With NRF PROTECT 2016 in full swing at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, Wednesday offered a full day of educational sessions and other events, offering something for everyone.
Following the Presentation of Colors, which kicked off the morning events, attendees held a moment of silence to honor those killed and injured as a result of the tragic events that took place in Orlando over the weekend and as a sign of support for the families still struggling through the aftermath.
Wednesday then began with brief opening remarks from Vicki Cantrell with the NRF, followed by the opening keynote presentation by special guest and legendary journalist Ted Koppel. Koppel offered his unique insights covering a variety of topics to include politics, terrorism, cyber crimes, and John Wayne. He spoke in some depth about the “law of unintended consequences,” and the need to always be conscious of what we do and why we do it. He reminded us of just how quickly our world can change by offering real-world examples, and the need for TV news and other news sources to return to “reliable information” as the responsibility of our news teams. “TV news used to bring people together,” he said. “We need to get back to providing the world with the information that they need to hear versus what they want to hear by informing the audience with reliable information.” The session was both educational and entertaining, and started the day on a positive note.
The conference then offered a new opportunity known as “The Mentor Experience,” which offered one-on-one career coaching and advice by industry experts. The program offered attendees the opportunity to meet with successful, seasoned industry leaders to learn valuable lessons, develop leadership skills, and acquire the tools to build a successful career.
A busy EXPO Hall was filled with attendees looking to take advantage of the more than 200 exhibitors on hand, showcasing the tools, technologies and inventive solutions that help to support the retail business and offer a wealth of resources for LP professionals searching for the most effective protection solutions. The EXPO hall remained active throughout the morning and early afternoon as retailers took full advantage of the opportunity to meet with the thought leaders and solution providers that support the industry.
The EXPO Hall was further supported by the NRF Fusion Center, which is a designated area within the hall that provides an opportunity for attendees to meet with law enforcement agencies and organized retail crime associations at the federal, state, and local levels and continue to build relationships to counteract retail crimes. Individual booths offered attendees the chance to discuss tactics, exchange information, and build critical partnerships.
The afternoon offered a wide variety of breakout presentations covering a spectrum of subjects. This year’s featured subjects included Session Tracks covering Crisis Management, Development and Leadership, Shrink and Fraud, Technology and Innovation, Safety, and Retail and Food Focus. With something for everyone, the day was filled with interesting sessions from some of the industry’s brightest talent and business partners.
Wednesday ended with a networking reception prior to attendees heading out to enjoy additional events throughout the historic Philadelphia area offered by a number of business partners and solution providers.