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  • Writer's pictureJamie Leeper

Retail facilities and technology solutions

Updated: May 16, 2019

A few months ago I had the pleasure of attending the NRF Big Show in NYC. I had been to a couple of conventions at the Javit's center prior to this event, but nothing as large as this one turned out to be. The place was packed from sun up to sun down, with individuals from all over the world, who were keen to learn from their peers, discover the latest trends in the retail industry, and find solutions for long lasting problems that they have experienced in their stores.

On the exhibit floor at the NRF's Big Show

After a slight delay at the Kansas City airport (Royal Services are headquartered in Overland Park, KS) and connecting through Midway instead of Nashville, I finally touched down on the tarmac at La Guardia at around 11pm. I hadn't checked any bags so immediately headed outside to find a taxi to transport me to the Hotel Wolcott, which would be my residence for the next three days.

The ride to the hotel was, shall we say, interesting. Not sure if my driver was trying to get someone off of his tail, or just get home quicker, but the ride was far from smooth. However, we made it, and after settling in to my room it was time to lie my head down and get a good night's sleep in preparation for the first day of the convention.

The NRF have really strived to attract more small business owners to the show, and one piece of bait was the excellent workshops and seminars that were offered on Sunday. A variety of topics were covered, and I left the center that night feeling good about how Royal Services operate, and our strategic plan, which was put together at the back end of 2015, seemed to be on point given the current state of retail. I walked the exhibit floor multiple times taking in the many different retails solutions that were being presented. By the time I returned to my hotel, I had covered over 22,000 steps for the day!

My favorite booth was without a doubt the one that featured Pepper the Robot. Absolutely fascinating how technology is taking the retail industry by storm and I can't even imagine how stores will be run by robots when my kids are my age.

Pepper the robot share the benefits he brings to retail stores

The best part of the convention for me was being able to discuss how Royal can help these companies to solve facilities maintenance issues through the use of RAZOR, our Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS). All of these new technologies are great but the installation and the provision of data and power are key factors, and this is where Royal Services excel.

There were several industry experts who gave incredible presentations. My favorites included:

(1) Dr. Bill Hardgrave

(2) Uri Minkoff, Co-founder of Rebecca Minkoff

(3) Nir Eyal - Author of "Hooked" - phenomenal presentation and blog - Nir and Far. Very engaging presentation about drawing customers in, engaging with them, and getting them to keep returning.

(4) Rhonda Abrams - her free book, which was given away at end of her presentation has been my bedtime reading for the past few weeks!

It was a great experience but it was definitely nice to get back to Kansas City, where the way of life is a little more relaxed, Fedex Drivers can stop immediately in-front of their destination, and a Turkey sandwich doesn't cost you $11.50!

As is often the case with events such as this, you leave and the feeling of the more I know, the less I know, hits you like a sledge hammer. However, I am already looking forward to next year's event. Only 8 months to go :) What conferences have you attended recently, and what kind of impression did they leave on you? Which are you eagerly awaiting to return to, and which are you still trying to erase from your memory? In recent months we have attended and exhibited at the NFMT in Baltimore, and most recently the PRSM National Conference in Nashville, TN. Both were extremely beneficial and are already on our marketing calendar for 2019!

Royal Services attends the Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association conference every year

Take care until next year New York!

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