More than 24,000 people attended Innovating Commerce Serving Communities (ICSC) Las Vegas, the annual dealmaking conference held May 21-23, 2023. While this is a somewhat smaller crowd in comparison to pre-COVID conferences, it is well above the approximately 21,000 people that attended the same conference last year. This is a clear indication of the strength of the retail industry during these challenging economic times. Several attorneys from Goulston & Storrs, including Jennifer Jones, Vanessa Moody, Melissa Rivers, and David Rabinowitz, attended the conference, and they all left ICSC Las Vegas feeling strengthened in their existing retail relationships and excited about upcoming opportunities.
The conference boasted a number of professional growth sessions, highlighted by an inspiring keynote presentation from Andy Reid (Two-Time Super Bowl Champion and Head Coach of the Kansas City Chiefs), but the true value of the conference is always the time spent connecting with so many people from the retail industry. The positive energy was galvanizing and contagious.
Actor Ben Stein once said, “Personal relationships are the fertile soil from which all advancement, all success, all achievement in real life grows.” While walking the floor of the exhibit halls, there was clear evidence of old and new relationships being cultivated. As is typical of this conference, several dinners, cocktail parties, and special entertainment events were held throughout the three days. All of these events allowed attendees to build upon existing relationships with colleagues, clients, and business partners, and to create new relationships with prospective clients and opposing counsel. This is what makes this conference dynamic and invaluable.
As retail lawyers, we always enjoy the “reprieve” we get every year when the deal makers are busy at the conference. However, that reprieve is short-lived because, historically, there is a large influx of deals after ICSC Las Vegas and, at Goulston & Storrs, we have already seen that this year is no different. Although we will continue to watch the economy (and the effects it will have on the retail industry), ICSC Las Vegas 2023 has us feeling optimistic and hopeful about the retail future.