NRF 2019 Early Start
Sunday, January 13, 2019

Categories: Retail Events

NRF 2019: Early Start 

Javits Center in New York

Part of the flurry and buzz of excitement starts before anyone even shows up to register for passes. NRF 2019 early start, is all about the setup and the pre-show sessions. This year is no different. Crates have all been in. Booths and equipment all set up. Empty boxes are being stowed away manically. Final booth polishing is in full force. And of course, all the pre-show events are in full force.

Here is a snapshot of some of that NRF 2019 early start, business.


Booth Setup

OrderDynamics Booth at NRF 2019

There is a high level of exhilaration that hits you when you find your booth space, and the crates have arrived. After uncrating one or two, that evolves into a sense of panic, knowing how much has to be done. Somehow, it all comes together. This despite the hiccups, forgotten connectors, and occasional display that just did not survive the journey. NRF 2019 early start, really starts here.

This year, we were well prepared and finished early. A good thing, given that one of those failed displays were ours. Not a problem that the local electronics retailer could not fix.


NON-Spoiler Alert: Early Walk of Wonder 

Hall at NRF 2019

After your own booth is set up, there is a sense of relief. Then the curiosity sets in. And, you end up taking the long way, out of the tradeshow. And – it looks AMAZING.

There are some fabulous displays, impressive booths (including the double deckers), and occasional retail robot. Microsoft will have one of these on the booth, as well as another we spotted on the 4th level (Innovation Labs).

I won’t spoil it for everyone. We will save some of the good content of what exactly is at the show – for the next post.


Microsoft Retail Strategy

NRF 2019 early startFor us, NRF 2019 early start – began with Microsoft. Thanks to Microsoft (Julie Lisle) for inviting us to the ‘Enabling Intelligent Retail’ soiree. Hosted at an elegant venue at the Standard Highline Hotel, it was a fascinating set of strategic discussion.

Cath Brands, Global Industry Marketing Director for Retail & Consumer Goods at Microsoft, gave us a glimpse of the four foundations of the Microsoft retail strategy. These being:

  • Begin, middle and end is the customer
  • Retail employees are brand ambassadors
  • Supply chain must keep up with customer demand
  • Customers expect an integrated omni-channel experience

These are the tenets that drive customer loyalty, that drive revenue growth, that also drives profitability. It all starts with these four premises, and the intelligent use of data makes a difference in retail.

AI in Retail

Microsoft Partnership Event Presentation-1Following Cath, was Judy Meyer, VP Worldwide ISV. Judy spoke about her background and Microsoft’s history at AI (artificial intelligence) development. Her discussion centered on three tenets. These being the power of:

  • Cloud technology
  • Data
  • AI algorithms

In addition to the case studies with Nordstrom’s, Honesty Market, and others, were some re-assuring aspects. Judy rightfully pointed out that AI or machine learning often incites fear. Images of the Terminator, often come to mind when thinking AI. But Microsoft has been hard at work embedding ethics into the mix. Judy spoke about what AI means to Microsoft. Initiatives include AI for:

  • Good
  • The earth
  • Accessibility
  • Humanitarian access.

Reassuring thoughts for our NRF 2019 early start!

International Reception

NRF 2019 early Start International ReceptionFirst of the NRF receptions, is that for international guests.

Hosted at the Marriott Marquis, several hundred guests came out to kick off the events. Many thanks to Fedex as our opening hosts (love the stainless steel tumblers). If you weren’t impressed by the mesmerizing elevator system, then you were astounded by the number of retailers attending from so many different countries.

Sparkling white wine, delicious crab cakes, and breadth of impressive international retailer attending. What’s not to love about the NRF 2019 early start? Can’t wait to get started.

If you are at the show – don’t forget to come to visit OrderDynamics at booth #240. We would love to meet you in person!



Charles Dimov, VP of Marketing at OrderDynamics

Charles Dimov is VP of Marketing at OrderDynamics. Charles has 23 years experience in Marketing, Sales and Management across various IT and Technology businesses. Previous roles include Chief of Staff, Director Product Marketing, and Director Sales. Charles has held roles in brand name firms like IBM, Ericsson, HP, ADP, and OrderDynamics.