The days of touchy feely informercials at ShopTalk and GroceryShop should come to an end, Ladd argued.
He stated: “I’m not suggesting that executives be asked to appear only to be ambushed and belittled. All speakers should be treated with respect.”
“But McMullen should have been asked to explain why the selling stores to C&S Wholesale Grocers is a good thing for consumers when the history of C&S is buying and then selling assets. C&S isn’t going to keep the stores they purchased. Ocado should have been discussed in detail. Amazon and Walmart should have been discussed.”
“Nearly all of the keynote speakers I listened to should have been asked much tougher questions. They’re senior executives. They should be able to handle answering questions about their own companies.”
Ladd concluded: “Groceryshop attendees need to know the facts and hear the truth vs. being lulled to sleep by speakers putting on a performance. I recommend having someone every year at ShopTalk and Groceryshop (GlobalData Retail’s Neil Saunders, for example) to provide an overview of the market and to call out the CEOs and companies that are doing a poor job. This person should kick off each conference and speak before the executives do.”
“It’s time to turn up the heat. I have all the confidence in the world that the team at Groceryshop can make the required changes. I believe what I suggest will make ShopTalk and Grocershop much better conferences.”
What do you think, dear reader? Is it time to overhaul the retail conference model, or does it work just fine as is? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.