We don’t mean to make it seem so simple, but the best way to learn from the best- is to attend our conference and hear directly from them!

This year’s conference will take place May 7-9, 2018 at the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville. It will feature breakout and keynote presentations, networking opportunities, introductions to new tools and solutions, and so much more!

The focus of this year’s conference is “Influencing the Connected Shopper: Integrating Insights and Analytics to Drive Growth”.  There is no question that digital is impacting the behaviors and desires of today’s shoppers. Presenters from multiple channels will provide unique insights and real-world solution examples of this industry-shaking impact. The overall strategy is to integrate the sessions with the focus and have each presentation build upon the last to help create a story of the ever-changing category management and shopper insights landscape.

In addition to the focus on the digital shopper and e-commerce we are excited to continue to build on the CMA’s expansion of SIMA (Shopper Insights Management Association). This year, we will have sessions designed specifically with a focus on shopper and consumer insights.

We have high expectations for our keynote sessions this year, filled with new faces and well-known industry leaders. Day one you will hear a joint presentation from James Ford with Coca-Cola and Tom Burkemper with Walgreens on “Collaborative Business Planning: Partnering for Success”.

Two other keynote sessions will be presented by the president of Nielsen, Chris Morley, and Andrew Nadin, CMO of Schnucks.

We are especially excited to be welcoming Senior Director of Global Brand Management with Circle K Stores, Kim James. Kim has a deep understanding of the levers and dials that need constant fine-tuning to find the perfect bit of magic. She will show how this relentless refinement is how you stay relevant. In order to gain customer trial and loyalty, Kim fully realizes it goes beyond mechanics.

Another notable pair will be Chris Yamashita and Jennifer Byrne with Microsoft. Together, they will share their experiences solving complex issues facing modern enterprises and tactics for cross-industry market expansion initiatives that leverage business model and technology innovation.

Day two will be highlighted by the inspiring and entertaining keynote presentation by author and speaker Curtis Zimmerman. Curtis’ unique combination of humor, personal stories, and interactive activities impacts an audience like no other. Curtis is an expert at transforming organizations by inspiring individuals to live their life at a higher level of performance.

You will also hear from Daniel Levine, one of the world’s best-known trends experts. Hailed as a “genius” by Elle magazine and “the ultimate guru of cool” by CNN, he is the author of over 20 best-selling books and a frequent guest on international television and radio. Daniel is the Director of the Avant-Guide Institute, a New York-based trends consultancy, where he is the leader of a huge team of trend-spotters who track the latest ideas and experiences from around the globe. As a consultant, Daniel works with consumer-oriented businesses around the world to help them be more relevant, innovative and profitable.

Don’t forget about our Shopper Insights and E-commerce panels with industry leaders such as Art Sebastian with Meijer, Tasha Tandy with Walmart, and other panelists from Marzetti and Jet.Com. 

Our 50+ Breakout and Intellectual Property Sessions will provide insights into building a platform and the different tactics and tools utilized to supplement lackluster data and develop more complete analysis.  Discussions will also include advanced technology to identify opportunities that lead to actionable insights and drive category growth.

We ask the questions:

  • How many times have you run into issues with shoppers saying one thing and doing another?
  • How often do you struggle to truly understand what makes shoppers pick up your product (and from where)?

Breakout sessions will address these and other issues by examining both explicit (conscious) and implicit (less-conscious) influences along a consumer’s path-to-purchase.

Don’t worry, we didn’t forget that Nashville is home to some of the world’s best country music stars – which makes sense why it’s also known as “Music City”. Which is why in addition to multiple receptions for networking we are hosting an in-house kick-off for your evening out. From hay bails to a waterin’ hole bar, to live music… you won’t want to miss CMA’s Country Soiree. You have the famous Larry Gatlin, and up and coming country singers Josh Gracin and 2Steel Girls to look forward too. See more details about the event here.


We had a record number of attendees last year which included a diverse mix of retailers, solution providers and manufacturers from a wide variety of industries. Listen to what some of them had to say about their experience:

“Just a note of thanks for the hospitality shown at our first CMA event.  We were very impressed by the content and professional execution of an event this size.  I think most meaningful for me was the “real world” content which is clearly applicable to all of our businesses.” – Janet Fallon, Director of Sales & Marketing, White Castle Food Products

 “As a new CMA member and first convention visitor I have to say how impressed I am by the high quality of the organization, attendees, and speakers. Totally surpassed my expectations and I have made valuable contacts!” -Robert Sansos, Marketing Director Europe, Middle East & Africa, Klöckner Pentaplast

“The CMA event was outstanding and congratulations on a job well done. I am happy that ECRM is now a member to your organization. I definitely learned a lot and it was great to see some old friends and make new contacts!” – Wayne Bennett, Sr VP Retail, ECRM