MATT SMITH …..Exhibition Director for Online Retailer Conference & Expo Gets To The Facts

Conversation with MATT SMITH – Exhibition Director, Online Retailer 

Matt Smith is currently Exhibition Director for Online Retailer Conference & Expo, the largest event focused on ecommerce and Online Retail in Australia. 

We spoke to Matt who has built a career over 20 years in the events industry, producing, selling, marketing and delivering conferences, business summits, professional training and large scale tradeshows and exhibitions in Europe, the Middle East, South East Asia and Australia.  He is passionate about events and more importantly the connections and business relationships created as a result of a business event and the insights delegates can take away to make a tangible difference to their business performances.  He is especially passionate about sales and the role of ecommerce in retail.  He gives us a good outline of the expo that is comming up in July and this is one that I feel will be for anyone that is keen to get back into the race and up to date with Retailer and online business.


After a restricted and COVID-friendly hybrid phygital event last year, Australia’s Online Retailer Conference & Expo is back and bigger than ever in 2021, set to take place on 21st and 22nd July at the ICC Sydney Exhibition Centre, Darling Drive, Sydney.

Online Retailer is Australia’s leading and most established ecommerce event that unpacks cutting-edge insights, the latest trends, tech innovation and retail solutions. In 2020 due to COVID-19, the event had to run as a hybrid event with sessions delivered both virtually and live. Now, the 2021 conference titled ‘Everybody’s Opportunity’ will celebrate the return of face-to-face events for the ecommerce retail industry.

Returning with all the leading ecommerce content you know and love, this years’ conference agenda has expanded with the launch of two complementary new streams, added in response to market needs. With an increasing post-COVID demand for in-person retail experiences, this new era, dubbed ‘Bricks & Clicks’ will see brands find creative ways to put customers at the front and centre and match online commerce with ‘retailtainment.’ The Bricks and Clicks track will cover the rise in importance of physical spaces and how the in-store experience can be used as a means of offering a greater CX and to drive increased instore conversion.

The B2B stream is dedicated to presenting insights in navigating the unique challenge faced by B2B online retailers to embrace digital technology, and open up new online channels for growth and business transformation. It will look at the lessons to be learned from the B2C online retail space and how the strategies and technologies can be adapted to the unique customer journey in B2B.

The retail calendar’s must-attend event will provide an opportunity for all attendees to hear from key players in the industry and to address the most relevant areas of retail all under one roof. This year’s event will feature 50% more keynote sessions from speakers including former CEO of Facebook, Stephen Scheeler, 2 x World Para Surfing Champion Sam Bloom, Futurist and Global Head of Tech & Innovation, Nick Abrahams, and jewellery-brand founder and creative director, Samantha Wills, who will be sharing her insights and lessons learnt from successfully shutting down her $10-million-dollar business.

Online Retailer Event Director, Matt Smith says, “Online Retailer 2021 is set to be our biggest event to date, with incredible speakers and sessions from a range of global brands including Kmart, Merivale and Volkswagen. In addition to our fantastic panellists and speakers, this year we are also incredibly excited to launch two new conference streams, dedicated to Bricks & Clicks and B2B.”

He adds, “Our data is showing that consumers today are routinely navigating omnichannel paths to purchase, and off the back of 2020, consumers are craving physical retail experiences again. This provides a unique opportunity for businesses with a bricks-and-mortar model, in conjunction with their digital assets, to provide the solution. Therefore, many of our content streams for Online Retailer 2021 will be intrinsically focussed on maximising this cross-channel retail experience.”

The Online Retailer Exhibition, hosted on the ICC ground floor, will truly be ‘Everybody’s Opportunity’ to embrace the latest tech and tools, as it is completely free for retailers to attend. The Expo will host over 120 solution providers, as well as provide new platforms and features for attendees. These include:
TECH TALKS: These FREE informative workshops hosted by industry experts will allow visitors to hear all about the hottest topics industry wide. This year, Online Retailer are very excited to welcome back exhibitor Brauz, to unveil their brand-new tech product. More details to come soon!
RETAIL FOUNDATIONS STAGE: Tailored specifically for micro-businesses, sole traders and smaller retailers, the Retail Foundation Stage will provide all the tangible skills and assets you’ll need to set yourself up as an online ecommerce platform.
RETAIL ELEVATE: This brand-new workshop room is specifically geared towards businesses looking to scale up. Here, brands will be able to meet the presenters and ask questions in an intimate format.

NORA PODCASTS: Hosted on the expo floor, the podcast area features live podcast interviews, recorded in front of a live audience, where retailers examine some of the industry’s hottest topics in a free flowing discussion based environment.
The multi-stream Conference (ticketed) will see an incredible speaker line-up. There will be 111+ speakers in all, including executives from Afterpay, BoozeBud, Volkswagen, Transport NSW, The Iconic and Vodafone. More speakers will be announced in coming weeks.

To cap off the event, The Australia Post Online Retail Industry Awards (ORIAS) will be held on the final night, celebrating the best of Australasia’s vibrant and multichannel online retail visionaries.

Ticketing to the event is available now. The Expo is free (but registration is required), and ticketed events start at $799+GST. To find more information or to book a ticket now, please visit

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