Gilbarco, a worldwide technology leader for retail and commercial fueling operations, today (May 9) opens its annual Retail Technology Conference in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to help retailers and fuel operators learn how to leverage technologies like “the Cloud” to protect and grow their businesses.


The theme of the conference is “Secure, Connected & Profitable: The Future of Convenience and Fuel Retailing.” Held over a four-day period, the conference includes a mix of thought-provoking general information sessions and educational break outs. It also includes an exhibition of the latest hardware, software and other tools designed to help attendees promote and operate their businesses more effectively, both by Gilbarco and its broad ecosystem of partners. A variety of industry, non-industry and company presenters will help cover and lead discussion in the three focal areas: security, connectivity and profitability.


The security sessions cover both social and technical subjects, including a discussion on today’s security-conscious consumer, but also the current state and future of EuroPay MasterCard Visa (EMV) in the store and on the forecourt. Presenters will help explain the status and importance of the changing EMV deadlines and related nuances. One of key speakers in this area is Steve Scarince from the U.S. Secret Service. He will speak about industry statistics and provide an update on criminal tactics affecting convenience store security.


The connectivity sessions will provide information about “the Cloud” and how it can be leveraged to engage customers, but also to monitor and manage operations, from fuel supply logistics to the fuel dispenser to the point of sale (POS). Gilbarco participants will cover some of the unique aspects of Gilbarco’s Passport® POS software, which allows information exchange and connectivity across a network of c-stores or fuel outlets.


Industry expert, Blain Boelter, VP of Operations at Holiday Oil, will discuss how to optimize business analytics using Passport’s third-party data interface. Another guest speaker for the connectivity sessions is Prasad Satyavolu, Global Head of Consulting and Innovation with Cognizant Technologies. His firm is known for helping clients transform their business operations and models to leverage the digital age.


The profitability sessions will cover consumer information and technologies at the pump that are designed to drive customers into the store. According to Gilbarco’s VP of Marketing for North America, Mark Williams, “At the end of the day, retailers need their stores to be profitable. In an environment of tough fuel margins and increasing competition from other channels, Gilbarco knows that every incremental dollar counts. Our conference is designed to help attendees explore ways to get more customers to their sites and sell them more when they’re there.”


Doug Stephens, Founder of the Retail Prophet and one of the world’s foremost retail industry futurists, will speak to the future of fuel retailing, offering unique perspectives on retailing, business and consumer behavior. Another session will feature Shama Hyder, CEO of the Marketing Zen Group. Hyder will discuss marketing to Millennials and will share insights on how this growing segment can be engaged in the convenience store environs.


To learn more about the Gilbarco Retail Technology Conference, the guest speakers, the educational sessions and the latest in EMV solutions and offerings, click here.