Retail Summit Returns August 23

The Columbus Chamber of Commerce and Franklin County are partnering to explore the future of retail at Retail Summit 2018: Creating the New Localism. The day-long event held on Thursday, August 23 kicks off at 7 a.m. with welcome and networking and concludes with a cocktail reception at 4:30 p.m., packing in keynotes, breakout sessions and networking in between.

“Retail Summit 2018 will explore the journey: the food we eat and the clothes we wear; how they come to us; the people that make them; the sights, sounds, tastes and touches that inspire our action and devotion,” says the Columbus Chamber. “From design and technology to logistics, economics and employment, this annual gathering will share how brands and products are being defined by their closeness to consumers.”

Programming begins at 8 a.m. with introductory speakers setting the stage for the day, including Dana Telsey, Telsey Advisory Group; Mikaela Hunt, Mikaela Media; and Kevin Boyce, Franklin County Board of Commissioners.

Alison Embrey Medina, editor-in-chief of design:retail magazine will headline a lunchtime session, ‘Lighting Fireworks: Designing Retail That Resonates with Mercurial Consumers.’

Programming concludes at 3:15 p.m. with a Keynote presentation that will bring successful retailers from the city to the stage. “Grown in Columbus: A Conversation with the Region’s Brand Visionaries” moderated by Mikaela Hunt will feature:

  • Nate DeMars, Pursuit
  • Debbie Penzone, Charles Penzone Inc.
  • Charley Shin, BIBIBOP Asian Grill and Charleys Philly Steaks

Retail Summit 2018 will also feature three main tracks to streamline breakout sessions for attendees: eCommerce, logistics and design.

The Chamber says that throughout the day, panelists will discuss a variety of topics and trends ranging from marketing to logistics, fashion and talent. In relation to 2018’s theme of localism, each panel will touch on what makes the retail experience personal and how brands can capitalize on the idea of localism in retail.

Attendees will have ample time to make connections with five networking breaks built into the schedule. There is also a cocktail reception to wrap up the day with hors d’oeuvres, and each attendee will receive two complimentary drink tickets for the reception.

Retail Summit 2018 will be held at the Columbus Convention Center on Thursday, August 23 from 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. Individual admission is $229. Special rates available for students, educators and groups of five or more. Learn more about the Summit and register at For more information on the Columbus Chamber of Commerce, visit