- Groceryshop, the popular industry trade show focused on digital innovation and emerging technologies, will return to in-person events this fall from Sept. 19-22 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, according to a press release.
- Show organizers have confirmed more than 40 speakers, including C-level executives from Kroger, Ahold Delhaize, Albertsons, Target and Doordash. The final agenda will include more than 150 speakers, according to the announcement.
- Sister show Shoptalk is also planning to return to in-person attendance in March 2022 as trade show organizers plot a return to normalcy following a year of virtual shows and canceled events.
Trade show organizers adjusted to the pandemic with digital formats that included everything from virtual stages to one-on-one meetups in an effort to recreate, at least on some level, time-honored industry experiences.
But companies have been eager to safely return to in-person events, which promise networking, sponsorship and other opportunities that can’t be entirely recreated online. While numerous upcoming shows remain digital-only, others in the $11 billion industry have been plotting hybrid online/offline shows and fully in-person events.
Groceryshop, which launched in 2017 under a different name, centers on emerging technologies, digital innovation and industry disruption. Past shows have hosted talks from executives at major chains, and this year’s confirmed speakers so far include Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen, Albertsons Chief Customer and Digital Officer Chris Rupp and Target Chief Food and Beverage Officer Rick Gomez.
It’s unclear how lingering health concerns might impact show attendance. More than half of all Americans have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recommends physical distancing, disinfecting protocols and other steps for large in-person gatherings. Groceryshop organizers did not outline safety steps in their initial announcement on Monday.
In addition to its fall show in Las Vegas, Groceryshop will host a spring “meetup” May 10-12 that will include virtual one-on-one meetings between registrants. Hyve Group, which owns the Groceryshop and Shoptalk properties, established the format in 2020, hosting 33,000 virtual meetings for more than 4,000 participants across Shoptalk and Groceryshop and reporting a 90% satisfaction rate for the meetings. Show organizers said the meetups will become permanent fixtures under both show brands.
Groceryshop will host its 2022 show Sept. 18-21 at the Aria in Las Vegas.
Meanwhile, Shoptalk will make its in-person return March 27-30, 2022, at Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay. The show format will also host virtual meetups this October and next October, as well as a meetup for women in retail in June 2022. Shoptalk Europe, which held its first and only show in 2017, is also returning in 2022, with the event set to take place June 6-8 at the ExCel convention center in London.