The Ultimate List of Retail Conferences

Eighty-eight percent of consumers agree retailers could do more to earn their long-term loyalty.

So, as a retailer, it’s critical to stay on top of the latest trends and technologies.

And there’s no better place to do that than at retail conferences.

Attending retail conferences is a great way to meet some of the foremost minds in the industry and make valuable contacts.

While many conferences were postponed or canceled since the pandemic started, there are several virtual events planned for the end of 2020 and various in-person events set for next year.

Learning about how to best interact with your customers in this “instant culture” is why we compiled this list of must-attend retail conferences for 2021.


NRF Chapter 1/Chapter 2

Summary: Billed as “Retail’s Big Show,” this annual conference starts off 2021 on the right foot and serves as a go-to event for industry experts.

And 2021 will be twice the fun for NRF enthusiasts because there will be two conferences!

NRF will host a virtual conference in January (Retail’s Big Show Chapter 1) and an in-person show in June (Retail’s Big Show Chapter 2).

Chapter 1 will feature great content combined with a digital Expo. A new online platform makes it easy to connect with colleagues and build new partnerships right from your home or office.

Chapter 2 will feature sessions from visionary leaders, an Expo filled with the latest tech solutions, and various ways to connect with other attendees.

Dates: January 12-22, 2021 (Chapter 1 Virtual), June 6-8, 2021 (Chapter 2 In-person)

Venue: Javits Center

Location: 429 11th Ave. New York, N.Y.



Future Stores

Summary: This intimate conference has drawn plenty of accolades since it began in 2013 and is the leading in-store experience event.

The conference focuses on reimagining physical stores as the key to growth in today’s retail environment. Attendees hear great success stories and insights to build strong omnichannel strategies.

Whether it’s an interactive roundtable discussion, case study presentation, panel, or 1-on-1 Q&As, attendees can find the solutions they’re looking for.

Future Stores will offer a virtual event this year and an in-person event in 2021.

Dates: December 8, 2020 (Virtual), February 7-9, 2021 (In-person)

Venue: J.W. Marriott Marquis Miami

Location: Miami, FL



eTail West

Summary: eTail is where the top minds in retail meet, collaborate, and learn about what’s disrupting the industry and what will change tomorrow. eTail is designed to build your business and profits, cutting out the fluff and providing content from retail innovators in the trenches.

Dates: Feb. 22-25, 2021

Venue: JW Marriott

Location: Palm Springs, CA



Retail Supply Chain & Logistics Expo

Summary: Retailers need to adapt their supply chains and operate seamless warehousing and distribution systems.

That’s because customers want faster delivery times and an easier return system.

The Retail Supply Chain & Logistics Expo Las Vegas provides a hub to help businesses meet these expectations and stay ahead in this demanding industry.

The two-day, in-person conference includes 100 expert speakers, 200 innovative suppliers, more than 100 seminars from industry experts, and 3,000 visitors.

Dates: March 10-11, 2021

Venue: Las Vegas Convention Center

Location: Las Vegas, NV




Summary: Any conference you can attend where there are more than 8,000 people from the retail industry is quite appealing.

The attendee list includes established retailers, brands, tech companies, startups, and investors.

It’s a can’t miss event!

Dates: March 21-24, 2021

Venue: Mandalay Bay

Location: Las Vegas, NV



Global Retailing Idea Summit

Summary: This intimate conference creates an environment that allows attendees to interact and engage one another and to extend the learning and connecting beyond the stage and beyond the event’s two days.

Various thought leaders will share a variety of perspectives on the most emerging trends in the global retailing and brand industry.

Dates: April 29-30, 2021

Venue: The University of Arizone



World Retail Congress

Summary: The World Retail Congress attracts the leaders of today’s global retail industry – from multi-national powerhouses to game-changing start-ups and disruptors.

This conference provides a high-level forum for senior retailers to learn, share insights, form powerful connections, and shape the future of global retail.

Dates: April 27-29, 2021

Venue: Rome Cavalieri Hotel

Location: Rome, Italy




Summary: RetailX is the ultimate resource for e-retailers looking to gain an edge in the integrated age of retail.

Featuring GlobalShop at RetailX, SmartRetail and Retail TouchPoints Live! RetailX delivers exactly what you need to establish market share through blended business models that straddle the divide between online and offline.

Hundreds of solutions providers will introduce you to the latest ecommerce technology and services. This will help you gain actionable insights and tactics to optimize your ecommerce channel.

Dates: May 11-13, 2021

Venue: McCormick Place Convention Center

Location: Chicago, IL




Summary: If you’re a retail technology executive responsible for driving innovation, this is the conference for you.

NRFtech brings together CIOs, senior technology leaders, startups, and others charged driving innovation across the retail organization.

Attendance is limited to 150 senior retail executives. NRFtech features high-energy speakers and engaging roundtables.

NRFtech will expose you to new technologies that can help spark your customer experience and create a competitive advantage.

NRFtech New York is an exclusive gathering curated by and for senior executives charged with driving innovation.

Dates: June 5-6, 2021

Venue: 429 11th Ave., New York, N.Y.

Location: New York, NY




Summary: Groceryshop launched in 2018 with more than 2,200 attendees and immediately became the leading event for innovation in grocery and CPG.

Conference feedback was incredible with a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of over 50, setting the stage for the event to increase in size in 2020 to more than 3,000 attendees.

Companies that attend include both established and startup CPG brands, supermarkets, c-stores, drug stores, discount stores, ecommerce players, warehouse clubs, grocerants and non-traditional grocery retailers.

Dates: Sept. 19-22, 2021

Venue: Mandalay Bay

Location: Las Vegas, NV



Retailers, Stay Informed for the Sake of Your Customers

2020 has brought in a set of challenges that retail has never seen before.

You can stay in the loop by attending some of these great retail conferences, later this year virtually and/or in-person in 2021.

If you’d like to share your thoughts about any retail conference you’ve attended, we’d love to hear them.

And let us know if there are any we missed. Which retail conferences do you plan to attend this year?

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