A Truly ‘Super Saturday’

Mark your calendars now: On Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012, for the third consecutive year, the Retail Orphan Initiative (RetailROI) will unofficially kick off the annual National Retail Federation Convention and EXPO by bringing together some of retailing’s most prominent IT thinkers in a high-level information-sharing event. Called SuperSaturday, this year’s forum will be held at the PwC Auditorium, 300 Madison Ave., New York City. 

“PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) is donating its building for the day. And our speakers, who include Gartner’s VP research Jeff Roster and Global Hunter Securities’ macro and consumer strategist Richard Hastings, are donating their time,” said Jeff Buzek, co-founder, RetailROI, and founder and president, IHL Group, Franklin, Tenn.

Registration is free for retailers to attend SuperSaturday. (Last year’s event drew retailers representing more than 106,000 stores.) Vendors can attend through sponsorships. 

“All proceeds from the vendor sponsorships are donated to our charity,” Buzek noted. 

This year, the SuperSaturday agenda is especially timely. It will focus on the convergence of IT and marketing, store technologies, social media success stories, mobile devices (associate and consumer), next-generation analytics and how companies can move from marketing brands to true competitive strength. 

“SuperSaturday is a great way to bring together CIOs, technology vendors and retailers in support of an idea that we all believe in,” said Paul Civils, senior VP and general manager of retail solutions for Atlanta-based technology provider Agilysys. The company, whose retail solutions group resides in Greenville, S.C., is among the sponsors of SuperSaturday 2012. 

As Civils sees it, the event is a win-win all around.

“It is an advantage for the vendors because we get face time with retailers,” he said, “and the retailers get to hear top-notch data insight. And we all get to support an important charity. It is a great mix.”

SuperSaturday 2012 is hoping to attract some 200 attendees. 

“The audience continues to grow each year, and we are proud to be there as a sponsor and provide support for the event, as well as behind the scenes,” said Barry Wise, senior industry consultant, Epson, Long Beach, Calif., whose lineup of high-precision technologies ranges from printers to 3LCD projectors. Epson is also a sponsor of the upcoming IT event. 

According to Wise, support from other organizations within retail, including industry associations, is crucial to getting the charitable group’s message out.

“The more awareness we can spread about more well-being for orphans, the better off society and mankind will be,” Wise said. “There has been a lot of success, but the best times are still ahead in terms of getting more companies and people involved in raising money.” 

Retailers interested in registering for SuperSaturday should go to retailroi.org/super-saturday/.

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