DENTON (UNT), Texas — More than 600 University of North Texas students, faculty and business professionals are expected to attend the annual Consumer Experience Symposium at UNT March 28 (Thursday), which will feature Nicolas Franchet, head of e-commerce for Facebook’s Global Vertical Marketing division, among its keynote speakers.
Sponsored by the UNT College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism, the symposium will be held from 8 a.m. to noon in the Silver Eagle Suite of UNT’s University Union, which is located one block west of Welch and West Prairie streets at 1155 Union Circle. This year’s theme is “Using Social Media to Create Consumer Relationships.”
Richard Last, lecturer of digital retailing and coordinator of the college’s digital retailing degree program, said the annual symposiums are invaluable to students as they prepare for careers in merchandising, retailing, hospitality and tourism in a new era.
“Today’s consumers are digitally connected 24-7 across multiple touch points and expect their favorite brands to connect with them when and how they choose. Consumers are social and mobile. It is critical that our students understand these trends and how disruptive they are to the traditional retail model,” Last said.
He said no one is more equipped to address “retailing in the era of the connected, agile consumer” than the speakers for this year’s symposium.
“They will explore social commerce from three different perspectives — the brand/retailer point of view; the marketing, promotional and social gaming point of view; and the point of view of the world’s largest social networking ecosystem,” Last said.
Franchet has been the head of e-commerce for Facebook since April 2012. He was previously the general manager of eBay Fashion Outlet and helped launch it in September 2011. Franchet was also the general manager of eBay Motor Vehicles and the senior director of marketplaces strategy for eBay.
He received his master of business administration degree from the University of California at Berkley’s Haas School of Business and has a bachelor’s degree from ESCP Europe, a private business school with campuses in Paris, London, Berlin, Madrid, and Turin.
The other speakers for the symposium are Al Montalvo, senior director of new channels for The Body Shop, and Suchit Dash, co-founder and vice president of product for IFeelGoods, a leading digital promotions company based in Redwood City, Calif.
As senior director of new channels for The Body Shop’s Americas Region, which includes Canada, Mexico and the U.S., Montalvo creates wholesale and alternative channel business for The Body Shop’s traditional retail stores. The company, a subsidiary of L’Oreal, sells natural and environmentally-minded beauty products. Montalvo was previously director of multichannel marketing for the Longaberger Company, a home décor company.
Dash’s more than 100 clients for IFeelGoods include Walmart, 1-800-Flowers.com, Coca-Cola, Universal Pictures and Kimberly-Clark. The company manages digital goods promotion offers, helping clients attract audiences to the promotions and reward them for any online or mobile application action that can be tracked.
All three speakers will attend a private luncheon with selected UNT faculty and students and industry professionals following the symposium. During the luncheon, information will be provided on the launch of UNT’s new global Digital Retailing Research Center.
For more information about the Consumer Experience Symposium, call Lisa Wallace in the College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism at 940-369-7051.