2016 International Retail Design Conference (IRDC) to be Held in Montréal on September 13-15

© Tourisme Montréal, Stéphan Poulin

© Tourisme Montréal, Stéphan Poulin

Registration is now underway for VMSD Magazine’s 2016 International Retail Design Conference (IRDC), taking place September 13-15 at Le Westin Montréal in Montréal. It's the 16th year for the very popular event, and there's a $350 savings off the regular individual registration rate available through June 1. 

Montreal is the third Canadian city to host IRDC, following successful events in Toronto in 2010 and Vancouver in 2013. “One of the many interesting dynamics we’ll explore during this year’s conference is the mutual desire on the part of both Canadian and U.S. retailers and designers to learn from each other’s expertise,” said conference chair Jennifer Acevedo, Editor-in-Chief, VMSD. “We will navigate consumer trends, shopping behaviour and desires in their home countries. And, though we are close in proximity, the distinct cultures of these two nations are critical to comprehend for those hoping for success in either (or both).”
 
IRDC 2016 includes several sessions related specifically to Canadian retail, including: 
 
Breakout Session: "Trading spaces: Crafting a seamless experience that blurs the lines between the physical store and the online retail"

This panel discussion, moderated by Aedifica’s Stéphane Bernier, will compare how two local Montreal-based retail brands–Aldo Shoes, a 40-year-old retail brand with stores in 57 countries, and Bon Look, a young startup online brand–have each crafted an omnichannel retail experience that blurs the line between virtual and physical. Discussion will include how it has impacted their new store designs, and what role the physical retail store can play in building customer relationships and gaining the consumer’s trust in an omnichannel environment.
 
Breakout Session: "Maison Birks: How can a luxury retail brand engage with Millennials?"

Founded in 1879, Maison Birks is an iconic Canadian luxury jewelry brand. Under the leadership of CEO Jean-Christophe Bedos, the retailer has undertaken a vast reengineering of its brand, its collections and its identity to develop a new modern, young and refreshing expression while staying true to its long-standing heritage of luxury and craftsmanship. Hear about the process that was developed to define the brand’s new retail approach. Learn what luxury retail can offer to a vastly younger demographic, leveraging their need for interaction, storytelling and authenticity.

Stunning lobby at Le Westin Montréal. Photo: Le Westin Montréal

Stunning lobby at Le Westin Montréal. Photo: Le Westin Montréal

IRDC 2016 will also feature keynote speakers and other presenters, as well as a wide range of sessions, from professional development and management  to technology. 
 
Opening Keynote Speaker, riCardo Crespo: riCardo Crespo is best known in the creative/design+branding industries as a creative ronin, driven by the applied ethos of intelligently provoking and delivering against a brand’s promise through innovative thought leadership and compelling communication. As a globally seasoned and celebrated executive creative, he continues to deliver his passion for excellence to many high-profile retail brands through his integrated strategic plans and one-voice branded communications. 
 
Closing Keynote Speaker: Welby Altidor, Executive Creative Director, Cirque du Soleil, titled: "Creative Courage: Challenge the Status Quo and Make Big Ideas Happen": Welby Altidor is a firm believer that, whether we realize it or not, we all have access to a unique creative genius in all of us. It takes courage—creative courage—to welcome and unleash that inner force. Drawing on his experiences as Director of Creation for Cirque du Soleil’s hit Las Vegas show Michael Jackson ONE, Altidor focuses on engagement, motivation, focus, authenticity, and leadership. There are no dumb ideas, he says, just platforms to build upon. We have to give everyone a voice, and collaborate to access an idea’s full potential. We should seek feedback early—essentially scheduling failure—to improve. Businesses and organizations need to be more creative and innovative, he argues—and a creative mindset can help us solve problems, challenge the status quo, and be more successful than ever.

For more information on IRDC 2016 and to register, please visit: irdconline.com

Canadian Retail News From Around The Web: May 27, 2016