LA JOLLA, Calif. - For retailers like Pat Iasillo, director of customer relationship marketing at Remke Supermarkets, Covington, Ky., attending conferences like GEMCON are certainly worth it.
Iasillo told SN recently that, after attending last year's show, he learned of new ways to enhance his company's loyalty program.
"There were some presentations by retailers that we are investigating and plan to implement ourselves," Iasillo said.
This year's show, GEMCON 2001, kicks off here at The Hyatt Wednesday and concludes Friday.
According to Carlene Thissen, president of Retail Systems Consulting, Naples, Fla., and founder of the event, this year's show -- also known as the Global Electronic Marketing Conference -- will put a greater emphasis on emerging marketing technologies that change the way companies connect to their consumers.
Al Lees, chairman of Lees Supermarkets, Wesport, Mass., has attended almost every GEMCON.
"I'm looking forward to the conference for the new ideas that it will give me," he said. "It will help me identify future trends so we can be proactive rather than reactive."
In its 10th year, the show is a joint production of the Food Marketing Institute and Grocery Manufacturers of America, both in Washington, and Retail Systems Consulting.
This is also the first time the conference has been held on the West Coast.
"Over the past 10 years, the attendees have become almost more of a 'user group' than an audience, but they are users of various types of programs and promotions," said Thissen.
"We have a lot of repeat attendees, some of whom were there at the very first GEMCON. Almost everyone in the industry who is responsible for electronic marketing decisions shows up."