March 11, 2022

Industry Professionals Gather to Lead in an Omnichannel World

We were finally back in person for the 2022 CMA|SIMA Conference at the beautiful Gaylord Palms Resort in sunny Orlando, FL. Over 500 industry professionals from 230 companies gathered to learn industry content, share best practices, and most importantly, network with each other again. For many it was their first corporate travel since the pandemic began in 2020.

CMA Annual Conference 2022

This year’s Conference theme was “Leading in an Omnichannel World” to reflect the new reality that omnichannel shopping behaviors and supply chain issues have complicated the category management process. We must rise to the challenge.

Our Conference began with an insightful keynote by our host and emcee Phil Lempert, the Supermarket Guru, who reminded us that in times of uncertainty, shoppers expect more from their trusted brands. Other keynote speakers included 84.51, PwC, Wakefern, and Andrea Leigh of Allume Group (previously Amazon) on navigating category management online.

From there content was divided into 5 tracks dedicated to helping attendees assume that leadership position.

  • Our Insights and Shopper Immersion track kicked off with an overview of Insights Immersion as CatMan 3.0’s new Step 1, followed by an update on Consumer Confidence from Ipsos, and a deep dive on Pepviz – Pepsi’s new shopper data offering.
  • Learning and Adopting CatMan 3.0 offered deep-dive sessions on the various steps of the new CatMan 3.0 process, including internal and external alignment presented by ConAgra, scorecarding presented by JUUL, and tactics presented by Tyson and Unilever.
  • Retailers came together for sessions geared specifically to them in our Retailer-Specific track, including Giant Food’s best practices on vendor partnerships, Albertsons’ data integration strategy, the impact of omnichannel on space planning, and more.
  • The conference always features sessions around Organizational and Professional Development. This year we explored the current state of the category management and shopper insights job market, pros and cons of an independent insights and analytics team, and how to embrace an ‘intrapreneur mindset’ in large corporations.
  • Finally, our Emerging Technologies sessions spotlighted cutting edge CatMan and Shopper Insights solutions, the adoption of AI/ML (Machine Learning) and VR (Virtual Reality) on our industry, and showcased the conference’s premier sponsors Numerator, NielsenIQ, Hivery, Nailbiter and 345.

Our conference also featured 3 training workshops, Puppypalooza for attendees to meet dogs from the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando, and networking opportunities including ‘Speed Networking,’ a Ladies in Leadership Luncheon, and back by popular demand our Late Night Party. The lively Expo Hall featured new technologies that attendees could explore further with demos and training.

Fun fact: over 500 kits were assembled by our conference attendees to donate locally to
Clean the World

Presentations are now available to access on-demand by conference attendees, contact member services ([email protected]) for more information today. And mark your calendars for next year’s conference at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada!