Rendezvous 2012 Conference Highlights Technology Tools, Business Change, Marketing Insights

July 11, 2012

The OIA Rendezvous conference in October has amassed an impressive lineup of sessions specifically designed for retailers, marketers, executive leaders and manufacturers.

For retail attendees, Rendezvous offers breakout sessions on how consumer technology is changing retail, new retail business models, retail training in today’s “no rules” environment, and how smaller specialty retailers are surviving and thriving.

Marketers can explore e-commerce solutions beyond shopping cart conversion, direct-to-consumer marketing models, consumer trends and social media strategies during the course of the 3-day conference.

“Business evolution is happening at every level of the organization, faster than ever before,” commented LaRae Marsik, vice president of business intelligence and the producer of the Rendezvous conference. “The sessions at Rendezvous 2012 look at the full scope of the changes occurring and actionable strategies on reacting to, and in many ways embracing those changes.”

For executive leaders, Rendezvous offers insight into the Deloitte Shift Index, the latest business tool grabbing the attention of Wall Street and business leaders alike. Breakout and working sessions will explore the impacts and opportunities around urbanization, the multilevel recreation system across the country and how businesses are interacting with recreation in innovative partnership, and how to make a difference in the political process.

For manufacturers, sessions will take a detailed look at the shrinking supply chain — from international sourcing to close-to-consumer manufacturing. We’ll also examine the business case behind sustainability, efficient management strategies and the technology tools that support increasingly sophisticated commercial relationships.

Insightful Speakers
Expert keynote presenters include Max McKeown, a business leader and author focused on adaptability and change management, Gabe Zichermann, a recognized leader in game theory and gamification, and how purposeful, game-driven interactions are driving retail loyalties, customer engagement, employee involvement and consumer behavior across the board. We’ll also talk experiential retail with REI, Riversports Outfitters, Timberland and The Tannery, as well as delve into disruptive business technologies that are influencing the future as both retail and manufacturing are getting closer to the customer and their on-demand needs than ever before.

NPR’s political junkie, Ken Rudin, will explore the possible changes in the political landscape with the upcoming election, whatever the voting outcome may be, and MERRELL presents Clark Scheffy, associate partner and designer at IDEO, who will share tools, methods, and stories from IDEO’s 25 years of experience helping clients innovate and grow their businesses.

Extra-Curricular Activities
Beyond the education program, the Retail Trail and KOA Urban Campground Celebration are back by popular demand. Four Rendezvous Timberland Service Projects will provide the opportunity for attendees to give back to the Boston community as we dedicate an afternoon at the Franklin Park Zoo; Middlesex Fells Reservation; Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center; and the Trustees of the Reservations.

As with any gathering of outdoor industry leaders, there’s the opportunity to share a little outdoor recreation either before or after the conference — spending time getting your SUP skills polished (or built from scratch) on Boston’s Charles River or kayaking in Boston Harbor or spending a few hours biking around bean town. 

For more information on the Rendezvous conference, including registration details, visit