ICSC2012

Five Must-Attend Events at ICSC

Each year when the International Council of Shopping Centers rolls into New York, retail real estate’s most recognizable faces line up to speak on dozens of panels and forums. To make things easier, after the jump, a look at five must-attend events on today’s schedule.
Facebook's Influence In Consumer Consumption Of News Growing

The Evolution of Retail Real Estate
Day two of the conference kicks off with a panel on the evolution of retail real estate, bringing together a number of guest speakers moderated by Michael Stoler, managing director at Madison Realty Capital and host of The Stoler Report—a TV program focusing on industry trends, featuring real estate and business leaders.

Guests will discuss market movements and changing strategies in response to shifts in the retail sector. Topics include store sizing, development and redevelopment strategies, the state of capital markets and changes to shopping center development.

Social Media & Journalism
Those in attendance will get a crash course in the way the media peers into and translates the news and information cycles, courtesy of PR and social media strategist Lisa Wieting of the Denver-based marketing firm Cohn Inc. As media shifts from print journalism to digital formats, marketing and advertising strategies for retailers must also change. Gone are the days when promotions and ads were measured in inches on a page—now, placement and finding your consumers are key.

Leveraging Social Data Mining
Social media has provided brands with a slew of data on consumers—what they buy, what they say they like, how they browse retail websites. But what are brands to do with that intel? Rob Craig, chief executive of the digital marketing firm 3 Tier Logic, will take retailers and brand executives by the hand to explain how those already talking about their products online can be rewarded for their efforts. Tactics such as offering coupon or gift card incentives for spreading the word about a product or brand are productive ways of engaging consumers through their friends or social network connections.

Leveraging Social Media to Increase Sales
Lorel Marketing Group President Sebastian Pistritto will be on hand to explain how social media can zero in on potential customers. The platforms are an essential part of a marketing strategy, and proper implementation can be a boon to any business.

One of the first things that attracts retailers and brands to social media is the amount of consumer engagement that is possible for a relatively low cost, said Sandra Fathi, president of the New York-based PR and marketing firm Affect. “The investment usually pays off multi-fold,” she said. Leveraging social media is not as simple as having a presence online—it requires trust.

Understanding Google Analytics
Sifting through the numbers provided by a website’s analytics dashboard can be confusing, but it can also yield interesting results if you know how to interpret them. Digital and social media marketing strategist Lisa Wieting of Cohn Inc. will be giving a presentation on how companies can better understand why it’s important to know which other sites send online traffic their way, how to keep those visitors on site and engaged and how to use analytics information to increase revenue. Such gathered information can include insight into the age, gender and geographical regions of site visitors, giving a company a better understanding of who is paying attention to their products.

Follow Karsten Strauss on Twitter or via RSS. kstrauss@observer.com