Join VMSD this fall in Denver for the annual International Retail Design Conference to celebrate our 21st anniversary!

September 21-22, 2021 | Denver, Colorado

2021 IRDC Agenda

7:00 AM8:00 AM
Conference Registration
1h 00min
8:00 AM9:00 AM
Networking Breakfast
1h 00min
9:00 AM9:45 AM
General Session
0h 45min
10:15 AM10:45 AM
Mobile is the New Physical
Breakout Session 0h 30min

How Walmart’s development of “Swipe Up,” a mobile-first messaging system, allowed the brand to transform and disrupt the industry by becoming more than a physical store but a mobile-first shopping destination.

Speakers
Alvis Washington, VP, Marketing – Store Design, Innovation and Experience, Walmart
Brandon Boston, Design Director, Landor & Fitch


11:00 AM11:30 AM
Panel discussion: Purpose-Driven Design for Community-Based Projects
Breakout Session 0h 30min

Moderator:
Reginaldo Reyes, VP, Brand Experience & Environmental Design, Knock Inc.

Panelists:
Jill Renslow, SVP, Mall of America
Betsey Vohs, Founder and CEO, Studio BV


12:00 PM1:15 PM
Roundtable Lunch
1h 15min
1:30 PM2:00 PM
Panel Discussion: Eco-Feminism and the Fluid Future of Consumption
Breakout Session 0h 30min

Moderator:
Gabby Rosi, Chief Retail Maven & Founder, The Gabby Collective (former Senior Design Coordinator, Whole Foods Market)

Panelists:
Doug Schmidt, Retail Consultant, (previously of REI and Yeti)
Sheri Blattel, Associate Principal, Director of Retail, Cushing Terrell
Rebekah Matheny, Associate Professor of Interior Design, The Ohio State University
Royce Epstine, Design Director, Trend Forecaster and Founder, Dissent by Design


2:30 PM5:00 PM
Retail Inspiration Self-Guided Tour
2h 30min

Leave behind the conference room setting for an urban adventure in a city known for its active, outdoor lifestyle and 300 days of sunshine annually. Our Retail Inspiration self-guided tours detail the coolest cultural spots, most engaging local stores and breathtaking architecture in three of Denver’s most vibrant neighborhoods


6:00 PM8:00 PM
Iron Merchant Competition + Reception
2h 00min

The annual Iron Merchant Challenge is a mashup of improvisation, creativity and design science – plus one secret ingredient guaranteed to shake things up!

Together, six teams will dive in blindly to conceive and create a winning display focused around a theme, a hodgepodge of materials and one secret ingredient. Are you ready for the challenge? Sign up to participate during registration!

Sponsored by Fusion.


7:00 AM8:00 AM
Conference Registration
1h 00min
08:00 AM10:00 AM
Sponsor Case Study Breakfast
2h 00min
10:20 AM11:00 AM
What is the Future of Restaurant Design?
General Session 0h 40min

The restaurant and hospitality channels have been charged with reimagining the way in which they meet consumers’ needs in today’s rapidly changing world. Hear best practices from Inspire Brands, the second-largest restaurant company in the U.S., around brand messaging, a new design strategy, and the advantages and efficiencies behind new prototype designs developed for recently rebranded multinational chain Dunkin’. What has the brand learned about “drive-thru-only” design and the importance of green design initiatives?

Speakers:
Andrew Bello, VP of Architecture and Design, Inspire Brands
John Herth, Senior Director of Design, Dunkin


11:00 AM11:20 AM
Networking Break
0h 20min
11:25 AM11:55 AM
Title TBD
Breakout Session 0h 30min

Speakers
Jennifer Schlueter, Dean of Graduate Studies, Columbus College of Art & Design
Chuck Palmer, Senior Advisory, ConsumerX Retail


12:00 PM1:30 PM
Roundtable Lunch with VMSD Awards
1h 00min
1:45 PM2:45 PM
Rethinking Retail: Connecting Through Design Thinking and Storytelling
Interactive Workshops 1h 00min

Sometimes it’s on purpose, and other times by accident, but storytelling is an essential human device, and it is infused in just about everything we do. We use it to entertain, to persuade, to inform, to market. Compelling storytelling can be an enigma, depending on the impact you wish to have. Still, there are foundational design elements for storytelling that can be learned and processed to engage
audiences and leave a lasting impression.

