Our Top Five Takeaways from NRF 2023 — and how they will impact events

The National Retail Federation’s Big Show drew record crowds (over 35,000 attendees and 1,000 exhibitors) to the Javits Center in NYC last week. The energy was high as exhibitors, presenters, and attendees were excited to connect and discuss the latest trends and technologies that support the retail industry.

Team SEQ was in attendance and came away inspired to incorporate some of the latest technologies into our own event strategy. Here is what stood out to us: 


1. Technology’s Influence on the Consumer Journey
It was fascinating to see the endless ways technology can influence and enhance the consumer journey. From enabling an advanced product search to influencing checkout, payment, shipping, the return process, inventory management, and everything in between, the advancement and vast array of technology available to consumers and retailers is truly amazing. 

Technology + Events: Technology can enhance every step of the consumer journey, regardless of industry. At Sequence, we’re studying new tech tools that can improve event production, event navigation, attendee engagement, registration and so much more — all in an effort to improve and simplify every aspect of the event experience. 

2. The Power of AI
Evolving consumer preferences, including increased demand for convenience and speed, have pushed the advancement of artificial intelligence in the retail industry. Google, Sony, Oracle, and many other companies participating at NRF showcased new applications of AI to help increase various aspects of retail operations. As an example, Google Cloud presented its “Vertex AI Vision,” which provides enhanced analytics and a database of facts about consumers, enabling retailers to appropriately buy and inventory goods. 

AI + Events: AI isn’t just a trend - it’s something to keep a close eye on. In the event world, we’re excited about capabilities like AI-driven networking, AI-attendee activations, AI-content creation and much more.

3. Omnichannel Marketing
Defined as the seamless integration of online and offline touch points, omnichannel marketing bridges the gap between shopping in physical stores and shopping online. Technology advancement has significantly influenced how retailers connect the consumer experience at brick-and-mortar stores to the online shopping experience. A big proportion of e-commerce orders are fulfilled by brick-and-mortar stores, and the role of physical stores is evolving to support buying across channels. The lines between both experiences continue to be blurred. 

Omnichannel Marketing + Events: This will sound familiar to any event professional working in our new hybrid world. Creating a cohesive, immersive experience across all channels is key. Having both an in-person and an online experience lets attendees participate in the way that works best for them — and neither group has to be prioritized. Instead, we can use smart event strategy and technology to blur the lines and enhance the experience for everyone involved.

4. Personalized Shopping Experiences
Advancements in technology enable retailers and brands to customize the shopping experience. As consumers move across multiple devices and platforms, both online and offline, technology helps retailers provide a more personalized and impactful journey — and ultimately, a better overall user experience. 

Personalized Experiences + Events: It’s all about that personal touch — and creating a customized experience for consumers and event attendees is the key to making a meaningful and lasting impression. We provide our clients with customized event solutions for every experience we produce.

5. Seamless Consumer Experiences
In addition to an immersive experience, consumers demand convenience. The advancement of technology continues to empower retailers and brands to provide an enhanced experience for the consumer. Frictionless payment, customization, and a seamless overall experience are top priorities in order to retain consumers today. It will be exciting to see how technology continues to advance and enhance the experience for consumers and retailers across all buying channels.

Seamless Experiences + Events: If event attendees are faced with logistical and technical complications, that’s the thing they’re going to remember about your event. Focus on convenience when it comes to registration, check-in, and navigation — and you’ll free up your attendees to focus on the content and connections that matter.


Our team is excited to see the advancement of technology and the tools available to elevate event experiences. We enjoy incorporating new and unique ways to engage audiences and bring brands to life!

Click here to discuss how we can create exciting experiences together!