By : Tim Henschel
This year’s Synergy brought together NCR’s Retail, Wholesale Distribution, Restaurant and Hospitality customers, partners and sponsors in the most comprehensive event of its kind at the Gaylord Texan in Dallas.
The combined Retail and Hospitality event offered opportunities for the 1200+ attendees to discover the latest industry innovations and trends, collaborate with peers and subject matter experts, and learn and participate in demonstrations in our Exhibit Fair, while maintaining industry intimacy with targeted breakout sessions.
Paul Langenbahn, SVP and President, Hospitality, provided Tuesday’s general session with an overview of this year’s theme: Experience 2020: The Evolution of Omni-Channel, outlining the four things shaping the future of omni-channel: globalization, digitization, consumerism and technology, while Michael Bayer, SVP & President, Retail Solutions, outlined NCR’s Cx Retailing strategy, comprising our strategic offerings of Unified Commerce and Store Transformation, and providing retailers with Actionable Insights, enabling them to develop a deeper understanding of their customers and leverage big data to improve their business and the customer experience.
The four action-packed days included:
World-class speakers talking about using technology for growth, how consumer demographics are changing the shopping and dining experience, trends that are transforming tomorrow and how to innovate the 2020 customer experience.
Content focused on 4 key areas: Protected Commerce, Transformation, Optimization and Customer Experience. A mix of industry experts and influencers, analysts, industry press and NCR subject matter experts led panels and discussions around these topics.
The Exhibit Hall was set up as a town environment with segment vignettes showing how our solutions work together to deliver store transformation, unified commerce and actionable insights. A “Town Center” has a stage for short sponsor and NCR presentations while our NCR Wayfinding solution helps people to easily find the solutions they are most interested in, with digital monitors and signage highlighting our NCR capabilities and mobile solutions.
“Experience Journeys” were offered for multiple types of personas, including a customer and a store associate. Attendees could take a self-guided tour that shows them where to go in the Exhibit Hall to experience “A Day in the Life” of our personas. Sales teams and the demo personnel were on hand to walk attendees through these journeys, answer questions on solutions and interact with our customers in new ways. Gamification was built into our mobile event app which helped drive traffic within the Exhibit Hall and the sessions.
Tuesday’s General Session speakers were: James. H. Johnson, Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, engaged Tuesday’s audience with his overview of changing demographics and their implications for the future – something that the retail and hospitality industries must adapt to, while MC Doug Stephens, founder of Retail Prophet, hosted an insightful panel discussion on Cx Retailing in action with Michael Bayer, Dave Heppner, Senior Vice President, Engineering Services & Corporate Support, Speedway LLC and Miya Knights, Global Technology Research Director, Planet Retail.