Jörg Schäffer

My impressions from K5 FUTURE RETAIL Conference

6. July 2018 / Jörg Schäffer / eCommerce

This year CoreMedia participated for the first time as an exhibitor at the K5 FUTURE RETAIL conference in Berlin on July 3 & 4.

The event, which was held at the ESTREL Hotel and Conference center in Berlin, attracted around 3000 visitors, more than 100 exhibitors and more than 150 speakers, making it one of the largest e-commerce related events in Germany.

We were excited to be there for the show. And, of course, our CoreMedia-branded suitcase made the trip as well. Say hello to #CoreMowa!

Day 1

On the first day, we saw little traffic at our booth as attendees seemed keen on scooping up all the different keynotes and sessions. And, of course, it didn’t help that the Soccer World Cup was broadcasting from 4:00 pm after onward, making it extremely difficult to compete for the attention of the other attendees.

There were, however, some truly inspirational keynotes from huge brands including Adidas, Runtastic, McDonalds and Ferrero – as well as small, hidden local champions such as Keller Sports and Die Kartenmacherei.

The sessions on the smaller stages also offered a range of insights and interesting topics, such as the talk from Odoscope with Defshop who showed machine-learning based personalization with contextual data to optimize product listings and search results. Of course the smaller sessions were much more sales pitch-driven, but there were still good insights from the participating customers on stage.

Salesforce was the main sponsor of the event and consequently had a very special booth in their well-known Trailblazer style with an ice cream truck- as well as a branded chill-out and networking area outside the conference hall.

Day 1 finished with the “(in)famous”K5 Party – with drinks at the CAMPARI bar, a dancefloor and a surprise champagne pyramid in honor of Sven Rittau’s birthday (CEO of K5 Conference).

Day 2

On the second day, walk-in traffic was higher, and – good for the exhibitors – there was no soccer on TV. But overall attendance seemed a bit lower than on the first day.

We were happy to have Roger Mitchell from our customer YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP join our CEO Sören Stamer for a keynote on the topic of “Delivering Content to the Luxury Customer”.

And Uwe Fricke, our VP Cloud Services & Customer Success,  did a session on one of the smaller stages about our product which was well received and helped to bring many interested visitors to our booth afterwards.

Day 2 also included a registration-only Masterclass sessions in inflatable igloos – what a novel idea!

Summary

Overall, K5 is a great event, but unfortunately not for non-German speakers. Just very few speeches and panels were held in English and there was no translation available. Maybe it’s the organizers’ desire to keep this a pure German event, but I am sure that the conference could benefit from more international speakers as well as conference participants – and the sharing of more insights from leading e-commerce markets such as China and the U.S.

Also there was a conspicuous absence of the current hot topics of automation through A.I. (e.g. Amazon replacing highly-paid merchandisers with A.I.) and the hurdles that the GDPR has created.

The event organization is top notch – everything went very smoothly from booth setup, to registration, the sessions, and the evening events. K5 employees were always ready to answer questions and help. The signage was great and there was a lot of seating areas to network. The event app was good, the WiFi worked well most of the time. Finally, the catering was available all day and was excellent. The service from Estrel hotel is impeccable – many waiters roamed the halls at all times and removed all the empty plates and glasses faster than you would normally expect.

Will we go back next year?

Yes, it was a great and fun event with lots of opportunities for networking, interesting conversations and really good sessions.

Some more opinions can be found (in German) at “Rückblick auf die K5 Berlin – wirklich Future Retail?” and “Recap: K5 Future Retail Conference – das Familientreffen der Goliaths”

Did you participate too? Lets us know your thoughts about the event in the comments below!


Director Product Marketing at CoreMedia. Nerd, geek and early adopter.

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