Mobile All the Talk at 'Catalog' Conference
As I sat at Logan International Airport in Boston waiting for my flight home to Philadelphia, I decided to put together a quick recap of my impressions of the recently concluded NEMOA directXchange Spring 2011 Conference. Now I've been to NEMOA conferences in years past, but this was my first time back in a couple of years. Not surprising to me, however, was the sight of familiar faces from past NEMOA conferences.
This smaller, but growing (attendance was up more than 20 percent this year vs. last year) show has a warm, welcoming feel to it. Attendees welcome each other like they're catching up with old friends — which happens to be the case in most instances.
It's that family-type environment that had more than one attendee tell me that NEMOA is their favorite of all the cross-channel retail trade shows. A mix of educational content along with a heavy dose of fun — Thursday's bowling night at Lucky Strike Lanes was a hit — is NEMOA's recipe for success. But again, that's what I expected.
What I didn't expect was the buzz I heard throughout the three-day event on some of the "newer" technologies taking the cross-channel retail world by storm. In particular, mobile seemed to be at the top of everyone's list of things to learn more about.
In a testament to the evolution of the catalog industry, this year NEMOA introduced a new name for its conference. directXchange speaks to the multiple ways merchants can engage with consumers (not unlike the reasoning behind the renaming of this very publication a couple years back from Catalog Success to Retail Online Integration). It's not just about mailing catalogs anymore — and hasn't been for a while. If I've heard it once, I've heard it a million times: Consumers decide how, when, and in what channel they want to engage with brands.