Attending a conference like NRF PROTECT provides a large dose of educational opportunities through the many different sessions offered by guest speakers and loss prevention leaders from across the loss prevention and asset protection industry. However, there is another aspect of NRF PROTECT that is just as vital when attending these events.
Exploring day two of the NRF PROTECT Loss Prevention Conference & Expo, we focused more on the exposition hall experience and the essential value that our solution providers add to the conference. The expo hall allows the opportunity for loss prevention practitioners to meet with hundreds of solution providers demonstrating the latest in retail security and asset protection tools and technology. LP leaders can learn more about the products they currently use, ask questions that can improve performance and efficiency, and explore other tools and technology that can further enhance the success of their programs.
“For the team at Zebra Retail Solutions, it’s always a great opportunity to spend time with so many of our customers and prospective customers all in one venue,” said Ed Tonkin, president of Zebra Retail Solutions. “In addition to sharing the latest on our products and how they can benefit our retail partners, we do a great deal of listening and learning in the sessions and through the different conversations at our exhibit. This keeps us informed of what is most important to each of the respective loss prevention retailer leaders and their departments. The exhibit also provides a great opportunity for us to launch new technology solutions.”
While this provides a tremendous benefit, there is so much more happening in the expo hall. This year NRF PROTECT once again featured the NRF Fusion Center. With more than 20 agencies participating in 2019, the Fusion Center provides a unique opportunity for retailers and law enforcement to build and strengthen public and private partnerships, discuss trending loss prevention issues, and explore strategies to counter retail crime. Participants included several key law enforcement partners from across the country, organized retail crime associations (ORCAs), and other agencies, allowing retailers to build new partnerships and strengthen others.
In today’s omni-channel retail environment there are a host of concerns that extend well beyond the four walls of the brick-and-mortar retail space. To meet the robust demands of the retail consumer, our stores extend into the convenience and fast-paced offerings of the Internet opening the doors to new opportunities and new challenges for the loss prevention professional. The Cybersecurity Pavilion features solution providers that delve deep into the world of cyber threats to help address this ongoing risk to the retail business.
Finally—but just as critical to the success of our loss prevention teams—is the training, research, and development aspects of the expo hall. The Loss Prevention Research Council is on-hand to discuss the latest research projects and work with industry leaders to explore new projects. And the Loss Prevention Foundation attends to discuss the various educational opportunities available to the loss prevention professional. Ongoing investments in program development and professional education remain the key to the future of the loss prevention industry.
While the focus of the conference typically falls on the tremendous sessions that are at the core of the event, the opportunities afforded by the exposition hall are a critical aspect of the overall conference experience, and should never be taken for granted.
“The challenge faced by retailers to stop crime in their stores is increasing in scale and complexity,” said Bobby Haskins, director of market development for North America & Retail Asset Protection at Auror. “NRF PROTECT has provided a forum for us to come together as a community to connect, learn, and listen to how innovative solutions can help break this cycle. We’re both inspired and excited that positive and lasting change can be made by empowering retailers to report, solve, and prevent crime through crime intelligence and other valued solutions. Can’t wait for next year!”
Thursday’s events wrapped up another successful and productive day before attendees left the conference, energized and ready to share what they’ve learned with their companies and loss prevention departments. Thanks again to all attendees, our vendor partners, and the team at the National Retail Federation for once again making this event a successful learning experience.