2024 Agenda in Progress

Our conference team is currently working on building out the 2024 agenda. Below is a preliminary schedule for each day. Please check back on this page for program updates!

Opening Welcome Reception - Hosted by Visual Elements

Tuesday, October 8 | 8:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. | Location TBA
Join us Tuesday evening to celebrate the start of IRDC with drinks and catching up with your industry peers!

8:30 PM10:00 PM
OPENING WELCOME RECEPTION
TBD 1h 30min

Hosted by Visual Elements

Help us kick off the start of IRDC with drinks and conversations with your fellow retail design professionals. We can't wait to get everyone back together again!


8:00 AM9:00 AM
NETWORKING BREAKFAST
1h 00min


9:00 AM10:00 AM
OPENING KEYNOTE
1h 00min


10:15 AM11:00 AM
INTERACTIVE WORKSHOP: Interactive Deep Dive with Chicken N Pickle
0h 45min

Description to come.

Facilitators:
Joe Palermo, VP of Operations, Chicken N Pickle
Cynthia Ortiz, Intl. President, Retail Design Institute; Business Development Manager, MBH Architects


10:15 AM11:00 AM
INTERACTIVE WORKSHOP
0h 45min


11:15 AM12:00 PM
BREAKOUT SESSION | At the Heart of it All: Foot Locker Reimagines the Retail Experience
0h 45min

For five decades, Foot Locker has celebrated sneaker culture and maintained its position as the premiere destination for all things sneakers. As the company continues to progress against its Lace Up Plan, the retailer is “Powering Up the Portfolio,” bringing the “Heart of Sneakers” to life through elevated in-store experiences. In this session, Foot Locker’s Sarah Wexler and Landor’s Jordan Taylor will examine how the brand is aiming to unlock everyone's inner sneakerhead by emphasizing warmth, approachability, and discovery through a reinvented store concept that takes a global approach. With inclusivity in retail spaces as an ever-present discussion, attend this session to learn how retailers can rediscover their brand’s purpose and develop customer experiences to boost community, loyalty and longevity.

Takeaways:
-Learn how retailers can connect with communities to facilitate growth
-Discover how in-store experiences help customers unlock their passion for a brand
-Understand the importance of being an inclusive and empathetic brand

Speakers:
Sarah Wexler, Sr. Director, Global Store Design, Foot Locker
Jordan Taylor, Creative Director, Landor


11:15 AM12:00 PM
BREAKOUT SESSION
0h 45min


12:00 PM1:15 PM
NETWORKING LUNCH
1h 15min


12:30 PM1:15 PM
LUNCHTIME PRESENTATION: Profiles of the Mannequin
0h 45min

Mannequins are more than “accessories” for a store interior. Throughout history, they have reflected our culture and values – arguably, they are pieces of standalone art. Despite the rapid evolution of the retail industry during the past century, mannequins and forms have remained stalwarts when it comes to tried and true visual merchandising techniques. In this special lunchtime presentation, VMSD’s New York Editor and President of Embrace Design, Eric Feigenbaum, will take attendees on a journey through time to explore the historic importance of mannequins – not only for the retail industry but for our culture as a whole.

Takeaways:
-Gain a better understanding of the important role mannequins play in a store design concept
-Understand the cultural value of mannequins as art for our industry
-See how mannequins and forms have evolved throughout the years

Speaker:
Eric Feigenbaum, VMSD New York Editor; President, Embrace Design


1:30 PM2:15 PM
GENERAL SESSION | Thriving in the Corporate World Through Understanding the Power of Trust and Teamwork
0h 45min

Description to come.

Speaker:
Michael Hingson, New York Times Best Selling Author


2:30 PM5:30 PM
Retail Inspiration Offsite Tours
2h 00min


6:00 PM8:00 PM
IRON MERCHANT CHALLENGE
2h 00min

Now entering its 18th consecutive year, the Iron Merchant Challenge is a mashup of creativity, ingenuity and design science: This networking event features six teams of 10 attendees working to create a faux window display centered around a theme and a secret ingredient unveiled on-site - in one hour and with cocktails in hand. As always, this year’s theme is a secret guarded closely by the event’s founder and emcee Joe Baer of ZenGenius Inc. Who will be the 2024 Iron Merchant?

Facilitator:
Joe Baer, CEO, Creative Director, ZenGenius Inc.


8:00 AM10:00 AM
NETWORKING BREAKFAST
2h 00min


10:15 AM11:00 AM
GENERAL SESSION
0h 45min


11:15 AM12:00 PM
BREAKOUT SESSION | Reaching New Heights in Banking: Putting Customers at the Core
0h 45min

Description to come.

