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2023 Shop! Ideation Agenda

Below is a sample of this past year’s agenda and session topics. Stay tuned for updates on our 2024 program.


12:00 – 5:00 PM Registration Hours
2:30 –  5:30 PM Offsite Tour – Walker Art Center + Sculpture Garden Tour

Get inspired: Spend the afternoon before we officially kick off Ideation’s educational sessions with an engaging offsite tour at the Walker Art Center and Sculpture Garden. Attendees will have a chance to go on a guided  our of “Five Ways In: Themes from the Collection,” through Galleries 4, 5 and 6, featuring more than 100 paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures and video installations. Guests are also invited to take a jaunt around the adjoining Sculpture Garden which features the famous Spoonbridge and Cherry sculpture. Learn more by visiting

6:00 – 7:30 PM Evening Welcome Reception


8:00 AM – 5:00 PM Registration Hours
8:00 – 9:15 AM Networking Breakfast
7:30 – 9:00 AM International Board Meeting w/ Breakfast
9:15 – 10:00 AM Opening Keynote: Utilize 10 NeuroMarketing Principles to Better Connect Emotionally at Retail  |  Presented by: Michelle Adams, Founder, President, Marketing Brainology

 In the current retail landscape, it’s important that stores and brands emotionally connect with customers. One of the simplest ways to achieve this is understanding experiences that truly make an impact on shoppers. In this session, presented by Michelle Adams of Marketing Brainology, discover how you can implement “NeuroMarketing,” which utilizes neuroscience tools, and understand how sensory elements are required to trigger our brains and build lasting memories.

10:15 – 11:00 AM General Session: Making the Most of Your Asset Protection Strategies | Presented by: Matt Ringsmuth, Senior Director, Assets Protection Group, Target & Heather Sexton, Director, Store Experience, Target

Like many retailers, Target’s safety and security approach has evolved greatly with the ever-changing retail environment.  And as retail and external community environments have changed so has Target’s approach to ensure our teams and guests are safe while also making Target an easy place to shop.  As the company continues to expand into more dense urban centers, college campuses and new locations, safety and security has needed to adapt to meet the needs of our guests and team. In this session, Target will break down the current retail safety and shortage environment for stores and how they’re using physical design and technology to mitigate loss.

11:15 AM – 12:00 PM General Session – Immersive Retail: Harnessing the Potential of the Human-Physical-Digital Connection  |  Presented by: Angela Gearhart, Executive Consultant, AAG

An “immersive retail experience” has been the buzzword for years, but really what does that mean for physical retail in a digital-first world? Through connected “physical-digital-human” experiences, brands can communicate their unique value in a way that is relatable to customers’ needs, influence purchasing decisions and forge life-long relationships. Join Angela Gearhart, the former VP Connected Retail Experience for Sleep Number, and currently the Executive Consultant at AAG, where she’ll explore exclusive insights into retailers’ vantage points as she navigated the intricacies of developing and scaling experiential technology. Uncover strategies for suppliers seeking to forge lasting partnerships and secure business opportunities.

12:00 – 1:15 PM Networking Lunch
1:30 – 2:15 PM General Session: Inflation Is Destroying Brick-and Mortar Differentiators: Here’s What to Do About It  |  Presented by: Claire Tassin, Lead Retail and E-Commerce Analyst, Morning Consult 

People shop in stores because they enjoy the experience, but shopping isn’t fun when you can’t afford what you want. Claire Tassin of Morning Consult will take a look at the latest economic trends as it relates to the retail industry. In this session, discover the impact of economic trends on consumer shopping behavior, and learn how to identify critical attributes that keep shoppers coming back to stores.

2:30 – 3:15 PM General Session: Meaningful Disruption: Using Eye Tracking to Design More Effective Signage  |  Presented by: Liam O’Connell, General Manager, Envirosell

For today’s consumer, experiencing a frictionless retail journey is paramount: In this session, Liam O’Connell of Envirosell will explain how Big Y – a community minded grocery store – successfully embarked on a goal to better engage and communicate with shoppers. Beyond making things frictionless, the in-store experience needed to be enjoyable, and you can discover how this was accomplished via a new, robust signage strategy. Through examining real data and in-depth findings, explore how customers navigated the store post-refresh and how mobile eye-tracking played a crucial role.

3:30 – 4:30 PM Closing Keynote: Unleashing Creative Leadership: Embracing Unreasonable Breakthrough Thinking in Retail Design
James Damian, Founder and Principal, James Damian Brand Integration Services
How can creative leaders move from convention to conception? In this captivating closing keynote presentation, James Damian will highlight the importance of discarding conventional orthodoxies and “the status quo” in order to become conceptually aware. Attend this session to discover how you can become the source of a breakthrough and be inspired by other “breakthrough thinkers” and what they’re doing to push the envelope. Most importantly, uncover your ability to ignite your own creativity against conventional norms.
4:30 – 6:00 PM Evening Networking Reception


Facilitated by Bevan Bloemendaal, Chief Brand and Creative Officer for NELSON Worldwide

Watch what happens when the brightest minds in the retail industry come together to compete head-to-head to solve one of the industry’s toughest in-store challenges. During the Retail Challenge, cross-functional teams are given a creative brief for a consumer experience opportunity [announced on site] and just eight hours to collaborate, ideate and create a design solution and pitch deck. Harnessing ingenuity, creativity and a disruptive mindset, the teams will pitch their concepts to our panel of judges, who will score them on criteria including level of disruption, experience, emotion, innovation, creativity, business value and overall presentation. Be sure to sign up to participate in this interactive, collaborative event when you register for Ideation!

8:00 AM – 5:00 PM Registration Hours
8:00 – 9:00 AM Breakfast & Shop! Association Update (All are welcome!)
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM Retail Challenge + Judging Presentation
12:00 – 1:30 PM Networking Lunch
6:30 – 8:30 PM Retail Challenge Winner Reception & Dinner
8:30 – 10:00 PM Ideation & IRDC Evening Celebration at the Aurora Restaurant & Bar – sponsored by Schimenti

Interested in sponsoring Ideation? Email or to learn more!


Thank You to Our 2023 Sponsors!