IRDC 2016 had all the ingredients for productive and enjoyable networking: an intimate setting, a fun and casual atmosphere, and talented, inspiring, influential colleagues with which to mingle. Here were just some of the networking opportunities offered in Montreal.  Watch for details about the 2017 program — coming soon.


IRDC Opening Reception / Iron Merchant Challenge
TUESDAY, September 13     5:00 PM – 7:00 PM

We’ll wrap up Day One with IRDC’s hands-on, think-fast visual merchandising competition, where you can flex your display muscle with a team of your peers, or watch with the rest of us over cocktails and snacks. Make that choice when you register. Just don’t miss the fun of this signature event.

WAKE-UP FUN RUN/WALK – Sponsored by GH+A
WEDNESDAY, September 14       6:45 AM – 8:00 AM
Join us for a morning walk / run and get your day off to great start. Our invigorating 5 km circuit will have you exploring the beautiful streets and waterfront in Old Montreal. We will also stop for a little stretch and tone session in the park before returning to the conference center. All levels of walkers and joggers welcome, as participants will be encouraged to go at their own pace. Please bring your running shoes. A water bottle is also recommended. Space is limited. Sign up now to save your spot.

Networking Continental Breakfast
WEDNESDAY, September 14 and THURSDAY, September 15     8:00 AM – 8:55 AM

Join fellow attendees for coffee, juice and serve-yourself breakfast items prior to Wednesday’s program line-up. On Thursday, Sponsor Case Studies will be presented during breakfast, 8:00 – 9:30 AM.

Networking Roundtable Lunch
WEDNESDAY, September 14 and THURSDAY, September 15    
 NOON – 1:30 PM

One of the most popular and anticipated features of the conference, the IRDC Networking Roundtables are hosted by VMSD Advisory Board members, editorial staff and conference sponsors. Choose from the list of topics when you register for the conference, then bring your questions, ideas and insights to share with your tablemates over lunch.

Off-Site Montreal Tours
WEDNESDAY, September 14     3:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Venture outside of Le Westin to discover the eclectic vibe of this dynamic city. Choose from these three unique options:

JPMA’s Design With A Cutting Edge Technology Tour
Come see how today’s modern manufacturing technology can inspire creative designs. Today, cutting edge fixture and visual element designs are achievable with the use of modern technology. At JPMA you will see firsthand, the latest state-of-the-art manufacturing technology not available anywhere else in our industry, all under one roof.

This guided design tour conducted by one of the world’s largest store fixture manufacturer’s will show how your design vision can become a reality and, you will see the industry’s most intricate designs in custom wood, metal and acrylic visual displays, elements and store fixtures. Experience the latest in automated technology including wood sculpting, automated metal forming, cutting and high speed flat and tube lasers. Also featured will be our custom finishing and exclusive electroplating plating shop where we process all finishes including copper and brass and where clients design their own custom finishes. Transportation will be provided. Save your spot during the online registration process.

Old Montreal Historic and Architectural Tour
Meander down cobblestone stones lined with 18th and 19th century greystone buildings, and experience the Old-World European charm that is Old Montréal. This guided walking tour explores the streets, monuments and architectural gems of this unique historical city, including the Notre-Dame Basilica, a remarkable 19th century Gothic Revival Church renowned for its breathtaking interior and rich ornamentation.

The Underground City Tour
Take a fascinating guided tour through “the Underground City,” originally created for the World Expo which took place in Montréal in 1967. This vast network of pedestrian walkways includes 20 miles beneath downtown where over 2,000 shops and restaurants, 10 major hotels, and various museums, theatres and universities can be found.

DINNER AT RISTORANTE BEATRICE – Sponsored by SAJO — IRDC Innovation Sponsor
WEDNESDAY, September 14      7:30 PM – 10:30 PM

Nestled in downtown Montréal’s Golden Square Mile district, Ristorante Beatrice is an Italian eatery with an affection for flavor and style. Reserve your seat now for this very special networking dinner, where you’ll have the opportunity to meet and mingle with industry professionals, including SAJO’s special guests, Mr. Aldo Bensadoun, founder and Chairman of Aldo Shoes, and Dana Cho, partner at IDEO, California. It’s a very special evening not to be missed, and it all takes place at Ristorante Beatrice, an intimate and lavish garden restaurant in the heart of Montréal.

Seating is limited and on a first-come basis. Reservation deadline is Sept 6th. Restaurant is approximately 2 miles from Le Westin. Transportation is not provided.

THURSDAY, September 15        6:45 AM – 8:00 AM
Through a fluid series of yoga postures and breathing exercises, we have designed a special program to gently stretch, strengthen and awaken your body & mind for the day ahead. In this all ages and all levels yoga practice, you will learn different variations, increase your breathing capacity, release muscular tensions, reduce stress symptoms, strengthen your postural alignment and increase joint mobility. This course will leave you feeling limber and refreshed. Space is limited. Sign up now to save your spot. (Please wear fitness-type clothing.)

IRDC Closing Party
THURSDAY, September 15     6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
997 Rue Saint-Jacques | Montréal, QC H3C 1G6
This year’s closing soiree takes place at one of Montréal’s premiere night spots, Time Supper Club, tucked away close to the Old port and away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Set in a landmarked 1930’s Art Deco bank building, it’s the perfect venue for meeting and mingling with friends, both old and new.