Speakers:
Vikas Srivastava, VP Design Lead, Fifth Third Bank
Declan McCormack, Client Leader, BHDP


11:15 AM12:00 PM
BREAKOUT SESSION
0h 45min


12:00 PM1:15 PM
NETWORKING LUNCH
1h 15min


1:05 PM1:45 PM
VMSD Awards Luncheon
0h 40 min

VMSD's annual Awards Luncheon celebrates our competition winners from the past year including our Designer Dozen (featured in our March/April issue), International Visual Competition (July/Aug issue), Retail Renovation Competition (Sept/Oct issue) and the coveted 2024 VMSD/Peter Glen Retailer of the Year Award (Sept/Oct issue).


2:00 PM3:00 PM
GENERAL SESSION | From Strategy to Storefront: Google's Approach to Sustainable Retail Design
1h 00 min

Sustainability remains a hot topic and more retailers are setting new measures to implement in their stores – but how can companies achieve these standards at their stores? When Google decided to launch into physical retail, its sustainability goals were lofty – enough to create challenges connecting the corporate strategy with the tactical execution of its store design. With the IT corporation’s newly opened Google store on Boston’s Newberry St. as the backdrop, this interactive panel presentation will highlight real-world experiences that bridge the gap between sustainability and store development strategy. From material selection to product circularity, attend this session to understand the importance of prioritizing sustainability in decision making.

Takeaways:
-Gain insight about aligning store development strategy and corporate sustainability plans
-Learn about the importance of material selection and product circularity
-Understand the influence of MEP systems on sustainable design

Panelists:
Jackie Farrar, Head of Retail Design and Development, Google Stores
Mark Brungo, Global Account Director, Gensler
Brian Alessi, Sustainability Director, Henderson Engineers

Moderator:
Brent Felten, Retail Sector Client Relationship Director, Henderson Engineers


3:15 PM4:00 PM
BREAKOUT SESSION | Design with Purpose: Lessons on Conscious Consumerism from Innovative Retail Leaders
0h 45min

Purpose-driven design isn’t new to the industry, but how are retailers actually embracing and implementing this concept “IRL”? In this interactive panel presentation, explore how purposeful design and conscious consumerism converge through the lens of projects like Goodwill, The Good Pour and a co-op at the University of Texas in Austin, where profits support student scholarships. Discover how unusual/off-the-beaten-path projects like these were able to break away from expected models to deliver concepts redefining the boundaries of conventional design – and understand how these can be applied to your own retail projects.

Takeaways:
-Learn how purpose-driven design can align with business objectives
-Understand the role design plays in fostering conscious consumerism
-Explore the potential of retail destinations as community hubs

Panelists:
Amy Jordan, VP Business Development, Facilities, Goodwill of the Southern Piedmont
TBA Speaker, The Good Pour
Cheryl Phifer, President & CEO at University Co-Op, The University of Texas at Austin

Moderators:
Eric Daniel, Creative Director, Little Diversified Architectural Consulting Inc.
Daniel Montaño, Partner & Retail Design Principal, Little Diversified Architectural Consulting Inc.


3:15 PM4:00 PM
BREAKOUT SESSION | Reuse and Sustainable Restoration in Luxury Retail: Saks Fifth Avenue, Beverly Hills
0h 45min

Last February, Saks Fifth Avenue opened its highly anticipated flagship in Beverly Hills. Before it could welcome customers, the interior of the former Barneys location needed to both align with the Saks Fifth Avenue design language and honor the building's history. With the new location also came the opportunity for the retailer to develop the store’s personalized services, VIP experiences and bespoke events to reintroduce the brand in the area. In this session, Deanne Tabeta of Saks Fifth Avenue and Anna Victoria of Arcadis will discuss the logistics of restoration while infusing fresh brand DNA into this newly acquired iconic space. From developing in-store services to reusing materials, discover how the teams collaborated on every detail to open this luxury space.

Takeaways:
-Understand the possibility of using existing materials during a restoration
-See how a retailer was able to maintain a cohesive design across different store types
-Explore the importance of developing and implementing customer experiences on site

Panelists:
Deanne Tabeta, Senior Project Manager, Store Planning and Design, Saks Fifth Avenue
Anna Victoria, Senior Associate, Arcadis

Moderator:
Yarden Harari, Senior Associate, Arcadis


4:15 PM5:15 PM
CLOSING KEYNOTE
1h 00min


6:30 PM9:30 PM
CLOSING PARTY (OFFSITE, LOCATION TBA)
3h 00min


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