Shoptalk releases final conference agenda

Shoptalk has released the final agenda for its inaugural conference in May. There are currently more than 225 speakers and 100 conference sessions related to disruptive and innovative retail technologies and trends. 

                   See the full agenda

Top line speakers recently added include Mary Lou Kelley, president of e-commerce at Best Buy; RJ Pittman, chief product officer at eBay; Ryan Ross, exec-VP of marketing and digital commerce at HSN; and Helen Vaid, VP digital stores operations and experience, Walmart e-commerce.

Previously announced speakers hail from Kohl's, Macy's, Michael Kors and Target.

It's an ambitious program for a fledgling event, but its founders have a solid foundation to base it on. Anil Aggarwal, Jonathan Weiner and Don Kingsborough are all well versed in the world of start ups. Aggarwal and Weiner founded Money20/20 and helped develop Google Wallet, and Kingsborough was head of retail at PayPal.

"As tech entrepreneurs, innovation is in our DNA," Aggarwal told FierceRetail. "We wanted to take a community trying to figure out how to evolve their businesses, and bring that community together."

At its core, Shoptalk attempts to bring together established companies, startups and disruptors with the venture capitalists that fund this new ecosystem.

"The established world has scale, and they're trying to evolve their businesses," Aggarwal said. "Our entire agenda is pieces of disruptive innovation, so that the whole agenda represents disruption comprehensively."

One of the things that really stands to set Shoptalk apart is that it's not a pay-to-play event model. No speakers or panelists have paid to be part of the program.

"We're making sure that Shoptalk isn't a transactional marketplace," said Aggarwal. "The entire events business for retailers today is transactional, vendors who want to sell them something. There's an important place for that, but it's not what we are."

"You don't build a community during a period of disruptive innovation by doing things like that."

With several tracks and overlapping conference sessions, there is a lot to cover. Most organizations are sending multiple attendees, and Aggarwal is advising them to not just send senior executives. "Send smart people, send your rising stars. The ones you want to make an investment in."
The conference is designed to host 2,000 attendees maximum, making sure that no one will be left standing outside an otherwise too-full conference session. Everyone will be able to watch and listen to a keynote fireside chat with former JCPenney CEO Ron Johnson.

Shoptalk runs May 15-18 at the Aria, Las Vegas.

For more:
-See this Shoptalk press release
-See the Shoptalk agenda

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