Chief Marketing Officer at BookingBug based in Boston, MA.

The top 7 sessions not to miss at NRF’19


It’s that time of year again, and NRF is just around the corner. NRF is the world’s largest retail conference and expo. However, it isn’t just a conference, it’s also a community with a global audience and exhibitor base. We’re excited to be a bronze sponsor for the third year and can’t wait to discuss all the latest innovations and digital transformation initiatives in retail at booth #4454, level 3.


The definition of digital transformation in retail is “what it takes to move from a buy low/sell high model that is product-centric, to an insight-driven model that is customer-centric,” according to Nikki Baird of Forbes. We’re about to take a deeper dive into the top trends and speaking sessions to look out for at this year’s largest retail conference. We’re entering a world where the consumer expects it all and retailers have to deliver.

1. Practical challenges of implementing and using data science effectively

Sunday, January 13th
10:15am - 10:45am
Innovation Stage

Successfully implementing advanced machine learning technology starts by understanding the ramifications this technology will have on all aspects of your business.

Tracey Welson-Rossman, Co-Chair and Co-Founder, Women in Tech Summit, Moderator
John Hill, CIO and SVP, Planning Carhartt
John Oberon, President, DecisionMines

2. The evolution of retail: How technology and women are disrupting the way we shop

Sunday, January 13th
10:30am - 11am
Innovation Stage

Women make more than 80% of the purchasing decisions. In this candid talk, leaders share how female consumers, mobile phones and advancing technology—such as AI, blockchain, and chatbots—are changing the retail landscape.

Tony Drockton, Founder & Chief Cheerleader, Hammitt
Nicky Hilton, Fashion Designer
Ali Kriegsman, Co-Founder and COO, Bulletin
Janet Sherlock, Chief Information Officer, Ralph Lauren

3. The science behind the art - How fashion retailers use data to improve everything!

Sunday, January 13th
1:00pm - 1:30pm
Innovation Stage

In fashion, data drives everything. From garment design, manufacturing processes, logistics, authentication, improving the customer experience and even placement of physical stores - no aspect of this industry has been left untouched by the treasure trove of insight to be found in consumer and product data.

Karen Harvey, CEO, Karen Harvey Consulting Group, Founder, Fashion Tech Forum & INDX, MODERATOR
Jessica Murphy, Co-Founder and Chief Customer Officer, True Fit
Meaghan Rose, CEO and Founder, Rocksbox
Aaron Sanandres, Co-Founder and CEO, UNTUCKit

4. Creating Brand Ambassadors from employees to customers

Monday, January 14th
Stage 4, EXPO Hall, Level 1

Brand Ambassadors are those people who are willing to put their name next to your brand. They are the people who will tell their friends good things about your brand and their experiences at your brand. We want as many Brand Ambassadors as we can get and they may be customers or they may be employees. Come hear what top retailers are doing to influence both Customers and Employees and convert them into Brand Ambassadors.

Alan Langford, Sr. Dir., Broadcast Communications, JCPenney
Lynn Loignon, Retail Communication Consultant, Loignon Associates
Mike Tippets, VP, Marketing and Org Development, Hughes Network Systems LLC

5. Innovate or die: Bridging the physical and digital divide

Monday, January 14th
11:45am - 12:15pm
Stage 3, EXPO Hall, Level 1

Retailers have become exceedingly vulnerable to digital disruption due to startups, new competition, and increased customer expectations. As customers pivot to digital channels, physical stores are still critical to help solve complex issues and find personalized advice. Learn how leading retailers such as LEGO and Bed Bath & Beyond are navigating disruption through tackling the omnichannel challenge, reimagining store functions, supercharging staff with insight and more.

Glenn Shoosmith, CEO and Founder, BookingBug

6. Frictionless retail in the age of the “always on” consumer

Tuesday, January 15
10:15am –10:45am
Innovation Stage, Level 4

As the age of the “always on” consumer continues, so does the demand for new levels of ease, connectivity and efficiency in the shopping experience. We asked Mark Taylor, Managing Director, Capgemini, and a panel of expert practitioners to examine how retailers and technology companies have answered these demands. Hear how our panelists and other brands have created streamlined consumer journeys across both channels and devices that merge physical interactions with digital engagements, enabled their customers to manage the retail relationship on their own terms, and enhanced the entire shopping experience by reinforcing the social nature of shopping.

Mark Taylor, Managing Director, Global Lead Customer Engagement, Capgemini Invent, MODERATOR
John Frierson, President, Fred Segal
Ajay Kori, Co-Founder, UrbanStems
Scott Tannen, CEO, Boll and Branch
Stephane Wyper, SVP, New Commerce Partnerships and Commercialization, Mastercard

7. Tech first: How retail is reimagining talent and acquisition for the digital generation

Tuesday, January 15th
2:00pm - 2:45pm
Feature Stage

Top companies continually expand their capabilities by bringing in people who are well-versed in the latest groundbreaking tech. Finding and recruiting new employees that are largely unfamiliar to a legacy organization is only half the challenge. The next is integrating these hires into the operation so they succeed and influence the larger culture.

Jeff Beer, Senior Staff Editor, Fast Company, MODERATOR
Margo Downs, Chief People and Culture Officer, Stitch Fix
Karalyn Smith, Senior Vice President, HR, Sephora


In the era of the customer-centric digital transformation, there seem to be a couple of retailers who are ahead of the pack. This is due to their willingness to invest in new technologies to gain valuable data and then looking at the ROI, rather than the other way round. We are facing a retail apocalypse where companies need to shape up and implement new technologies to keep their customers engaged in order to increase their conversions. Come and see us at booth #4454, level 3 to discover how your company could stay ahead of the game with BookingBug.

Check out our latest eBook: Discover how retailers can increase their conversion by implementing technology.