Across the ocean, NRF, ARTS and make noise

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Greetings from London!

I’ve had the great pleasure of joining my fellow colleagues from NRF, and ARTS at this week’s Retail Technology Business Expo in Earls Court, London, and it’s been nothing short of exceptional so far.

Joined by sponsors within the NRF Pavilion, Bizerba, NCR, Starmount, PCMS and Applied Data Corp, ARTS and stand out among the more than 300 solution providers on the expo floor quite nicely. Over the last two days, ARTS Executive Director Richard Mader and Vice President Karen Shunk and Senior Director of Content Artemis Berry have networked with retail executives from across the world and helped further introduce NRF’s communities to the international retail technology arena.

Richard and Artemis have also had speaking roles during the event, each drawing great crowds. Artemis spoke Wednesday about three of the hottest topics in retail right now – social, mobile and local. Richard, speaking both Tuesday and Wednesday, introduced attendees to ARTS recently-released Social Retailing Blueprint.

In addition to all the buzz on-site at the event, NRF Senior Vice President and Executive Director of Vicki Cantrell and I toured a little bit of London as well. While having coffee with the Times of London at the well-known Troubador and tea with the British Retail Consortium’s Director General Stephen Robertson at the famous Goring Hotel, Vicki touted NRF’s Retail Means Jobs campaign, discussed retailers’ priorities for 2012 and the takeaways from the expo for NRF and its communities. On-site, we had a chance to meet a few more well-known locals, including editors for Tudor-Rose and Internet Retailing Magazine.

When it comes to international retail, NRF is no stranger. Our Annual Convention draws more than 4,500 total international attendees and our member base spans the globe, representing retailers from Brazil, Japan, Canada, Sweden and of course, the U.K., and many more. By the end of the expo, NRF along with ARTS and can add another successful event to its resume, while securing its spot as the world’s largest retail trade association.

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