CONNECT Summit Set to Dive into Mobile's Impact on Restaurants, Retail

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Digital experts to discuss mobile strategies at Networld Media Group's CONNECT Mobile Innovation Summit in Chicago on August 15-17.

Digital experts to discuss mobile strategies at the CONNECT Mobile Innovation Summit in Chicago on August 15-17.

Pokémon Go's recent viral success has given executives from various industries a blueprint for how to create a mobile experience that strikes an emotional chord with consumers.

To be fair, the Pokémon brand is a media franchise that dates back to 1995 when today's millennials were pre-teens. The nostalgia aspect of Pokémon Go has helped propel the mobile game into the mainstream. But the mobile and marketing aspects of the game are two areas that have given executives something to think about. What can they take from the game's success?

Pokémon Go is sure to be a topic of conversation next month in Chicago at the third annual CONNECT Mobile Innovation Summit, which is presented by Networld Media Group. This year's summit takes place Aug. 15-17 at the Sofitel Chicago Water Tower that sits near the Magnificent Mile and is close to Lake Michigan.

The CONNECT Mobile Innovation Summit attracts executives from the restaurant and retail industries that have a focus on the mobile aspects of their companies. And the agenda certainly reflects the current trends in the market.

Baron Concors, the global chief digital officer at Pizza Hut, is scheduled to give a keynote address as the summit begins its first full day of discussions on Tuesday, Aug. 16. Concors will speak to audience members about which trends executives should focus on that will provide their customers with the best mobile experiences.

After Concors' keynote address, attendees will have the opportunity to sit in on their choice of eight different breakout sessions. Those sessions will include discussions about the Internet of Things, mobile marketing, payments and loyalty, among others.

The summit's final general session of the day will be a discussion about location-based mobile marketing. Erin Levzow, vice president of marketing for Freebirds World Burrito, and Jeff Ulrich, senior manager of e-commerce digital innovation at United Airlines, will help to lead this chat.

The summit's first full day will officially end with a trip to the ballpark to visit one of the world-famous Wrigley Rooftops across the street from Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs. This private dinner party is included in the Summit registration at no additional cost.

The final day of the summit, Wednesday, Aug. 17, will begin with what has become a popular part of CONNECT, the Brain Exchange.

This deeply interactive session is one where attendees will work with others at their table on a specific topic, hashing out best practices and key findings. At the end of the Brain Exchange, leaders from each table will share takeaways with the entire room.

To end the summit, Shashank Saxena from the The Kroger Company will deliver a keynote speech about how digital disruption is leveling the playing field. Saxena is the senior director of Special Projects for strategy and new business development at Kroger.

Other speakers for the summit include:

  •     Mike Beauchamp, director of digital, Hooters of America
  •     Tim Doherty, mobile product manager, Dunkin’ Donuts
  •     Michelle Evans, digital consumer manager, Euromonitor International
  •     Curtis Ford, market planning and strategy, Great Clips
  •     Graham Gunst, associate partner, interactive experience and digital strategy, IBM Interactive Experience
  •     Alysia Kempa, director of mobile marketing, Sears Holdings Corp.
  •     Erin Levzow, vp of marketing, Freebirds World Burrito
  •     Aaron Noveshen, president and founder, Starbird
  •     Rick Ruskin, marketing and product management, online commerce, General Motors
  •     Mark Tan, senior product manager, Amazon

There's still time to register for CONNECT and join in on some great discussions, a Chicago hot dog and a ballgame.

Founded in 2000, Networld Media Group is a leading business-to-business (B2B) media communications company specializing in digital media, associations and events in the mobile, self-service, digital signage, retail, food service and financial services industries. Online properties include,,,,,,,, and Networld’s event properties include the Fast Casual Executive Summit, CONNECT Mobile Innovation Summit, Interactive Customer Experience (ICX) Summit, Bank Customer Experience (BCX) Summit and the Restaurant Franchising & Innovation Summit. Networld also operates the ICX Association.


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Kathy Doyle, EVP & Publisher
Networld Media Group
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