As much as mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets and wearables have changed consumers’ lives for the better, the technology also has caused angst for retailers worldwide.

If you’re confused by that statement, your company might be one of the many still lagging behind when it comes to providing what some consumers believe is vital to their everyday lives: a robust digital and mobile experience from their favorite brands. 

And consumers’ expectations in this area get more demanding everyday as forward-thinking merchants adapt to technology. 

By now, we’re already well aware of the customer experiences brands such as Amazon, Starbucks and Uber provide on a digital level. But a company like Amazon also is making strides in the physical world with a bookstore chain and its much-discussed Go concept, not to mention pending Amazon integration at Whole Foods. 

That helps to bring consumers’ expectations to an all- high.

So, what is a retailer to do?

Well, that’s where Networld Media Group’s annual CONNECT: The Mobile CX Summit can help. 

This year marks the fifth straight year of the . Last year, we tweaked the theme for the first time to focus more on the mobile customer experience to keep pace with emerging trends in the marketplace. That will continue in .

And after a change in scenery in Philadelphia last year, we’re back in Chicago this August at the Sofitel Chicago Magnificent Mile.

Mary Hines, the global head of rewards for Citi, is this year’s opening keynote speaker on Monday, Aug. 13 at 5 p.m.

Hines’ keynote, titled “Fostering Next-Gen Brand Loyalty”, will highlight the crucial intersection of mobile and customer loyalty, discussing strategies to increase engagement, retention and brand favorability among target audiences.

After Hines’ keynote, stick around for the opening reception, which provides a great opportunity to meet speakers, sponsors and fellow attendees.

The summit’s second day will start with a yet-to-be determined keynote speaker, followed by a total of eight breakout sessions over two tracks. 

This year, the summit’s tracks will focus on marketing, as well as one dedicated to IT/operations.

Some of the breakout sessions include discussions about AI, chatbots, delivery, mobile messaging, mobile ordering and social media, among others.

We’ll end the day with a roundtable discussion about mobile payments strategy.

This year’s dinner party will offer attendees a unique experience at the nearby Chicago Sports Museum. 

The museum combines high-tech interactive experiences — including skill challenges and simulated experiences — with unique sports memorabilia and an impressive collection of game-used treasures and other artifacts. 

The 8,000-square-foot space celebrates all of Chicago’s sports teams. The interactive exhibits use body-tracking technology, allowing you to score goals as Blackhawks star Patrick Kane, shoot free throws as Bulls NBA Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen and many other one-of-a-kind experiences.

The last day of summit begins with a CONNECT staple: the Brain Exchange.

This 90-minute session offers attendees the opportunity to huddle up in groups to work with others at your table on a specific topic, hashing out best practices and things you’ve learned from the the summit’s keynotes and breakout session.

We’ll end the summit with a yet-to-be-determined keynote speaker. 

Early-bird registration for the summit is now available and ends Friday, March 23. 

Join us in Chicago!

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