With hundreds of events taking place annually for this bustling sector, it’s easy to get confused. Which one should you attend and which should you skip? We’ve done the legwork for you and shortlisted the ‘must attend or get left behind’ events for 2017.
So if you’re a QSR or fast casual, don’t miss out. Here are 11 customer experience oriented events for you.
MURTEC 2017: March 7-9, Las Vegas, U.S.
This year’s conference theme is “Dining Goes Digital,” and will look at gamification, mobile payments, crowdsourcing and other digital disruptions that can help QSRs if they plan accordingly. There are two reasons to attend: a panel of millennials will reveal what they want and don’t want from restaurants, and several industry peers will each give nine-minute talks on how technology is succeeding in their restaurants.
Next Generation Customer Experience: March 27-29, Carlsbad, Calif., U.S.
Fortune 500 companies and startups usually attend this conference that’s always jammed with case studies, roundtable sessions and keynote addresses on the customer experience – including talks this year by execs from Zappos, Ritz Carlton and Blue Apron. The third day of talks should particularly appeal to QSRs: “Brace Yourself, Even MORE Disruption is Coming,” which focuses on building customer experience initiatives for the next decade.
Restaurant Franchising & Innovation Summit: March 28-30, Dallas, U.S.
Geared toward those on the franchising side of QSRs, including employees who handle technology adoption, this event will focus on leveraging innovation for franchise growth. Speakers include Nick Sarillo, founder and CEO of Nick’s Pizza & Pub chain. And a talk worth checking out is “Taking Your Marketing Program Digital,” a primer course for reaching smartphone-using consumers.
Interactive Customer Experience Summit 2017: June 5-7, Dallas, U.S.
Looking at mobile, omnichannel and other digital initiatives, this conference explores how restaurants and other verticals can use technology to enhance the customer experience. QSR and fast casual marketers can’t lose with most of the breakout sessions, including the appropriately named “Don’t Just Build a Store, Build an Experience.” Attendees should also consider listening to a talk by Amber Gadsby, the director of digital retail experience at Domino’s Pizza, who is known for bringing ordering by emoji to life for Domino’s.
Customer Experience Tech Fest: June 18-20, Melbourne, Australia
Details – including a list of speakers and session agendas – aren’t yet finalized for this event, which is billed as a celebration of “the people, technology, ideas and innovations that are literally transforming the way businesses make and keep customers.” The 2016 event drew more than 400 companies, including Subaru and the San Francisco 49ers football team.
Restaurant Franchising & Innovation Summit 2017: July 18-20, London, U.K.
This event covers the same ground – enabling franchise growth through technology – as the U.S. event held earlier in the year but for a U.K. audience. IT and marketing pros from QSRs will undoubtedly find appeal in several sessions, including “Innovative Restaurant Equipment and Its Impact on Sales, Services and the Bottom Line.” And don’t miss talks by Carl Howard, the president and CEO of Fazoli’s Restaurants, and Eric Ersher, founder and CEO of the QSR chain Zoup!
CONNECT 2017: The Mobile CX Summit: August 21-23, Philadelphia, U.S.
Held for restaurant executives who oversee mobile initiatives, this conference reviews the ways that mobile channels can increase sales and build customer loyalty. Baron Concors, the global chief digital officer of Pizza Hut, and Erin Levzow, vice president of marketing for Freebirds World Burrito, are among the long list of speakers. And attendees would be remiss if they didn’t check out the mobile-focused breakout session, “From Browsing to Buying to Redeeming to Loyalty.”
FS Tech 2017: Sep. 17-19, Anaheim, Calif., U.S.
Event organizers have yet to release the names of speakers or a list of sessions, but if it’s like past events, attendees can expect to gain insight on the latest security, software development and marketing innovations for the food industry. It’s an event for everyone in the restaurant business: CEOs, CIOs, marketers and purchasing managers.
Restaurant Tech Live 2017: Sept. 26-27, London, U.K.
This show is billed as Europe’s largest exhibition dedicated to the emerging technology and services that are forming the future of the restaurant business. The conference features 150 expert-led seminars, including “Establishing a Data Driven Approach for Optimal Guest Experience” by Jo Fontaine of Fishbowl, and “Brewing Up Innovation” by Mark Fabes of Starbucks.
Fast Casual Executive Summit: Oct. 22-24, Nashville, U.S.
As the name implies, this conference is for top-level executives of the fast casual industry, giving them a chance to bounce ideas off one another in a casual setting, not to mention an opportunity to deepen their bonds in some of Nashville’s top restaurants. A breakout session that’s worth considering is “How to Run a Restaurant in a Digital Age.” Another highlight is Fascinate CEO Sally Hogshead’s keynote speech, “Captivate Your Customer: How Fascinating Companies Win the Moment.”
It’s too soon to provide details on this event, but if the 2016 conference is a guiding point, the next one should feature experts and breakout sessions that will help QSRs and fast casuals optimize the customer experience at all touchpoints. Stay tuned.
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