ICSC 2024: Reflections and Considerations

May 2, 2024

ICSC 2024: Reflections and Considerations

By Jeff Cohn, Founder and CEO, COHN, Inc.

It’s early May and that means the annual ICSC Spring Convention in Las Vegas is upon us. That conjures up all kinds of thoughts, plans, questions and memories of this event.

My first ICSC was way back in 1998 when I worked for another agency and after a 16-year career in marketing at The Rouse Company. I never got to go as a “Rouseketeer,” so the opportunity to attend on behalf of the agency was a thrill. It was huge, impactful and very intimidating.

Then in 2000, I went to ICSC, having just put up the shingle for COHN. That was really scary! I was just one guy, with a computer and a lot of hopes and dreams. What I learned that year and have experienced ever since is that this is an amazing industry with dynamic, well-intentioned people. That feeling of being alone with 45,000 strangers soon went away as so many were willing to give me and my infant company a chance.

Years of meetings and experiences follow the trajectory of COHN, while the conversations and people have changed. Even the people from COHN that go each year are different. But one thing remains constant: ICSC Vegas is a world of opportunity.

So as we look at ICSC 2024, which happens in a very short period of time, I’m excited but also curious. What will we discover there? And who will we meet to create new relationships while fostering the ones from years before.

At COHN, we maintain that a brand-centered approach still matters in an era of digital ROI. Digital is great and something we do for our clients well. But when one thinks about the proverbial marketing funnel, we still have to think about the top half. How do customers (B:B and B:C) know us? What is our differentiation based on a company’s strengths and competitive factors? How can we maximize earned and social media in a STRATEGIC way that supports the brand. How do marketing and PR play out in a mature industry?

We won’t have to wait long to explore these questions with new and current COHN clients. I can’t wait to learn and to engage. And I know the COHN team will be right there with me, with curiosity and desire to bring our capabilities to this industry.

If you’d like to meet with me or any of my COHN team, we’ve set up a convenient ICSC landing page to spur some creativity and brainstorming. Simply click through, enjoy some of our ICSC insights, and book a brainstorm with our team in Vegas. We’re looking forward to seeing you there.

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