My momentary reaction to the speaker lineup could be described with three words: known, admired and curious.
Those I know. There are only a few speakers I have heard before, which is always a good indicator of conference content. Patrick Hanlon, the author of Thinktopia is someone I've heard before and likely will not disappoint the audience. There are others, but the list of those I've heard is rather fantastically short.
The ones I admire. Paco Underhill and Bob Thacker are two on my list and if you haven't heard of them, they should be on your list too. Mr Paco Underhill, you have written a book that changed how I view retail. It helped me notice and respect the infinite behavioral details in retail settings. If you haven't read "Why we buy" then you are yet to fully understand the vastness and oddities of consumer behavior. Bob Thacker of OfficeMax is the second one on my list of speakers who may need to get a restraining order on me. Kidding of course. His background, stories and speaking prowess have made an impression on many in my network and, of course, they have not held back telling me about Mr Bob Thacker.
The long list of curious starts with the office product retailers. Connie Walsh and Tammie Hunt, with the fact that three office product retailers are here, will you be spending time together? Because I've got some questions about the similarities between the retail brands. And, I'm looking forward to seeing you two and Bob Thacker in the same room at sometime.
Melanie of Victoria Secret Beauty, talking about sustainable graphic design is curious. Not because its Victoria Secret or because its sustainable, but because its another big brand making big moves into sustainable design practices. Is Melanie pollenating Victoria Secret with what she learned at Aveda? Always curious.
Carla Cooper of Daymon, your role now and your past would indicate you have some interesting words to say. Todd Hale, we all hope you make research / shopper insights engaging because your start time is 8:45. Kelly Kraus, as I have just returned from a 350 mile bike ride from Steamboat Springs to the Outdoor Retailer event in Salt Lake City, anything about outdoor and REI is interesting to me. And, just so it doesn't get to exhaustive, Duncan Berry of Applied Iconology, and a 45 minute dive into the science behind shopping will certainly keep my attention.
Those are my moments. How about you, did you find anyone you've already heard? Did you find anyone on the list you already admire? And, what made you curious, because I'd like to know the speakers I'm going to have to get in early and get front row seat.