IBM Amplify 2017 is one of the year's most anticipated events for eCommerce, marketing and supply chain professionals who want to leverage the latest technologies to improve customer experiences, engagement, acquisition, and loyalty.
This year's event is bound to be best yet. It will be held in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand from Monday, March 20 through Wednesday, March 22. Once again, Lightwell will be an IBM Amplify sponsor, will be participating in Solution Expo, and will be presenting in multiple breakout sessions. For those of you planning to attend IBM Interconnect, you'll recognize that the conference is happening at the same time, just a couple of properties away.
While there are so many reasons that we enjoy attending the IBM Amplify conference, we wanted to share 10 of our favorites for 2017 (in no particular order).
1. A Fantastic Speaker Lineup: This year's conference features over 250 Commerce, Supply Chain and Marketing sessions, including Trends and Directions sessions, breakout sessions, and Innovative talks. As an attendee, you'll hear from Ginni Rometty (President and CEO of IBM), Jay Baer (Convince and Convert), Mindy Grossman (HSN), Peter Brook (Adidas Group) and many more. You will also hear success stories and best practices from many IBM customers who have implemented Watson Customer Engagement solutions and cognitive capabilities, including our customer, Melissa O'Keefe at DHL. Be sure to check out the DHL and Lightwell Session: World-Class Fulfillment Delivered: DHL's Story around Repeatable Onboarding.
2. New! Will Smith Keynote Session: We just learned that Will Smith—yes, the two-time Academy Award-winning actor, musician, producer, and philanthropist—has been announced as the Amplify keynote speaker. Will's vast film career includes Ali, I am Legend, I, Robot, Independence Day, Suicide Squad, and Men in Black I, II, & III. Many of us have known Will since his early career role as the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Will is also very dedicated to working toward the advancement of communities and individuals in the areas of Education, Sustainability, Empowerment and Health through the Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation. We can't wait to see this keynote!
3. Marketing, Commerce and Supply Chain Professionals Coming Together at a Single Conference: Although their roles may be different, attendees from each of these areas have similar goals in mind. All are ultimately striving to deliver personalized, engaging, and seamless customer experiences that drive loyalty, and want to apply insights to make better decisions faster. Combine these common goals with all of the interesting approaches, perspectives and experiences that attendees from different roles, companies, industries, and geographies bring to the table—and you have an exceptional opportunity to learn, collaborate, and generate new ideas. As a result, you'll become even better at what you do.
4. Being on the Cutting Edge of Cognitive: Attending this conference will help you be at the forefront of what's next now. You'll learn how cognitive technologies can illuminate new insights from data, help you deepen customer engagement and fuel strategic growth. You'll see cutting-edge solutions in action that can help you advance your approaches to digital experience, eCommerce, merchandising and marketing.
5. Seeing Amy Schumer! We're thrilled to see that the comedian, actress, writer, producer, and director is part of this year's lineup. As an exclusive offer from MGM to Amplify attendees, you'll be invited to see Amy's performance on Tuesday, March 21. If you aren't familiar with Amy, her show will most likely contain explicit language and adult material, so consider yourself warned if that's not your cup of tea.
6. Watson, Watson, Watson: You've been hearing about it everywhere, including the H&R Block commercials currently running on TV. IBM Watson is now being leveraged by businesses, scientists, researchers, and governments to outthink some of the biggest challenges. At this conference, you'll see and hear how Watson can help you overcome challenges, make better decisions, and develop new, market-leading capabilities.
7. Seeing the Amazing Wayne Brady In Person! We are excited to see that IBM is bringing Wayne Brady to Amplify this year. The actor, singer, dancer, comedian and host (is there anything he can't do?) will dazzle us with a special performance. Wayne is known for his work as a regular on the improvisational comedy television series Whose Line Is It Anyway?, and as the host of the daytime talk show The Wayne Brady Show and the new Let's Make a Deal. You'll want to see what the funny is all about.
8. The Numerous Watson Commerce Sessions. Based on the Amplify Session Preview Tool, we see that, as of today, there are over 120 sessions designed for eCommerce, Omnichannel and Order Management professionals. Not that the Marketing sessions won't be great (I want to attend many of them personally), but we love how many sessions are available with the depth that Commerce professionals want and need—a rarity among conferences today. In addition to our DHL session mentioned earlier in this post, be sure to check out our breakout session with John Stelzer (IBM) and Tim Nelson (Lightwell), "Are You Causing Your Customers to Shop Elsewhere?" It will to contain a tremendous amount of new research and insights not available anywhere else.
9. Extending Your Social Network: You'll have the opportunity to meet and mingle with industry experts, peers and IBM executives at the Cognitive Concourse, receptions, and luncheons. Don't be shy—take advantage of it. You never know where that new connection will lead.
10. Seeing the Zac Brown Band Performance! IBM Is featuring a performance from The Zac Brown Band as the conference Special Event on Wednesday night. The three-time Grammy-winning multiplatinum artists will kick off their 40+ date "Welcome Home" 2017 North American tour and release their new album of the same name on May 12th, the follow-up to "Jekyll + Hyde," the band’s fourth consecutive #1 debut on the Billboard 200 chart. In 2016, their “Black Out Sun” tour broke attendance records at Camden’s BB&T Pavilion and Boston's Fenway Park. The group has had three platinum-selling albums, a 5x platinum album "The Foundation," a 2013 project called "The Grohl Sessions Vol. 1," 25 million singles and eight million albums sold, and fifteen #1 radio singles. The band also has the distinction of becoming the second act ever to top both the country and active rock formats.
If you were on the fence before about attending Amplify 2017, we hope that you're convinced it's a great conference and will attend.
If you do attend, we hope that you'll visit our team in the Solutions Center (booth #640), attend one or both of our sessions, or that we have a chance to meet at some point during the conference. Feel free to reach out and let us know you'll be there. We always look forward to meeting like-minded professionals and learning what they're planning around Omnichannel Commerce, Order Management, and related initiatives (such as enabling ship from store, buy online—pick up in store (BOPUS), drop shipping, returns management, as well as multichannel payments acceptance).
We'll also bring along some pretty nifty giveaways, so be sure to visit us to get yours. We hope to see you there!