party that fans of all ages can enjoy.”

The New York City Wine & Food Festival began as a one-night event called SWEET in the fall of 2007. In 2008, Schrager launched the inaugural NYCWFF, which has quickly grown to mirror its sister festival, the Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival, or SOBEWFF.

Ultimately, after 10 years, Lee is most proud that the New York City Wine & Food Festival has raised more than $10 million to help end hunger with Food Bank For New York City and No Kid Hungry.

“We are grateful to all of the talent, partners and fans who support NYCWFF – it takes a village, as they say, and we’re thankful for all that join us to eat, drink and end hunger,” Lee says.

As NYCWFF looks ahead, he concludes, “We want to continue celebrating great wine, food and spirits via unique events that drive awareness and raise funds to help close the gap on hunger in our country.”

 57A0384The IRCE event will provide attendees with solutions-driven educational sessions about e-commerce, including marketing trends. By Michelle Soriano

To excel in e-retail, you need to have the right strategies, technologies and connections in place to stay competitive. The Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition (IRCE), the must-attend event for e-commerce and retail professionals, has what you need to stay ahead in your business. Taking place June 6-9,2017, at Chicago’s McCormick Place West, this gathering of nearly 10,000 professionals is where experts, insights and innovation converge.

Knowledge is more than power – in e-commerce, it’s profit. IRCE offers practical, relevant education sessions – in six workshops and ten tracks – that cover the topics e-retailers want to learn about, from marketing trends, B2B-specific challenges to the latest technology and more. Our experts know exactly how to translate the information you need into the results you want. 

Find solutions to your most pressing challenges, and come away with actionable answers and practical tactics for building your sales and your brand. This year, the agenda has been expanded to include a dedicated track for the fashion/apparel/home furnishings industry, as well as two new workshops, focusing on direct-to-consumer and design and usability.

The adjacent expo hall boasts nearly 600 of the top technology and solution providers. Your company needs to stand out in the crowded e-commerce marketplace, and we have the technologies to keep your sales growing. Whether you’re looking to build loyalty, optimize search or drive revenue across every channel, you’ll find what you need here to keep you ahead of your competition.

When it comes to building your professional network, IRCE knows that there’s nothing better than connecting face-to-face. That’s why we’ve designed an unbeatable experience that brings you together with e-retail leaders, expert speakers and peers facing similar challenges. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to share insights, trade experiences and solidify relationships, all in a professional environment that facilitates connections.

Don't miss our main stage speakers, including Shark Tank's Barbara Corcoran and Under Armour. For mre information, check out IRCE's educational programming and tracks agenda:

Wednesday, June 7

Track: Fashion: Try it On!

10:30-11:30 a.m. – “How to Win the Sale When Going Head to Head with Your Own Brand”. Speaker: Jose Nino, Vice President of E-Commerce Digital Marketing for Perry Ellis International.

1:15-1:45 p.m. – “Knock It Off! Tactics to Combat Counterfeits”. Speakers: Alan Behr, Partner and Chairman of Fashion Practice for Phillips Nizer LLP and Zach Toczynski, Director of Global Brand Enforcement for Levi Strauss & Co.

1:45-2:15 p.m. – “Preserving Brand Value on Marketplaces”. Speakers: Matt Kubancik, President of Founder Street Moda and Tony Chvala, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Marketing Officer for

3:15-3:45 p.m. – “Best in Show: Apparel Innovations”. Speaker: Lauren Freedman, Senior Vice President of Digital Strategy and Chief Merchant for the etailing group.

3:45-4:15 p.m. – “Fashion Apps: What’s in, Hot and Not”. Speaker: Lauren Kaufman Witten, Vice President of Luxury for Retail L2.

4:15-4:45 p.m. – “Live Reviews: Is Your Site On Trend or a Fashion Faux Pas?”. Speaker: Scott Kincaid, Vice President of User Experience for Usability Sciences.

Thursday, June 8

Track: Marketplaces

10:30-11:00 a.m. – “The Marketplace Pioneer—What’s Next at the Amazon Marketplace”. Speaker: Peeyush Nahar, Vice President for Amazon Marketplace.

11-11:30 a.m. – “Where It All Began – eBay Today and Tomorrow."

1:15-1:45 p.m. – “The State of Online Marketplaces: Who Offers What to Whom”. Speaker: Fareeha Ali, Senior Research Analyst for Internet Retailer.

1:45-2:15 p.m. – “How to Figure Out Which Marketplaces You Should be Selling On”. Speakers: Andrew Vagenas, Chief Executive Officer for Pharmapacks and Nathan Gordon, CIO for Christmas Central.

3:15-3:45 p.m. – “Advertising on Amazon: How to Implement a Large-Scale Ad Strategy on the Amazon Marketplace”. Speakers: Gavin Herbert, Manager of Digital Marketing for Mophie and Rick Backus, Chief Executive Officer for CPC Strategy.

3:45-4:15 p.m. – “Marketplace Financials: Do the Numbers Work for You?”. Speakers: Ian MacDonald, Director of E-Commerce for Silver Star Brands and Jason Boyce, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of

4:15-4:45 p.m. – “Make Sure Your Marketplace Sales Fit Into Your Broader Strategy”. Speaker: Fahim Naim, Founder of

Friday, June 9

Workshop: Direct to Consumer Workshop

8:15-8:45 a.m. – “Mapping the New World: How to Make the Transition to Consumer Selling”. Speaker: Callie Lushina, Vice President of Marketing for BioElements.

11:15 a.m. -12 p.m. – “Getting the Right Content to Where Consumers Are”. Speakers: Christian Santiago, Strategic Partner Development Lead for Google Manufacturer Center, Rob Gonzalez, Co-Founder of Salsify, and Sonesh Shah, Director of Digital for Bosch Power Tools.

12:30-1:15 p.m. – “Live Review: Does Your Site Have That Consumer Appeal”. Speakers: Adam Brown, Executive Creative Director for Gorilla Group and Kevin Eichelberger, Founder & CEO of Blue Acorn.

Michelle Soriano is the director of marketing for the IRCE. 

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