Independent Retailer Conference (IRC) is a pop-up conference dedicated to helping indie retailers succeed. The event brings together experts from across the retail industry, including the editor of Independent Retailer, to share advice and lead discussions on best practices, trends, technologies, and more. The next IRC is co-located with ASD Market Week, one of the largest retail trade shows. Running July 30th – August 2nd at the Las Vegas Convention Center, IRC and ASD Market Week are less than a week away. Independent Retailer sat down with IRC co-founder Nicole Leinbach Reyhle to discuss the history of IRC and what retailers can gain from attending next week’s conference in Las Vegas.
Independent Retailer: How did you become involved with the Independent Retailer Conference?
Nicole Leinbach Reyhle: Five years ago, Kerry Bannigan, the founder of Nolcha Events, and I wanted to create a unique retail education experience that delivered timely and relevant learning opportunities to independent retailers. Together we created the Independent Retailer Conference and while it was originally a free-standing event held in Chicago and New York, we have since partnered with ASD Market Week to hold our flagship Independent Retailer Conference experiences onsite at their bi-annual trade shows. This helps busy merchants gain quality learning experiences while also finding inventory for their stores, which is always a necessity among retailers.
IR: What is your experience working with indie retailers?
NLR: I consider myself very privileged to be able to support retailers through both of my companies, which include Retail Minded and the Independent Retailer Conference. It’s always an honor to research independent retailers and the ways in which they can better service their stores and overall retail operations. Independent retailers inspire me every day and I’m continuously amazed by their hard work and creativity.
IR: What resources and opportunities does IRC provide retailers?
NLR: The IRC introduces a variety of industry leaders and resources to the attendees of the Independent Retailer Conference. Companies that have included Yelp, Square, Refund Retriever and more are among those that deliver valuable educational experiences to attendees on our conference stage. Additionally, we encourage all attendees to engage, learn and connect with our industry experts in one-on-one experiences. This offers so much value to attendees since it allows retailers to ask the questions they need answered, discover new ways to help their business and meet like-minded industry leaders that they can learn from. There’s no other conference experience quite like the IRC and we couldn’t do what we do without the fantastic industry leaders and resources that help bring the IRC to life.
IR: What can retailers expect to gain from attending IRC?
NLR: Retailers who attend the IRC can expect to gain timely, relevant insight on the retail industry at large but more so, specific ways they can help their unique business. Whether you are a traditional brick and mortar store, sell online or both, the IRC offers insight and value for your business. This upcoming Independent Retailer Conference, for example, will include expert insight on new ways to monitor in-store traffic and customer sales, valuable resources for monitoring and saving on shipping needs, expert thought leadership discussing inventory management, insight on how to support customers across the various generations and much more. There’s truly something for everyone to gain from. You can view the full schedule of speakers and experts here.
IR: How can retailers balance their time between attending sessions and exploring the show floor?
NLR: The IRC was designed so that attendees can experience quick learning opportunities without compromising their time on the ASD show floors. Our sessions are typically just 15 minutes long, however, we do offer a daily keynote at noon each day of the show and will also introduce panel discussions, as well, that will be about 30 minutes each. These are all held on our main stage, which is centrally located directly on the show floors so that attendees can easily join us throughout the day. There are some break-out sessions that take place upstairs in private conference rooms, as well, and we encourage attendees to review the entire schedule of our speaking sessions prior to the show so they can plan which ones they want to attend. No RSVP is ever required, however, and we welcome attendees to come to as many or as few as they may like.
IR: How do retailers register?
NLR: By being a registered attendee of ASD Market Week, attendees are welcome to join the Independent Retailer Conference complimentary as part of their show experience. They can sign up for ASD and IRC here.