2017 Agenda

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 13
7:30 a.m. Registration Open
8 a.m.-9 a.m. Breakfast
9 a.m.-9:15 a.m. Welcome and Introductions
Speaker: Orlando Llerandi, Publisher, design:retail
9:15 a.m.-10:15 a.m. Lighting Fireworks: Designing Retail That Resonates with Mercurial Consumers
Speaker: Alison Embrey Medina, Editor in Chief/Associate Publisher, design:retail

Description: Retail is at an epic crunch time. Legacy retailers are having to quickly figure out how to be cool again, while sleek and swifty e-comm brands swoop in and steal marketshare—and customer loyalty. One thing in common? From age-old brands to pure-play start-ups, they have all recentered their focus on the physical store. Experience is everything, from Boomer to Gen Z. The founder of Boxpark once said shopping online was about as invigorating as “watching fireworks on TV.” In this trend-focused presentation, Alison Embrey Medina, editor of award-winning magazine design:retail, will share a pictorial view of retailers bucking the trend by lighting up the retail landscape, showcasing the idea-makers and disruptors creating the biggest bang.

10:15 a.m.-10:45 a.m. Networking Break
10:45 a.m.-11:45 a.m. Think Inside The Box: Creativity within Constraints and Parameters
Speaker: David Kwong, Illusionist, Puzzle Expert and author of Spellbound

Description: In this talk, David Kwong explores the complex relationship between boundaries and productivity. Though it may seem counterintuitive, most people are at their most creative when they innovate within a given set of boundaries. How can you tell a clever story while obeying the construction rules of a crossword puzzle, the three-act structure of a screenplay, or the sensitive angles of a stage illusion? Kwong, a master of working within the lines, explains how constraints give us the freedom to create. We are at our most innovative when we design a new form for something familiar, and subsequently express it in a novel and compelling way. Kwong demonstrates some of his own groundbreaking puzzles and illusions by way of inspiring a new method of problem solving.

12 p.m.-1:30 p.m. Lunch Under the Vines (Location: Hyatt Courtyard)
1:30 p.m.-2:45 p.m. Exploring Future Tech and Trends Set to Redefine Brick and Mortar
Speaker: David Tal, President & Co-Founder, Quantumrun

Description: The next 15 years will see significant trends in technology, the economy and politics push brick and mortar over an inflection point, one that will either force retailers into corners or outside their boxes. To tackle and explore these trends, David Tal will start off with a practical overview of maturing and future technologies, alongside ideas about how retailers can use these technologies to redesign and redefine the brick-and-mortar shopping experience. The second half of this discussion will overview the various political, economic, demographic and business trends forecasted to affect the retail sector, giving you the conceptual tools you can apply to your organization’s long-term strategic plans and initiatives.

2:45 p.m.-3:15 p.m. Networking Break
3:15 p.m.-4 p.m. Project Showcase

Description: In this fast-track session, designers and retailers will each have only five minutes each to present a recent retail project either already opened or coming soon. It’s retail on fast forward!

6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Welcome to Sonoma Dinner (Location: Kunde Family Winery)

Description: Kick off your adventure in Wine Country atop Kunde’s Boot Hill, with amazing panoramic views of nothing but vineyards, rolling hills and horizon. Insider tip: this outdoor dinner will include yard games (think bocce and cornhole) and will be held entirely on grass, so choose your shoes wisely!

10 p.m.-midnight Forum After Hours (Location: Hyatt lobby bar and fire pits)
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 14
8 a.m.-9 a.m. Breakfast
9 a.m.-10:15 a.m. Disruptors: The Makers of Transient Retail and Curated Experiences
Speaker: Moderator: Erin Alley, Senior Retail Designer, Gensler; Panelists: Timothy Anaya, Head of Customer Experience, Ministry of Supply; Phillip Raub, Co-Founder, CMO & Head of Retail, b8ta; Dan Pelosi, Senior Creative Director, Ann Inc. (Lou & Grey); Kim House, Director of Brand Marketing, Williams-Sonoma Inc. (Pottery Barn)

Description: Over the decades, retail has evolved from the store being king, to brands taking reign, to now the customer ruling all. Retail must be wherever the customer wants it to be, at any time, any place and is no longer “clicks to bricks,” a directional shift from one channel to another, but more fluid and transient. Today’s most successful retailers must strategize having presences across broad landscapes; from leased specialty or department stores, pop-up locations, e-commerce sites, social media shops, and even the workplace. Additionally, more traditional retailers have had to morph their spaces to serve curated experiences. Bringing memorable experiences into the physical space is not a trend, per se, but is gaining traction as it is paramount to the success of the store. From music, to gaming and interactive zones, to speakers, etc., curated experiences entice consumers and offers elements of discovery, community, personalization and more. This session will discuss the opportunities and challenges presented in this transient and curated retail landscape.

