Want To Talk Back To StorefrontBacktalk At NRF?

For those of you are venturing to New York City's Javits Center for the NRF show next week, I want to first assure you that your fears that it will be freezing in the Big Apple in mid-January are unwarranted. The latest forecasts have high temperatures staying below 32 degrees so freezing it will not get. On Sunday, it will be a balmy 26 degrees.

But as long as you're coming, we'd love to ask you to drop by some of the StorefrontBacktalk events and do what our readers do best: yell at us. The first shouting opportunity will be at the RetailROI event at the Marriott East Side (Lexington and 49th) on Saturday at 2:45 PM. This charity event (www.retailroi.org) is designed to raise money for global orphan care and adoption support. But to do that, we get geeky for awhile.

Our panel is on retail security and it starts at 2:45 PM and features the CIO of the world's largest restaurant group: Delaney Bellinger from Yum Brands (Pizza Hut, KFC, Taco Bell and Long John Silver's, among others). Also on the panel are two of our esteemed columnists (Franchisee Columnist Todd Michaud and PCI Columnist Walt Conway) plus Mark Rasch, the former head of the U.S. Justice Department's high-tech crimes division.

The Saturday topics will include mobile payment security issues, the recent PCI Level 2 MasterCard changes and the fallout from the Gonzalez guilty pleas.

On Sunday morning, we'll be speaking at the Global Retail Executive breakfast at the Westin Times Square (8th and 43rd) at 8:15 AM. (We're waiving our standard rule for this event, which is that any food worth eating should never be eaten before Noon). The topic: Preparing For The Unexpected, Retail IT Style. We'll look at mobile commerce, social sites and how various chains have tried to balance (usually not that successfully) marketing, ethics and technology. RFID and loyalty cards will be another talking point.

All of these sessions will be short on presentations (as the crowd goes wild) and heavy on audience interactions. But just between us, I'm worried that the audiences that are now slated to attend will be far too polite. For the ultra-cynical, super-techy questions, I need our own readers to show up.

But if you're going to be bored of heavy duty business issues, our final event is on Tuesday night and is a dinner for StorefrontBacktalk subscribers at a ludicrously overpriced NYC eatery. (That only narrows it down to 2,000 or so places.) It's a private room at the restaurant so space is limited. If you're in IT, security or E-Commerce with one of the major chains, we'll absolutely try and get you in if you'd like. Just E-mail me directly and we'll do everything we can.