IRDC UPDATES

START YOUR GLUE GUNS

If you’ve attended IRDC in the past, you already know the annual Iron Merchant visual merchandising challenge is a mash-up of performance art and design science. Team spirit and audience participation. Flexing of design muscles and clinking of cocktail glasses.

PRE-CONFERENCE SHOP TALK

Some of the best takeaways from IRDC are the insights you gather from fellow attendees—over breakfast, at lunchtime roundtables, social events and more.

With that in mind, we’re initiating some pre-conference conversations with registrants via the IRDC blog, beginning with this year’s Room & Reg Giveaway winner, Mollie Plocher.

EXPLORING AUSTIN DESIGN

If you want to experience Austin’s quirky culture in all its glory during IRDC, take the short drive from the Hilton Austin to South Congress, or SoCo. This funky neighborhood is the heart and soul of Austin—part hippie, part hipster—and a rich source of indie retail inspiration.

SPEAKER Q&A

Like many retail entrepreneurs, Austin’s Michael Portman and friend-since-childhood Jayson Rapaport identified an underserved niche in an established sector and created a fresh concept based on modern lifestyles and priorities. In their case, the industry was hair care services and the concept was Birds Barbershop.

POWER TRACK PREVIEW

How do you make a movie theater experience more immersive? Cineplex Entertainment did it with a VIP lounge so thoughtfully designed, so rich in branded customer touchpoints, you almost forget there’s a theater attached.