Must Attend Data Conferences for CDAOs in Retail

Why attend events?

Unless you are new around here you will be aware that at Advancing Analytics, we attend a lot of events! The data world is fast paced and keeping up is incredibly difficult. I personally use events as a way to stay up-to-date with the latest trends in Data & AI which will impact our customers the most! When we work with industry leaders in RCPG I am regularly asked "As a CDAO/CTO/CDO of a leading Retail / CPG busines, what events should I attend?".  I hope this list helps summarise the events I peronally look forward to. Have I missed one? Please add a comment. 

Which events should you attend? 

As a Chief Data and Analytics Officer (CDAO), Chief Data Officer (CDO), or Chief Technology Officer (CTO), staying abreast of the latest trends, technologies, and best practices is paramount. Attending industry events and conferences is an excellent way to network, learn from peers, and keep your organisation at the cutting edge. Here’s a list of key events that should be on your radar.

Gartner Data & Analytics Summit

Location: Florida, London & Global (Check event website for your local event)
Date: US typically March, London typically May. 
Why Attend: This summit is a powerhouse of insights for data and analytics leaders. It covers a broad spectrum of topics from advanced analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, to data governance and data literacy. Networking opportunities with industry leaders and peers are abundant. Now I caveat this, because if you are from a deep development background this one is going to be too high level for you. Sometimes I find the technical sessions at Gartner miss the mark for me. High-level stuff is great! 
Website: https://www.gartner.com/en/conferences

Big Data London 

Location: London, Hammersmith
Date: September. 
Why Attend: Honestly, Big Data London is my favourite event of the year!  Big Data LDN is the UK’s leading data and analytics event, featuring a lineup of speakers from top-tier companies and data & AI vendors. The event covers all aspects of data analytics, from governance and quality to advanced analytics and data science. There is a great mix of content aimed at leaders and developers alike. Each year it gets better. We have spoken and sponsored for the last 5 years and will continue to do so. Get to sessions early as they always sell out!
Website: https://www.bigdataldn.com/

NRF: Retail’s Big Show

Location: New York, NY, USA
Date: January
Why Attend: The National Retail Federation’s annual event is a cornerstone for anyone in the retail industry. It covers the latest trends in retail technology, consumer behaviour, and data analytics. It’s a must-attend for RCPG professionals looking to stay ahead in the competitive retail landscape. You can expect to attend sessions from the world's most iconic brands on how they are using technology to improve the customer experience. A great blend of thought-leadership and technical deep dives. NRF focuses on a lot more than just data & AI. Plus in 2024, you could eat a pizza made by a Robot! 
Website: https://nrfbigshow.nrf.com/


Location: Las Vegas, NV, USA & Europe 
Date: March US, June Europe
Why Attend: Shoptalk is one of the largest retail conferences, bringing together industry leaders to discuss the future of retail. It covers a wide range of topics, including data analytics, customer experience, and digital transformation. RCPG professionals will find valuable insights into consumer trends, omni-channel strategies, and innovative data applications. Sometimes this one can feel like a replay of NRF Bigshow. There is a version for both the US and Europe. Again you can expect sessions on retail thought-leadership here. Less focused on the developer. You will leaver ShopTalk with 100 new ideas. 
Website: https://shoptalkeurope.com


Location: Las Vegas, NV, USA
Date: September
Why Attend: Groceryshop focuses on the future of grocery retail, bringing together leaders from established and startup companies. It covers a broad range of topics including data analytics, digital transformation, and consumer trends. It's a key event for RCPG professionals aiming to stay ahead in the grocery sector, offering insights into the latest technologies and strategies for enhancing the consumer experience.
Website: https://groceryshop.com/

Databricks Data + AI Summit

Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Date: June
Why Attend: This is one more for anyone who already uses Databricks or is considering how a cloud scale analytics platform might improve their data operations. Hosted by Databricks, this summit is essential for anyone serious about data and AI. It covers the latest advancements in data engineering, data science, and machine learning. For RCPG professionals, the summit offers deep dives into how to harness the power of data to drive innovation and efficiency in retail and consumer goods. Each year there are RCPG summits, think of this as a conference in a confernece. Focused on RCPG, this typically is a keynote, deep dive and panel sessions by Databricks and RCPG leaders. 
Website: https://www.databricks.com/dataaisummit

Other notable conferences: 
  • Chief Data & Analytics Officer Exchange - Miami, FL. This style of event is run all over the world and is a chance for CDAOs to connect. 
  • ODSC US / Europe - Data Science conference - More for technical developers, but a lot of good content. 

What have we missed? Let us know and we will update the list. 

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Terry McCann