woman sitting at computer on a web conference
Several industries are offering free virtual conferences to help businesses from startups to legacy brands succeed amid COVID-19. — Getty Images/svetikd

School’s in session for the business community as industry conferences heat up — not in convention halls, but online this year, amid COVID-19.

These five (free) cross-sector conferences promise to deliver business intelligence for startups to legacy brands on plotting a pandemic-informed holiday sales strategy and competing with industry titans, to meeting the ever-heightening demands of surging online orders.

If you miss these sessions live, they’ll be available via replay.

Opticon conference tackles business ideation and ‘the science of getting it right’

Opticon, which bills itself as the “experimentation conference for teams that want to validate ideas, reduce risk, and ship better products faster,” is going virtual for the first time on Sept. 16 and 17.

Speakers from Zillow and Amazon Web Services to Charles Schwab will speak on panels including Experimentation Through Clients’ Eyes, Creating More Personal Experiences With Full Stack and Building the Bridge to $20 Billion Revenue. (Optimizely, the tech firm that was acquired this monthby content-management firm Episerver, puts on the conference.)

Datalogic on slaying surging online orders via mobile tech

In RetailWire’s Sept. 16 webinar, Latest Mobile Tech Advances in Frontline Worker Productivity, Datalogic executives discuss the massive product fulfillment challenges facing retailers from surging online orders due to COVID-19.

Datalogic’s North America Industry marketing manager for retail Ivelisse Gomez unpacks the new demands e-commerce growth is placing on merchants and cover the mobile tech trends and solutions aimed to better equip frontline workers, and help retailers adapt to evolving shopper demands.

The holiday season, when brands and retailers generate a disproportionate amount of their annual sales, is upon us. It’s no secret that this year brings unprecedented challenges for businesses.

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Innovating for a postpandemic future: Challenges and opportunities in the hospitality industry

The Hotel School at Cornell’s SC Johnson College of Business will offer revival strategies for a hospitality sector navigating the harsh blows dealt by COVID-19.

Speakers at the Sept. 22 conference, Innovating for a Postpandemic Future: Challenges and Opportunities in the Hospitality Industry, which include Ian Schrager, founder and chairman of Ian Schrager company and Amazon Web Services’ general manager Pasquale DeMaio, will discuss how the pandemic has accelerated new technology solutions and guest services and cover best practices from other industries.

How COVID-19 will shape the 2020 holiday season

The holiday season, when brands and retailers generate a disproportionate amount of their annual sales, is upon us. It’s no secret that this year brings unprecedented challenges for businesses. Against the backdrop of the pandemic, “Supply chains around the globe are buckling under extreme pressure, and unprecedented surges in digital commerce have limited shipping capacity and impacted delivery windows,” according to Coresight Research.

On Sept. 24, the retail and technology research firm will spotlight five “bold predictions on key trends that will make or break your holiday season.” Culling insights from the Salesforce Shopping Index of more than a billion global shoppers, experts will help retailers and brands plot their holiday strategy, covering topics such as effectively balancing your marketing mix and forecasting product demand with precision and accuracy.

How brands and manufacturers thrive in the age of marketplaces

Forrester’s two-day webinar series on Sept. 28 and 29 will serve up analysis and strategies for gaining digital market share in a boldly shifting commerce landscape. Experts from the market research firm will explore topics such as lessons and insights on direct-to-consumer sales, the future of marketing, “coopetition with the tech titans” and more.

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