Symphony Retail —the combination of Symphony GOLD and Symphony EYC—today announced its second annual Xcelerate Retail Forums in the US and France. The sister events will take place on 12 – 14 September 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada and 9 – 11 October in Paris, France.

Building on the great success of last year’s inaugural event, which emphasized the themes of speed and agility and provided a venue for the launch of Symphony Retail Cloud, this year’s forums will add a focus on the future of customer-centric retailing, and how to meet today’s shopper demands in the face of rapidly changing technology and ever-evolving retail trends. In addition, this year’s events will incorporate content across newer retail innovations including: artificial intelligence, conversational insights, and other technologies that are fast becoming imperatives for successful businesses.

“We’re excited to meet the demand for this year’s event in the wake of success of the Paris inaugural event last October,” said Graeme Cooksley, CEO and President of Symphony GOLD. “Ours is an industry that is wrought with significant disruption. To remain competitive in today’s ever-shifting, customer-led marketplace, retailers and CPGs must not only enlist constant innovation through technology enablers, but also via key forums of idea exchange. Successful leaders understand this, and that only the nimble will surface to meet the unyielding demands of today’s global customer.”

A forum specifically designed for senior executives of retailers and consumer packaged goods manufacturers, Xcelerate 2017 will host some of the world’s most recognized corporate leaders, analysts, innovators, and disruptors. They will share their experiences on topics including: cloud, big data and analytics, customer insights, marketing, category management, supply chain, and retail operations.

Featured speakers will include:

  • Evan Anthony, Former Head of Corporate Marketing, Advertising, Digital, Loyalty and Consumer Research, The Kroger Company
  • John Armstrong, Head of IT, Central England Co-operative
  • Shelly Blythe, Senior Category Manager, Pepperidge Farm
  • Patrick Buellet, Chief Technology Officer, Symphony GOLD
  • Jim Carrol, Futurist
  • Lora Cecere, Founder, Supply Chain Insights
  • Dr. Pallab Chatterjee, Chairman, Symphony Retail and CEO, Symphony EYC
  • Graeme Cooksley, CEO and President, Symphony GOLD
  • Kenny Endermuhle, Director of Category Management and Center of Excellence, Nestle Purina
  • Ken Fenyo, Head of Consumer Markets for McKinsey Fast Growth and Former VP of Loyalty, The Kroger Company
  • Andy Green, Driver, The BLOODHOUND Project
  • Gary Hardy, COO, Big C
  • Ken Hughes, Consumer and Shopper Behavioralist
  • Joan Lewis, Former SVP and Officer of Global Consumer and Market Knowledge, Procter and Gamble
  • John Lucot, Former President and COO, Giant Eagle
  • Phil Murphy, Category Insights Manager, Sargento
  • Richard Noble, OBE, Project Director, The BLOODHOUND Project
  • Michael Quinn, Sr. Director Category Management, Kellogg
  • John Rossman, Managing Director, Alvarez and Marsal (and former Director of Enterprise Services, Amazon)
  • Steve Strachota, Chief Supply Chain Officer, Southeastern Grocers
  • Petter Aamot Vangstein, CIO, REMA 1000
  • Dr. Romesh Wadhwani, Chairman and CEO, Symphony Technology Group
  • John Williams, Director, Category Management, Dr Pepper Snapple Group
  • Ed Wong, SVP Supply Chain and CIO, Smart and Final

“What may have worked yesterday, will not work tomorrow for retailers and their manufacturing partners. There are almost daily ‘interrupters’ that we’re all seeing as business leaders,” said Pallab Chatterjee, Chairman of Symphony Retail Solutions and CEO of Symphony EYC. “Artificial intelligence, cognitive technologies, the need to understand our customers on a 1:1 basis – to personalize – all up the ante for all organizations that are looking for advantage through the most effective use of today’s retail technologies. I’m very excited that we’ll be providing such a rich forum for this exact type of knowledge exchange in both Las Vegas and Paris.”

This year’s events will again feature an “Innovation Zone,” giving attendees hands-on access to the latest next-generation technologies from Symphony Retail Solutions and its partners—all supporting the core themes of speed, agility, and meeting the ever-evolving retail trends driven by the mandate to exceed today’s demanding customer expectations.