DENVER, CO--(Marketwired - May 15, 2013) - The 2013 Retail Merchandising & Marketing Conference, hosted by the recently rebranded World Alliance for Retail Excellence & Standards in Scottsdale, Arizona in late April, successfully reflected the association's strengthened commitment to retail excellence by delivering an international event that received high praise from those who attended. The three-day conference featured invigorating and actionable general and breakout sessions relevant to the event's theme: "Learn. Change. Grow." The opening night set the tone for the conference with networking under the Arizona sky that lasted well into the evening. Then, Sunday afternoon kicked off with high-energy music and an update on the state of the association. Industry Leader Robin Lewis' keynote presentation immediately followed on constantly evolving technology, globalization and a saturated marketplace. Video, pertinent data and audience interaction laid the foundation for the days to follow, as General Session Speakers Gerry O'Brion of What Big Brands Know; Lily Lev-Glick of Shopper Sense, Dee Warmath of the NPD Group and Matt Herlevic of Sam's Club continued to deliver invaluable insights and sought-after knowledge.

The statistics regarding the international conference are noteworthy:

  • 250 attendees, representing 146 different companies
  • Representatives from industry categories of manufacturing, merchandising, event/demonstration, professional installation, marketing, technology, education, staffing, human resources, transportation, workforce lodging and advertising
  • Nine countries had representatives in attendance -- Brazil, Venezuela, Australia, Canada, Puerto Rico, Japan, Russia, United Kingdom and the United States
  • A sold out exhibit hall, featuring companies with the latest technologies and services

Breakout sessions on Monday and Tuesday focused on four tracks: Sales & Marketing; Human Resources; Performance; and the Changing World. A total of 12 breakouts were offered with focused learning on topics, such as PR and Social Media, Labor Force Demographics, Healthcare and the Affordable Care Act, RFPs, the Omni Channel, Marketing to Millennials, Valuing Your Business, Today's Complex Retail Landscape and the Business Blueprint 12-Step Process. Full rooms and post-conference demand for informational materials indicate that the Breakout Sessions were well received and on target for the audience.

The conference came to a close on the following Tuesday, with an all-star retail marketing panel discussion that was both in-depth and driven by audience questions and answers. From the showroom to catalog to online, nothing was missed in this dynamic discussion.

The Chairperson for this year's conference, Ron Apel, enthusiastically summarized the three days of dynamic keynote speakers, informative breakout sessions, and networking opportunities: "We came together to learn from each other, collaborate with experts in different fields and gain insight into how we could be ready for whatever comes our way. I can confidently say we did all that -- and more. People really enjoyed the opportunities to connect, especially with two new events, the International Reception and the Women in Retail Reception."

The 2014 Conference is scheduled at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa in San Antonio, Texas for April 26-29th. The Chair for the conference, Paul Russell, Retail Marketing Field Manager for Williamson-Dickies Manufacturing Company, is pleased to announce that exhibit space is pre-booked at 30% and that committees are already actively involved in making the upcoming event in San Antonio another great success.

World Alliance for Retail Excellence & Standards, formerly NARMS International, is a non-profit organization based near Denver, in Broomfield, CO, that brings together all sectors of the retail industry: retailers, manufacturers, independent food and non-food brokers, wholesalers and distributors, retail service companies and support service members. Together, they are an alliance of at-retail companies entrusted with delivering exceptional sales, marketing and service support to B2C manufacturers, retailers and their customers, across all channels.

Contact Information:

Rhonda Bauer
World Alliance for Retail Excellence & Standards
Phone: (720) 442-9011 x102

Wendy Bailey
World Alliance for Retail Excellence & Standards
Phone: (707) 235-2096