Retail’s ‘Big Show’, the National Retail Federation’s Annual Convention and Expo, has been pushed back to June of next year with the organisation to host a virtual event in January amid health and travel concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic.
The annual exposition and conference will take place in-person at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City on 6-8 June. The virtual event will run on 12-14, 19, and 21-22 January with both events featuring the theme ‘Forward Together.’
“The health and safety of our team, industry partners, and global attendees is our number one priority. Given the understandable concerns among all of our stakeholders regarding the availability and effectiveness of treatments or a vaccine for the coronavirus, we have concluded it is not feasible to maintain our original schedule of an in-person January 2021 trade show, and have decided to reimagine the NRF 2021 annual meeting and convention,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay.
The June physical show will include self-guided store tours, expo tours, workshops and social events both on and off the show floor in New York City, while the virtual event will be hosted entirely online, and feature “robust content combined with a digital exposition.”
Shay added: “For over 100 years, NRF’s annual convention has been the biggest, best and most impactful event that convenes industry leaders to exchange visionary ideas, build partnerships and experience new technologies. In 2021, we are able to double down on our efforts to explore an exciting future for retail with two unique events.
“This is the time for creative and practical ideas that will shape retail’s future, and these are the events that will showcase those ideas with our visionary and innovative retail leaders and industry partners as we chart the path forward together.”
A raft of trade shows and fairs have been cancelled or postponed on the back of health and travel concerns related to Covid-19. For many organisers it has been a chance to offer a digital alternative to the physical shows such as the Apparel Textile Sourcing Virtual (ATSV) show and Kingpins24.
Click here to read just-style’s roundup of this year’s ‘Big Show’.