A Trip to the Windy City to See the IRCE & Retail Innovation Conference and Expo

Last week, the buzzing city of Chicago hosted the highly-anticipated Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition (IRCE) and the Retail Innovation Conference and Expo at the iconic McCormick Place. As an enthusiastic attendee, I eagerly dived into this innovative hub, where retail, technology, and ecommerce titans gathered to redefine the future of commerce.

From the moment I stepped onto the expansive show floor, the energy was palpable. Thousands of professionals, from all corners of the globe, filled the halls of McCormick Place. There was a distinct feeling of anticipation and excitement as we collectively envisioned the new horizons of the retail and ecommerce industries.

The IRCE segment of the conference showcased a myriad of keynotes, panel discussions, and networking opportunities. The well-organized sessions offered deep insights into ecommerce trends, digital strategies, and customer engagement techniques, covering everything from mobile shopping and social commerce to email marketing and data analytics.

For the first time in many years I participated in retailer day and participated in a couple of the workshops. The Future of Retail Marketing & Advertising with Generative AI which was delivered by Olivia Reid & Heather Peterson. These ladies really know their stuff! I left with a number of new AI tools to test and even better insight into the competition that new generative AI companies should expect to face.

I also enjoyed the workshop entitled New ecommerce Frameworks to Activate Digital Growth presented by Sharon Gai. Her career experiences have clearly had her involved deeply in a great number of exciting projects as illustrated by her energetic and deeply knowledgeable conversation. I found the information that she shared about China Market APPS to be particularly thorough and insightful. 

Perhaps the most exciting part of the Retail Innovation Conference Expo hall was the Innovation Zone. It was nice to see emerging tech receiving a special spotlight at the show. The passion that flowed from this area of the expo was truly inspiring, reinforcing my belief that innovation is alive and thriving in the retail industry.

Aside from the immersive learning and discovery experiences, the networking opportunities were invaluable. The meet-and-greet sessions, casual coffee breaks, and after-hours social events were the perfect platforms to connect with like-minded professionals. The diverse mix of attendees, from startups to established companies, offered a unique chance to share ideas, explore partnerships, and learn from each other’s experiences.

One of my favorite experiences about RICE is getting to tour some of the retail display companies’ displays. Getting to engage with the next generation of digital in-store retail displays, like what Glass-Media is developing, always blows me away.

Attending the IRCE & Retail Innovation Conference and Expo was more than just an opportunity to stay updated on industry trends and innovations. It was an inspiring and motivating journey, a chance to witness the future of retail unfold before my eyes, and a reminder that we are all contributors to this ever-evolving landscape.

As the event wrapped up, I walked away not just with a head full of ideas and a pocketful of business cards, but with a renewed enthusiasm for what the future holds. If this experience was any indicator, it’s clear that the future of retail is exciting, innovative, and full of endless possibilities.

 Thank you to everyone that participated in one of my walk-up PayEye demonstrations. Your encouragement and positive feedback was far more than I had anticipated. I look forward to seeing you all at the next show! In the meantime here is a virtual tour we put together of IRCE 2023.







Retail Innovation Conference & Expo IRCE Virtual Tour at McCormick Place in Chicago

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