You knew it was coming… my recap of NRF 2012. While I spent most of my trip in the Retail Tech booth, in no way was I going to be restricted to a 10 x 10 space the entire time. I had people to see, booths to visit, and sessions to attend! After all, it wouldn’t be a successful trip if I didn’t get to experience what my fellow tech geeks had to offer (I mean that in love, of course). After braving the expo hall, wall to wall (ok, I may have missed some booths…) I wanted to share my TopPICKS for 2012.
I LOVED the Teradata booth. The design was not only in the shape of a plane, the booth staff was all wearing stewardess and pilot attire. Now, that is a commitment to creativity! The marketing ploy roped me in, and I am sure many other onlookers who were curious as to what this company had to offer. This was by far the hardest category to judge as a lot of event coordinators brought their “A” games when designing booths this year.
Google takes the cake for me. It is hard to mess with this mastermind of a company. Showcasing the Google Wallet, the booth came complete with a pack-man, claw game and a few other fun activities for people to flash their mobile wallet and “pay to play.” If the mobile wallet continues to sweep the retail world, customer payment, as we now know it, will change forever. TouchÃ©, Google.
As I moseyed through the Expo Hall, I worked hard to avoid the booths with the most people (the record breaking 25,000+ attendees were a bit overwhelming). Despite my preferences, I needed to check out our partner, IBM as it is always interesting to see what they have in store. For the record, it was not an easy task. Not only did I trip stepping into the booth, I proceeded to watch a demo regardless of my heel continuously getting stepped on by passerby’s. The experience was less than enjoyable, but I couldn’t help, but want to learn more. Needless to say, I was in the booth for almost an hour, turning into one of the traffic hazards myself, while I marveled at the flocking masses. Demos were going on throughout the booth on topics including “The Smarter Consumer,” “Smarter Checkout”, “Cross-Channel Order Management,” “The Integrated Mobile Manager” and many others. Let’s just say, I would be surprised if the IBM employees had any chance to breathe. Everyone wanted to see what was in the pipeline for IBM.
Cisco Systems showcased StyleMe, an Immersive Digital Shopping Platform (try saying that 5 times fast). Attendees were able to demo this product by standing in front of “the virtual fashion mirror.” Simple hand motions allowed the demonstrator to try on different garment and accessory options. Not only was this entertaining for people in passing, it gave retailers a true idea of how the platform would act in their stores. Don’t be surprised to see this technology in some of your favorite retail stores soon!
Best Booth Giveaway:
I am awarding Lexmark with the most entertaining, and noticeable giveaway. Who would have thought light up glasses would have been such a hit? These fashion sunglasses from Lexmark traveled around the show floor as retailers and exhibitors alike sported this snazzy accessory. The verdict is still out if these glasses attributed to increased sales for the printer mogul, but either way, I applaud them for effort. Plus, iPad giveaways are getting old people. I am still convinced that the “give away” doesn’t make it very far.
Ok, I know I missed some…what other booths did you deem “award worthy?”