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Visual of Recapping NRF 2017 BlogWhenever you head to an industry event, you never know what you’re going to see at NRF’s Big Show. Our team is confident that this leading retail conference is a keeper for years to come. With nearly 35,000 people navigating the showroom floor to gain new insights and ideas about the future of retail technology, attendees and exhibitors alike were impressed with the sheer impact of the event. From impressive speaker sessions to innovative brand activations, we were pleased to immerse ourselves in the experience and discover new trends to help our clients stay ahead of the technology curve.

Below are some of the key highlights and memorable moments captured at this year’s event.

Witnessing our clients’ success. Our success at Media Frenzy Global is measured by the results we get for our clients. As retail journalists and analysts stopped by the LNL Systems’  booth to learn more about the company’s new SmartHub technology, it was rewarding to see our collaborative efforts come to fruition.

Engaging with the top retail innovators. This year’s experience was all about mixing and mingling with retailers of all scopes and sizes. As the global retail landscape continues to evolve, everyone we engaged agreed that the customer will reign supreme in 2017. From honing in on your buyer’s needs to creating personalized, unrivaled experiences, retail innovators are now having to rethink the consumer experience and what needs to be done to get ahead in a competitive market.

Retail disruption. New innovations and technical capabilities will continue to transform the retail industry, and new players are shaking things up, from mobile and app-based solutions to bringing artificial and augmented reality into the retail mix. The machines of tomorrow – cognitive systems — will forever change the way people interact with computing systems to help people extend their expertise and make complex decisions involving fast moving big data. One highlight for our team in particular was exploring the intricate details of the most high-tech cognitive dress co-designed by Marchesa and IBM Watson.  A cognitive system, according to IBM, is something that can can absorb and learn from a variety of data, provide reason over it, and then interact with people in a seemingly natural way. While the designers imagined the actual dress silhouette, many details depended on Watson. The finished product is called a cognitive dress, and it was created to coincide with last year’s Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute’s spring exhibition – Manus x Machine Fashion in the Age of Technology.

Winning big.  The chances of winning a free Apple Watch in a giveaway is slim – and our senior marketing manager did just that. While participating in a little friendly competition, our team had the opportunity to showcase our creative skills in the spirit of interactive brand engagement. And to think, our team almost missed out on this memorable experience in heavy pursuit of countless activations happening right on the expo floor.

Some topics that emerged throughout the conference that are worth sharing: connected customer experiences, engage buyers virtually anywhere, next-gen retailing, and the power in observation. Our team gained a deeper understanding of where retail is heading in the short and long-term and had just enough time to absorb the aesthetics of New York City. Not bad at all.