Orlando, FL -- August 19, 2014 --The Retail Solutions Providers Association (RSPA), the only industry association for retail technology, concluded its annual tradeshow, educational summit, and membership gathering, RetailNOW 2014, on August 6 in Orlando, FL. The event was held Aug 3-6 at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Kissimmee, Florida.
Based on previous years’ feedback, an emphasis was placed on business networking and “deal-making” for attendees, who were, during the three-and-a-half day event, were able to create their own tailored experience by selecting from the extensive show schedule. 178 tradeshow exhibits, 32 educational sessions and over 20 networking events were available for event attendees’ engagement. This year, RetailNOW provided a particular emphasis on new developments within the association itself, the event, and the industry.
New President and CEO, Kelly Funk was introduced by outgoing chair of the RSPA Board of Directors, Lynn Skurla—a landmark moment, given that in its more than 60 year history, the Association has never had any, let alone two, females in its top leadership positions. Funk provided an opening address to RetailNOW attendees, in which she likened the rapid changes of the industry to a ride on a roller coaster. Her challenge to RetailNOW attendees: “we can learn from [other industries] that have been through [radical change] and survived. It just takes fresh eyes, a different approach, to gain new perspective.”
Funk’s positive outlook on equipping RSPA members for impending change was bolstered by the Board of Directors elections during the RSPA’s annual membership meeting, immediately following her address. In another historic move, the RSPA expanded its board of directors and 18 candidates) vied for seven open positions (4 of which were newly added). After a run-off vote for two of the final seats, the new Board of Directors members were seated—resulting in 4 new Board members under the age of 30, a true representation of the generational shift that the industry is experiencing as a whole.
Highlights of other new features of RetailNOW 2014:
Scholarship Golf Tournament comes to RetailNOW
Sponsored by NCC, the Golf Tournament raised more than $12,000 for the RSPA Scholarship Fund. Over 50 golfers participated in the tournament held at the Falcon’s Fire Golf Club in Orlando, FL. The second annual RetailNOW Scholarship Golf Tournament will be held August 2, 2015.
On August 4, RSPA debuted several “events within the event,” to encourage additional networking and member collaboration. Dubbed Community Events, the purpose of each was to encourage attendees to gather together for discussion, debate and connection regarding a common topic of interest. Three of the events were hosted by RSPA committees—W2W- Women in Retail, Strategic Technologies Solutions and the Canadian Community and—A fourth community event focused on mobililty was also offered and provided attendees with an active discussion on how mobile is changing the POS and payments landscape.
New Awards Ceremony Format
In contrast to previous years’ events, the 2014 Awards Ceremony for RSPA’s Vendor Awards of Excellence and Innovative Solutions Awards was open to all RetailNOW attendees. More than 500 attendees joined emcee Bob Goldberg for an Awards Cocktail Reception, which allowed attendees to mingle with RSPA Board of Directors, staff, and award winners in a relaxed, less formal setting. Highlights of the Awards event included the announcement of Business Solutions Magazine as the Gold Medallion winner for receiving the highest overall votes across all categories; the induction of industry trailblazer, Ed Mancini into the RSPA Hall of Fame; and the passing of the gavel from RSPA Board Chair Lynn Skurla to new Chair, Jim Roddy.
Product Launches, New Technology Showcases
Always at the forefront of displaying new technologies, RetailNOW 2014 lived up to its reputation as the place where the retail technology industry provides the reseller with the ability to “touch and feel” the latest technology offerings. With more than 10 product launches and countless other new technologies showcased on the 178 booth show floor, RetailNOW 2014 provided attendees with information they needed to understand how to apply the newest trends to merchant and end user needs.
“It was hard not to feel the enthusiasm within the industry during RetailNOW,” said Lynn Skurla, Past Chair of the RSPA Board of Directors, and President of Skurla’s POS Solutions. “This year, I heard so many comments that reaffirmed that RetailNOW is truly where the industry meets.”
(www.GoRSPA.org) The Retail Solutions Providers Association (RSPA) is the only association dedicated to the retail technology industry. RSPA members include resellers, hardware manufacturers, software developers, consultants, finance companies, and distributors bringing retail technology products and/or services to the marketplace. The RSPA provides education, certification, industry advocacy, benefits and information that assists members with becoming and remaining successful.
(www.GoRSPA.org/RetailNOW) RetailNOW is the premier convention and expo for all professionals in the retail technology industry. RetailNOW is where the industry meets each year to become educated on new business trends, emerging technologies and best
business practices along with exploring a diverse exhibit hall with more than 175 booths featuring the latest products in the retail technology industry.
RSPA’s RetailNOW 2014 was held August 3-6, at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Kissimmee, FL. For more information go to GoRSPA.org