Getting Ready For NRF 2018 – Your Preshow Guide to Retail’s Biggest Show

December 07, 2017 | Post by Tom Alvey | 0 Comments

NRF Conference 2017

The NRF Big Show is one of retail’s largest industry events of the year. NRF boasts that there are over 35,000 attendees and more than 600 exhibitors, making this a one of a kind opportunity to see the future of retail, make new connections, and learn from industry experts. It can also be a bit overwhelming as you start to plan, which is why we’re here to help you make the most of your three days at the show.

Making Your On-Site NRF Plan

The sheer scale of the event is one of NRF’s biggest draws, but it also means it’s simply impossible to see and do it all. There are workshops, presentations, various demos, and networking opportunities, all in addition to the vast EXPO. Follow these tips as you build your NRF plan.



  • Start by reviewing the NRF Agenda. This lists the presentations, networking events, and workshops that are held throughout the show.
  • Decide which of the keynote presentations you want to attend. Since these are not repeated, you need to decide which are most important based on your business and interests.
  • Review the networking events. Identify the industry leaders who you want to meet, and choose which networking sessions you would like to attend. Full Conference Pass Attendees have lunch included, and EXPO Pass holders have access to the Food Truck Alley outside the South Concourse on Level 2, both of which are a great opportunity to connect and network. 
  • Research the list of exhibitors. Make sure to identify the “must visits” that are most important to you and your business. Then, based on the convention center layout, draw up a route and timeline that prioritizes these booths so that you can be sure you’ll hit them.
  • Know what you want to talk about. Come prepared with a list of questions or challenges you are facing so that you can hit the ground running in every meeting and presentation. Practice your two minute elevator pitch be able to quickly explain your value proposition to new connections.
  • Take time to explore. There’s lots of opportunity to stumble upon new innovations at NRF. Make sure you build in some time to just explore and browse at your own pace.

Excel on the EXPO Floor

NRF is unique because there are so many retail and industry experts in the same place at the same time. By scheduling activities and meetings in advance, you can make the most of your time and advance your business goals. Here are some things that you’ll want book in advance.

Have a Follow Up Plan Ready to go When You Return

After the event is over, you need to have a plan in place for how you’re going to follow up with all of your new connections. Too often, this is overlooked, leaving you with dozens of business cards that are left on the corner of your desk until it’s too late. Attending NRF is a big investment in both time and money, and a lack of follow up limits your chances of a return on your investment.

Turning Retail’s Big Show Into Your Big Win

NRF is a great three days for the retail industry. And with a bit of planning and preparation before the show, you can make it a great opportunity for your business as well. We can’t wait to attend and see how the future of retail and technology is evolving. We hope to see you there! 

Planning your visit to NRF? Download our handy NRF Pre Show Checklist to ensure you don’t miss anything!

The content and opinions posted on this blog and any corresponding comments are the personal opinions of the original authors, not those of CompuCom.

  • Tom Alvey's picture

    Tom Alvey

    Tom Alvey is the Senior Vice President of the Retail Vertical for CompuCom. He has responsibility for Sales, Strategy and Account Management for all of CompuCom’s retail clients. He has over 25 years of successful executive-level leadership experience in the IT industry. Prior to CompuCom he held several executive-level positions at a major OEM specializing in the retail industry and a global telecommunications giant. He has expertise in sales, business development, and operations.

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