Nine months after it first postponed its 2020 conference, Shoptalk has decided to cancel its in-person 2021 event, again due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The organizer plans for its annual in-person event to return March 27-30, 2022, at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.
Though it cancelled the main annual show, the retail event organizer will host three online events next year: Groceryshop Spring Meetup on March 9-11, Shoptalk Meetup for Women on May 11-13, and Shoptalk Fall Meetup on Oct. 19-21. These events, it said, will be a permanent addition to its in-person programming, held annually at the same time of year and supplementing their respective in-person counterparts.
The event organizer held its inaugural Shoptalk Meetup—its first digitally native event—in October. More than 2,000 participants from more than 1,000 companies joined the event, completing more than 20,000 meetings over an aggregate of 6,200 hours, Shoptalk said.
“The inaugural Retail Meetup we held last month was such a tremendous success, we’ve added a permanent series of Retail Meetups to complement our Shoptalk and Groceryshop in-person events,” Simran Rekhi Aggarwal, founder of Shoptalk and Groceryshop, said in a statement. “We’re now omnichannel—just like retail—so organizations and individuals throughout the retail, grocery and [consumer packaged goods] industries can utilize both our online and offline events to meet with their customers, partners, prospects, colleagues and friends throughout the year, every year.”
Shoptalk’s decision to cancel its live event comes after the National Retail Federation switched plans for its traditional Javits Center takeover in January to a virtual format, also citing concerns around the coronavirus pandemic. However, the retail trade group still plans to host a physical convention in June.