ICON 2023: Preparing for a New Tomorrow
Curious to know what’s in store at ICON 2023, Blue Yonder’s annual customer conference and premier supply chain event? I spoke with Blue Yonder’s Susan Beal, chief customer officer, and Derek Thomas, corporate vice president of portfolio marketing, who shared what to expect this year and some of the not-to-be-missed event features!
Bryant: What is ICON 2023 and where is it this year?
Susan: ICON is Blue Yonder’s not-to-be missed conference for customers and supply chain, commerce and retail professionals. Join us in Las Vegas May 2-5 for three days of awesome content, networking and discussion around the burning trends in the industry. We’ve got 200 sessions of incredible content being presented, tons of networking opportunities and some really inspiring general session keynotes to kick start the event.
Bryant: Can you tell us about this year’s theme and what people can expect?
Derek: This year’s theme focuses on “Preparing for a New Tomorrow.” Supply chain disruption and challenges are not ending soon, so as we look forward, the future needs to be dynamic and adaptive. Companies also need to think about AI technologies that help you empower your people and decision making. There’s so many transformations that are going on in the world of supply chain. We will be laying out our vision of not only how we think supply chain is changing, but also how Blue Yonder is repositioning its portfolio and focusing its investments to capture that opportunity and empower our customers to succeed over the next five, 10-plus years. There will be lots of sessions with our customers and partners talking about successful transformation stories. Attendees will have access to our executives, our product experts, and our partner network. There’s an immersive Innovation Experience Zone where you’ll be able to experience these technologies hands-on and meet with our experts to ask the tough questions. There will be lots of opportunities to network with peers, partners, and the Blue Yonder team to dive in on what that next generation of supply chain looks like.
Bryant: Give us the inside scoop on some of the exciting breakout sessions that are planned.
Derek: There will be three industry tracks to choose from: retail, manufacturing and logistics. These will include industry-specific breakouts where you’ll hear from customers, thought leaders and Blue Yonder experts about driving digital transformations. There’s over 100 customer sessions that are planned for this year’s event. The session catalogue is live now so be sure to register and check it out!
Bryant: Can you share more about the Executive Exchange?
Susan: If you’re a company leader, you are likely facing other challenges. That’s what we’re offering our Executive Exchange program. In parallel to the sessions being held at the user and manager level, there is an executive, invitation-only program for senior leaders within the organizations. We are focused on cross-industry and cross-solution topics that you, as a leader, would want to dive into. How are you embracing these new technologies? How are you driving sustainability, managing IT capabilities, and resiliency? This is an opportunity to deep dive with your peers on what’s happening in the space and how can you best tackle these challenges. You’ll also have priority access to the Blue Yonder executive team. The Executive Exchange is sponsored by Accenture.
Bryant: Susan, I heard there are some special guests. Could you tell me a little bit about who we can expect to see at ICON?
Susan: Let me start by saying we have an incredible keynote speaker. Dr. Kate Darling, a robotics ethics expert, is coming from MIT Media Labs. She’ll talk about how to apply this technology in a responsible way.
We’ve got a whole new executive team at Blue Yonder. We’re really excited for everyone to hear their vision of how we’re evolving our portfolio and roadmap. And I’m excited to share more about our customer experience and how we’re driving success in the field.
Joining us for main stage will be Paul Doherty from Accenture, who’s going to talk about how we’re going to collaborate and innovate together.
We’ve got two incredible companies keynoting the event: Sainsbury’s and GXO. Sainsbury’s is a leading UK brand and multi-channel retailer across food, clothing, and general merchandise. They will be sharing details of their recent transformation using Blue Yonder’s solutions and how they’re driving AI-enabled workflows.
GXO Logistics is a global contract logistics company that outsources supply chains and warehousing. They’re going to share how they’ve approached their transformation, and how they’re using robotics and automation to accelerate and differentiate.
Bryant: If somebody is on the fence, why should they attend ICON?
Derek: Here are the Top 5 reasons why you should attend ICON 2023:
- Learn how technologies like AI / ML, ChatGPT, Snowflake, and Azure are reshaping Supply Chains.
- Get inspired by keynotes from Blue Yonder executives, industry thought leaders, and Dr. Kate Darling.
- Gather lessons learned from digital transformation stories from Blue Yonder’s world-class customers.
- Meet with product experts and experience new technologies in the Innovation Experience Zone.
- Join a Special Interest Group to network with other supply chain professionals, share ideas and learn from each other.
And another reason to attend… attend a concert headlined by Mr. Worldwide himself — Pitbull!