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Retail Now will be taking place July 25th to 27th and trending to attract somewhere in the neighborhood of 2000 attendees and about 150 to 160 exhibitors.  This conference which has been happening for decades just added  cannabis as a track.  Join Jim Roddy as he shares what is new at Retail Now and why you should attend.

Video Transcription

Harry Brelsford  0:07 

Hey 420 MSP. Harry here back with Jim Roddy RSPA. And, Jim. There’s still time, there’s still time as you and I sit here today and talk on this podcast and folks whenever you watch it, but there’s still time to go to the in person, Retail Now event. So for people that aren’t familiar with the event number one in person, and then what are what are some of the factoids? How many attendees vendors, speeches, that kind of thing, then I have a couple questions. Sure.


Jim Roddy  0:39 

Yeah. Happy to do it. Thanks for having me. Always a pleasure to talk with you. So retail now is an annual trade show, networking conference education conference. And again, annual net is now with an asterisk because of 2020 and COVID. But so we didn’t have an event in person last year. But the RSPA, the retail solution providers Association has been hosting Retail Now for, you know, decades now under under some different names. So we tend to attract somewhere in the neighborhood of 2000 attendees every year, and then about 150 160 exhibitors in our expo hall. And so what this is, it’s there’s no like when people hear retail, they think, oh, there’s a bunch of merchants, we have no merchants whatsoever, we have the folks who are able to create the products and take them to market. So the exhibitors tend to be the hardware and software and services, you know, manufacturers and providers, and also the distributors. And then the people who are walking the show floor are the VARS, the software developers, the managed services providers. So you know, when we pack it all this here into 48 hours starting Sunday night, July 25th. And it goes to the afternoon of Tuesday, July 27. So that’s kind of like an overview of what retail now is. Yeah, yeah.


Harry Brelsford  1:56 

So we’re talking for 420MSP, we’re talking channel partners, we’re talking point of sale, resellers and so on. So sticking to the cannabis track in particular, but you know, give it your best shot. Why should they attend? I mean, I have my own feelings. But give me your talking points. And I’ll give you mine.


Jim Roddy  2:16 

Sure. Well, I so here’s the thing is the cannabis market, as you know, Harry, and I’m sure a lot of your listeners too, is just massive from every different corner of it, right? Like if you flip through Marijuana Venture Magazine, where you can see folks who play in the technology space, you can see legal providers, you can see people doing manufacturing, you can see, you know, lights for growing and you know, you know, irrigation systems, greenhouses, things of that nature. So the niche of the RSPA is really filling is at that dispensary point, right. And so we have a lot of folks who are retail experts, they know about customer experience, they know about inventory control, they know about managing a staff and time and attendance and everything related to that. And so that’s where this show is going to provide from that angle, you know, several different perspectives on and so really deep dive into that end of it. So if you have any thoughts as a managed services provider, who wants to partner with folks who are playing in the retail space right now, or if you’re a cannabis software developer, who says, boy, I don’t want to be able to build a sales team in every single state that’s gonna go legal, I want to be able to connect with some solution providers who are already in those states and we can kind of partner up and really start attacking this growing market. That’s going to be a big aspect of it, just the networking and we’re actually accelerating that this year is  for the first time ever, a cannabis community reception for 4:30- 5:30pm right before the the welcome reception on that first night. Then we followed up the next couple days with four sessions, education sessions, that dive deep into the cannabis market, Ting it all the way from like a 100 level in terms of what’s this market all about? And then all the way to what are mistakes that VARs and ISVs making the space? And then what are the elements of a successful solution provider in the cannabis dispensary vertical?


Harry Brelsford  4:09 

Yeah, and I’ll add to that, in you graciously participated in our attempt to the three day event last late May, in the beginning of the pandemic, it was supposed to be in Denver, we took it online. quite quite frankly, it wasn’t the same. I’m happy to share that but we did it you know we got one under a belt and we’ll we’ll see what that looks like in the future. But you’re one of the first independent conferences outside of the cannabis industry to have a cannabis technology track.You know, we’re gonna see that with retail vision, Greg chains that marijuana venture and early well November 9 and 10th in Seattle, and we’re hearing other technology shows are starting to line up we’ve had conversations with other shows you would know about Cannatech track But you really can count yourself as amongst the first. Does that make sense? I mean, you really are.


Jim Roddy  5:06 

Oh, I can say I know that for sure. Because we didn’t have a lot of blueprints to follow, right? You know how a lot. There are some shows like, let’s be honest, that are just kind of a me to event like they see what somebody else is doing. And they go and kind of steal what someone else’s and doing a little bit of twist on it. We really didn’t have anything to follow from this standpoint, and also in a COVID environment. So yeah, there’s no doubt we felt like the bridge that we’re walking on. We’re still building. It’s not not complete. There’s no footprints on it.


Harry Brelsford  5:34 

Yeah, absolutely. So folks, will both be there. We just talked to Dan, but a few minutes ago, he’ll be there. And on a panel, we got a couple of several lectures panels going on. I’m participating into once again, that’s July 25 26th 27th. in Nashville, what’s the URL to go?


Jim Roddy  5:54 

Yeah. So yeah, if you go to you’ll be able to find it. Or if you just do a quick Google search for retail. Now, I do also want to share with your viewers and listeners, Harry, one more resource we just came out with and it ties in with the cannabis community. So the RSP is published. And it ties in with one of our education sessions that we’re having at the event. It’s seven elements of a successful cannabis var. So we’ve worked as you know, here, you’ve been in on a lot of the conversations with successful resellers in the cannabis space. And so we put together a very detailed, there’s, you know, all sorts of information and lists and everything, you know, 4000 words, into this ebook that folks can go and download. If you go into the RSPA. website, you’ll be able to find it under industry reports. But just by publishing that ebook, in our community, we’ve picked up a whole bunch of folks who never showed up on our radar yet from the cannabis community. So that thing is, as of today, 149, individuales strong, and a lot of them just got added because they’re interested in that ebook. So there’s definitely interest from all sorts of different angles. And so we’re putting ourselves out there and and seeing what we find out. But it’s been a fascinating learning experience so far since we’d launched this lesson 12 months ago. So looking forward to actually seeing people in person human beings in 3d. What a rare concept in the b2b event space. No, I mean, you know what, next time we talk, I’m just making a side note and I’ll put it in my, my talk and notes.


Harry Brelsford  7:19 

But let’s review the book. Let’s review the book next time. That’ll be fun. We’ll do happy to do and I can’t wait to see you in Nashville parent. Yeah, yeah. All right. Okay, thanks.