Welcome to 2017 – A New Year, A New Board and New Resolutions
At Reed Exhibitions, we start the New Year with “Kick Off” – a 3-day annual company conference, where we share strategies for the year, listen to inspirational speakers (thank you Naomi Simpson!), receive training, engage in team bonding activities (embarrassing!) and have a good amount of fun and celebration (#headache). It’s a great way to start the year as it gets everyone focussed and excited about working together to deliver our 25+ events and exhibitions across 12 industries.
This year’s Kick-Off’s theme was “Customer First”, which resonates very well with the projects that the Online Retailer team is working on to deliver the…*insert drumroll here*… 9th annual edition of the show in July 2017.
One of the main messages that I took away from the conference, is that it is really up to each and every one of us to make a difference to our customers. When we go about doing our work we become our own CEO: we take responsibility for what we do, and treat each customer interaction with consideration and pride. The one thing we can really control, above everything else, is our own attitude, our own conduct and what we believe is important. So I made it my new year’s resolution to make more time for inspiration to foster creativity and products development for our events.
This is an exciting year for Online Retailer, as it marks our return to the International Convention Centre; Sydney’s newly refurbished convention, exhibition and entertainment precinct at the heart of Darling Harbour. With a new venue come new opportunities to stage Australia’s largest retail event and to bring together the industry to learn, connect and do business. Since the beginning, Online Retailer has worked closely with its customers to drive the strategic direction, content and solution offerings, and we are fortunate enough to have built an excellent network of clients, industry friends and advisors to help us do that.
It is therefore with great pleasure that I can introduce our 2017 Advisory Board, a select group of industry leaders whose experience, viewpoints, advice, advocacy and passion for the industry will help the Online Retailer team take the Conference and Expo to the next level.
Returning board members are Paul Greenberg, Founder of NORA and Grant Arnott, Publisher of Power Retail and co-Founder of Click Frenzy, who have been invaluable contributors to the show since its beginnings and bring great industry knowledge and wisdom to the board. Peter Knock, former CEO at The Co-op, comes new to the board with his much applauded (and awarded) senior retail management experience, most recently from Australia’s largest member owned retailer. In addition we welcome four new retailers, each bringing distinct and different experience through their current and previous roles. Mark Cripsey, Chief Digital and Data Officer of Myer, who represents the viewpoint of one of Australia’s largest retailers, in the midst of delivering a transformation plan focused on digital innovation.
We are also extremely excited to welcome Irene Falcone, Founder and CEO of Nourished Life to the board. Irene’s business is only 4 years old but has seen a 900% growth in 2016 (*read her interview on this newsletter too!). Irene’s 18 years’ experience in advertising, 10 of which spent in senior marketing roles for the world’s largest brands, will be vital in helping us position our event for success.
Mike Wilson, Founder at Tinyme, which just celebrated its 10th anniversary (a milestone that less than 4% of start-ups achieve), will represent our heartland visitors and guide us in making sure we continue to deliver the content and solutions this customer segment needs. We will also introduce to the board Paula Mitchell, General Manager of eCommerce at General Pants, whose extensive experience in the implementation and management of numerous retail applications and e-commerce solutions will help us plan for the future of retail. Finally, complementing the board with the viewpoint of a current exhibitors and sponsor is Nick Molnar, Founder and CEO of Afterpay, whose power surge into the payments innovation space has seen many accolades, and who will bring a great start up energy to the discussions.
The team and I are extremely honoured to welcome these outstanding individuals to the board. Their diversity reflects the full spectrum of retail and the variety of our customers at the show.
But before we get them to work hard, we asked our board members to share with us their personal and professional New Year’s resolutions. I don’t know about you, but I loved their answers…
Mark Cripsey: To bring the speed and agility of a start-up to the New Myer Transformation.
Mike Wilson: My personal news year resolution is to spend more time on product research and development and my personal news year resolution is to perfect my frontside 5-0 grind (pretty basic skateboard move) to stay ahead of my 6 year old.
Nick Molnar: My personal news year resolution is to touch my toes and my professional new years resolution is to maintain my vibrant start-up culture as we grow (so I’m combining the two and doing lunch time yoga at the office!)
Peter Knock: My personal resolution is to “stay focussed on enjoying life with my family.” Professionally is a challenge as there are so many strands all going on at the same time. However it would have to be to understand “how new tech and online developments can contribute to engaging our customers in ever more innovative ways.
Paul Greenberg: Getting more comfortable with discomfort. I am really going to push myself into new areas of learning and engagement that are well outside my comfort zone and the familiar. (And hopefully take this philosophy to the gym too!).
Paula Mitchell: I like to think of resolutions as goals, this way I know I can eat all the chocolate and drink all the wine I deserve 🙂 The focus for 2017 is to keep doing what I love. This year General Pants has the opportunity to become a leader in the fashion industry as a multi-faceted retail business, an initiative that I am excited to be a key stakeholder in.
Grant Arnott: Grant is skying in France and has not been able to answer to our email. However, we asked Fed, our Event Manager, who closely works with Grant in delivering the content for Online Retailer, what she things his resolution would have been. This is what she told us: To make sure that I put together a personal and professional strategy that will stop Fed from constantly nagging me.
I love that every answer I received totally resonated with the theme of Reed Exhibition’s company conference and the Online Retailer focus for 2017.Be the best of who you can be and then you will make a difference to the customers you serve!