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Over 4,400 digital and omni-channel retail professionals and exhibitors, including our Magento team, descended on Chicago’s McCormick Place Monday evening to talk next generation retail at the annual Shop.org Summit.

The opening night EXPO Hall reception, where attendees could mingle, network and prepare for the coming discussions and deal-making, kicked off the two-and-a-half day event. Opening events included keynotes from Tory Burch executives and marketing professor Jonah Berger. In the first address, Miki Beradelli, Tory Burch CMO, and Matt Marcotte, SVP of Global Stores at Tory Burch, emphasized that, while technology is taking over retail, the essentials—focusing on the customer and the persistence of email marketing—still matter. Berger, meanwhile, spoke to the importance of word-of-mouth marketing, which he broke into action steps like defining social currency and identifying social triggers. Afternoon breakout sessions touched on topics like omni-channel initiatives and the convergence of digital marketing and eCommerce.

Magento, in particular, started the summit with a festive bang, hosting an opening night party (with co-sponsor Guidance) at the gastro pub Public House. Invited guests could drink a Magento-themed beverage and chow down on sliders, pizza and other comfort foods. Some even modeled Magento gear in the provided photo booth.

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One topic of discussion at the shindig included Magento Mania, a conference-wide contest to help demonstrate the breadth of the Magento ecosystem. All Shop.org attendees have a chance to win a gift card to one of our partner sites, as well as to Magento’s annual Imagine Conference in 2014. Full details on how to play can be found here on the Magento Blog as well as at Magento booth #603 on the Shop.org conference floor.

Check back here in the coming days for our key takeaways from the summit!

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