Design processes and storytelling may be used to unwrap critical components such as exchanging knowledge, developing organizational buy-in, cultural sharing, and human interaction. This hands-on, interactive session will engage, involve, and challenge attendees to develop a storytelling and connection plan for their retail space.

Speakers
Bruce Parsons, Assistant Professor of Design Thinking, Radford University
Holly Cline, Professor of Design Thinking and Department Chair, Radford University


2:45 PM3:00 PM
Networking Break
0h 15min
3:05 PM3:40 PM
Breakout Sessions
0h 35min
3:40 PM4:00 PM
Networking Break
0h 20min
4:00 PM5:00 PM
Title TBD
General Session 1h 00min

Speaker: Toni Roeller, SVP of In-Store Environment, Dick’s Sporting Goods
Moderator: Jennifer Acevedo, Editor-in-Chief/Associate Publisher, VMSD


6:30 AM8:30 PM
Closing Reception
2h 00min
VMSD and ZenGenius Inc. Present:

IRON MERCHANT CHALLENGE

The annual Iron Merchant Challenge is a mashup of improvisation, creativity and design science – plus one secret ingredient guaranteed to shake things up!

Together, six teams will dive in blindly to conceive and create a winning display focused around a theme, a hodgepodge of materials and one secret ingredient. Are you ready for the challenge? Sign up to participate during registration!

Sponsored by Fusion.

LOCAL CULTURE, RETAIL, AND ARCHITECTURE HIGHLIGHTS

Retail Inspiration Walking Tour

Always an audience favorite, leave behind the conference room setting for an urban adventure in a city known for its active, outdoor lifestyle and 300 days of sunshine annually. Our Retail Inspiration self-guided tours detail the coolest cultural spots, most engaging local stores and breathtaking architecture in three of Denver’s most vibrant neighborhoods. If you’re up for the challenge, put on your walking shoes, choose your destination, grab a few friends and head out for adventure. Some of the most interesting corners of this fast-paced, ever-evolving city are just steps away from the Sheraton Denver Downtown hotel.

What Our Visitors Say

Who should attend?

Join the most creative minds in retail in one of America’s most progressive cities.

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Retailers with Experience in:

Visual Merchandising / Presentation / Display Store Design / Environment Retail / Customer Experience Store Planning Brand Management / In-store Marketing Corporate Management Creative Services / Graphic Design / Architectural Design / Strategic Planning / Retail Professionals in Transition

Contract Design/Specifiers in:

Interior Design/Architecture / Environmental Graphic Design / Consulting / General Contractor / Non-Retailer Professionals in Transition

About our Audience:

75% are senior level executives

85% work at corporate headquarters

Have Questions?

IRDC serves executives, planners, merchandisers and designers from every retail sector—from department stores and discount chains to grocery stores and specialty boutiques—as well as designers, architects, consultants and contractors who specialize in creating and maintaining retail environments.

Almost. If you’re a supplier to the retail design industry (fixtures, lighting, etc), you must be a sponsor to attend the conference. (To learn more, visit the Sponsorship Opportunities page.) Otherwise, anyone interested in learning about new trends and ideas in retail is invited to attend.

No. At IRDC, the focus is on education and networking, so the program is comprised of general sessions, breakout sessions, workshops, roundtable discussions and networking events—all designed to facilitate the exchange of ideas and information.

Please contact us with program recommendations. We welcome your input.

We’re sorry, we are not able to administer AIA credits for conference sessions.

We’ll post the list of 2021 registrants (companies only) here soon. In the final weeks leading up to the conference, the list will be automatically updated as registrations are received.

Yes. We make sure our facility has total accessibility, and we do whatever is needed to make attending the conference as convenient as possible for all attendees. If you have a special need, please contact us after you have registered and we’ll make any necessary arrangements.

Still have a question? Ask your question here

Join us at IRDC 2021 in Denver

Our host hotel is just steps from Denver’s famed 16th Street pedestrian mall and the city’s best entertainment, culture and dining.

Conference Venue

Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel

1550 Court Pl, Denver, CO 80202

Phone: 303-893-3333

Transportation
Guest Accommodations
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