10:15 a.m.-10:45 a.m. Networking Break
10:45 a.m.-noon Using Research to Decode Shopper Behavior
Speaker: Mackenzie King, Director, Design Research & Insight Translation, Lextant

Description: Directly engaging your consumers through the process of participatory design research techniques can serve as a strong platform for envisioning fresh retail environments that feel innovative yet human. Beyond simple surveys, design research can now dive deeper, debunking the myth that consumers can’t tell you what they want. In order for retail to thrive, particularly physical retail, we need to understand shoppers as more than consumers. We need to understand what drives them across all key areas of their being, the characteristics and values that go well beyond convenient personas and instead articulate the emotions and motivations that help them run businesses, families and still make it to yoga at the end of a long day. We’ll share stories of specific methodologies and philosophies of design research that embrace today’s maker culture through participatory research activities—activities that look beyond journey pain points to envision a more “ideal” experience.

Noon Buses Depart
12:30 p.m.-2 p.m. Lunch at Chateau St. Jean (Treasury Wine Estates)
2 p.m.-3:30 p.m. (Option 1) “Choose Your Adventure” Recharge Workshops : Changing the Language of Wine
Speaker: Tyler Balliet, Former President and Founder, Wine Riot

Description: Ten years ago, Tyler Balliet saw an opportunity to update the wine industry for a new generation of consumers by creating large-scale, educational, wine tasting experiences that toured the United States, and eventually added an innovative wine retail store. He made the intimidating world of wine completely unintimidating for a Millennial audience. He will guide you through the creation and evolution of the experiential Wine Riot events, and how he brought the concept of product education to retail. Plus, he will workshop with the group on how you can “change the language” across any industry. But there will probably be some wine (wink wink).

2 p.m.-3:30 p.m. (Option 2) “Choose Your Adventure” Recharge Workshops : Shinrin Yoku with Judy
Speaker: Judy Bell, CEO (Chief Energetic Officer), Energetic Retail

Description: Experience a taste of Shinrin-Yoku: Japanese Forest Bathing—a fluid calming and nourishing balm for your senses. Having originated in Japan in the 1980s as a public response to overwork, Japan now has countless shinrin-yoku retreats. Scientifically proven benefits include an increase in creativity, inspiration and relaxation of the “thinking brain.” As Albert Einstein said, “Look deep into nature, and then you’ll understand everything better.” Connect with nature and your colleagues in a new way!

2 p.m.-3:30 p.m. (Option 3) “Choose Your Adventure” Recharge Workshops : The Art of Design Meets the Science of Shopping
Speaker: Paco Underhill, CEO & Founder, Envirosell

Description: Traffic counters, in-store cameras, and beacons - merchants are falling in and out of love with measurement systems. The design profession is being asked to integrate data analytics in their practice. Join this candid discussion on the meeting of Art and Science. Come vent your spleen.

2 p.m.-3:30 p.m. (Option 4) “Choose Your Adventure” Recharge Workshops: Virtual Retail Design—Design Without Rules
Speaker: Brian Kavanagh, Senior Director, Insights Driven Performance & Retail Evolution, The Hershey Co.

Description: What would you build if there were no rules? No physical limitations? This exercise and brainstorming session with Brian Kavanagh (aka The Candy Man!!) will address space and experience design in both fictitious and real-world applications that will get your creative wheels turning.

3:30 p.m.-4 p.m. Buses Depart to Hyatt
6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Portfolio Awards Dinner (Location: Chalk Hill Estate)

Description: Come help us celebrate the 2017 Portfolio Award winners in style with cocktails in Chalk Hill’s Estate Pavilion, with terrace views of sweeping vineyards as far as the eye can see. Then enjoy dinner and the awards ceremony inside the architecturally stunning Olympic-sized dressage riding arena, beautifully crafted of Alaskan golden cedar.

10 p.m.-midnight Forum After Hours (Location: Jack and Tony's Restaurant & Whisky Bar))
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 15
8 a.m.-8:30 a.m. Buses Depart
9 a.m.-10 a.m. Outdoor Terrace Brunch (Location: Benziger Family Winery)
10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Wine Blending/Branding Challenge & Tour

Description: Get your (literal) creative juices flowing as we take a wine blending course and tie it into best practices for retail branding. You won’t want to miss this final leg of the Sonoma Forum experience!

11:30 a.m.-noon Buses Depart to Hyatt