STORIS’ 2017 Client Conference took place on November 1-3, 2017 at the Wyndham Hamilton Park Conference Center in Florham Park, NJ. STORIS shattered conference attendance records by 40%, welcoming over 240 of their retailers to the 3-day event. The New Jersey location enabled over 120 members of the STORIS team to enhance relationships with their valued clients. Retailers at the event represented clients of 28 years to new clients just beginning their STORIS partnerships.
The conference theme “Unified for Success” highlighted the content and technology’s focus on Unified Commerce. Emerging shifts in retail and the consumer purchasing journey were at the forefront of conversation with STORIS clients gleaning actionable insights on building technology as the center point of their unified brands.
At the event, STORIS unveiled new additions to their Unified Commerce platform. Clients were able to walk through the “Unified Commerce Experience” and interact with the new technology touch-points in a simulated customer shopping scenario. This included STORIS’ Next Generation Platform, eSTORIS eCommerce platform, the STORIS Kiosk, Mobile Solutions, and an all new Business Intelligence Suite.
Mike Bacon, Director of Retail Systems for Ethan Allen, commented, “Ethan Allen brought eight team members from various roles in the enterprise to STORIS’ Client Conference. Each member of this diverse group found great value in many of the offerings, particularly in the demonstration of the new BI platform that we are extremely excited to begin using at Ethan Allen.”
The STORIS Client Conference had a packed agenda with over 25 break-out seminars, seven general sessions, and multiple opportunities for networking. Following an opening night Welcome Reception, the STORIS Client Conference was introduced by Marketing & eCommerce Manager, Kaitlin Surdoval. She highlighted the most important aspect of the conference, having the STORIS community together under one roof. Vice President of Sales, Mark Ricciardi, then led into a Partnership Update; sharing the growth of STORIS’ retail-base since the last conference that included over 7 new Top 100 retailers and a 30% growth in individual users.
Next, Donnie Surdoval, Product Manager, overviewed development direction and new innovations to the STORIS solution. Senior Brand Advisor, Ryan Craver, topped off the first day of general sessions with a keynote presenting research and best practices of catering to a unified consumer. To end the day’s general sessions, STORIS clients heard from their peers on a Retail Customer Experience Client Panel moderated by COO, Doug Culmone. The panel was comprised of Blair Ingle of Furnitureland South, Breanne Dolphin of Broad River Retail, Christopher Markiewicz of Ethan Allen, and Nick Gee of Bassett. Also on the Client Panel was Retail Sales and Business Development Manager for W.S. Badcock Corporation, Robert Ball.
He commented on his experience saying; “The STORIS Client Conference was a tremendous opportunity for both long-time STORIS users and new clients. Having a great blend of training in today’s best practices in the system and the excitement of the possibilities for tomorrow has us improving today and planning for the future. Along with using this as an opportunity to learn from the STORIS team, it allows us to learn, collaborate, and share with industry leaders as we press forward into 2018.”
There was also an abundance of networking opportunities. At the Department Crawl, each department at STORIS created an interactive experience for the clients to enjoy themselves and meet the STORIS team. Experiences included Virtual Reality, Mini-Golf, Giant Board Games, a Carnival, Mario & Race Car Tracks, and a Tailgate. To close the day, clients participated in Speed Networking, mingling with peers in similar roles at their retail organizations. That evening, over 200 attendees headed off to a fun night at Frames Lounge in New York City.
On the final day of the conference, Adam Kelly, Senior Manager of Boston Retail Partners, was the keynote speaker. He provided an in-depth analysis of the state of furniture retail with practical applications for retailers to embrace Unified Commerce. Next President and CEO, Don Surdoval delivered a presentation sharing the company’s focus on reinventing STORIS for the modern-day retailer. Immediately following, Director of Product Manager, Shawn McKnight introduced the Next Generation of STORIS and development direction for the company’s new web-based foundation.
STORIS would like to thank their vendor sponsors for their support of the event: AcceptanceNOW, Amber Engine, ecUtopia, Fortitude Technology, Fortiva Retail Credit, Genesis Credit, Peak 10 + Via West, Podium, Rocket Software, Shift 4 Corporation, Snap Finance, TD Bank, Wells Fargo Retail Services, and West Creek Financial.
COO, Doug Culmone stated, “We are thrilled with our client’s response to our 2017 Client Conference. As a community, STORIS is energized for the future. We are excited to get the technology debuted at our conference into the hands of our retailers and for them to use the strategies they learned to drive sales and improve their operations.”