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A big change for retail’s Big Show


The National Retail Federation has made a major change to the format and content of its annual trade show and convention, known as the Big Show, which is held every January in New York.

Scheduled for January 11-13, 2015 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York, the event is expected to draw roughly 25,000 attendees and several thousand exhibitors. In a move to enhance the experience for all attendees and provide greater value for exhibitors, NRF has extended the hours the show floor is open to Sunday. In year’s past, the show floor was open only on Monday and Tuesday with Sunday focused primarily on seminars and educational opportunities.

“One of the biggest changes this year is the expansion of the show,” said Susan Newman, NRF’s SVP of conferences. “It is a move we had contemplated for many years because of the amount of content that is provided. Attendees and exhibitors consistently told us they didn’t have enough time.”

The change dramatically increases opportunities for retailers and other attendees to engage with exhibitors and expands educational opportunities to exhibit hall itself.

“We are very fortunate to be in an industry that is enjoying growth,” said Newman, recent recipient of the Expo Group Show Manager of the Year award honoring excellence in trade show organization.

Newman and others at NRF have effectively positioned the Big Show as a must-attend event for many in the retail industry, especially those whose businesses are impacted by technological change, which is essentially everyone.

This year, NRF is raising the bar again from a content perspective with a keynote address from recently departed Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke. Credited by many for providing the steady hand which enabled the U.S. to navigate through the financial crisis and Great Recession, Bernanke’s presentation is titled “The Big Picture,” and will offer attendees a rare perspective.

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