RetailNOW 2015 – What you missed in Orlando

rspa reception
Did you make it to Orlando this week for the RSPA Retail Now event?  It was classier than ever!   If you didn’t get to go, here’s a brief recap that by no means does justice to the scores of exhibitors and thousands of attendees. 
Hardware; a plethora of vendors for everything including keyboards, printers, card acceptance devices, battery backup, storage, theft prevention – were present and accounted for – there was everything and anything a VAR could possibly want or need.  Point-of-sale distributors were all visible as well – I met with Ingram Micro and was very impressed with the depth of their product line as well as their growth. 
Software;  dozens of companies with POS solutions for retail, rental, hospitality, beverage, consignment, plus payment processors galore, as well as security companies.  team rspa
Education –  dozens of educational sessions took place with top executives making presentations geared to help VARs get their business to the next level in both profit and quality!   I attended a seminar by Robert Carr, CEO and Founder of Heartland – one of the leading payment companies and he spoke about competition in the industry,  new profit opportunities and offered guidance as the direction of payment processing in the United States.   I had a chance for a private sit-down with Mr. Carr and I’ll be reporting on that shortly. (If you’re thinking of not preparing for EMV by October – there’s exposure in areas you have may not have considered.) 
Kelly Funk, CEO of the RSPA and now completing the end of her first year at the helm, sat with me and discussed the show, expressing her pride in the organization and the benefits it continues to bring to every corner of the retail channel.   RSPA offers year-round training via webinars.  Some courses are listed below. The RSPA team was exceedingly helpful and supportive and the show reflected that.        rspa stephen
The 2016 RetailNOW show will be held in Dallas TX, and 2017 will be held in Las Vegas. 
Recap: This year is bringing unprecedented challenges to the POS industry.    EMV, hacking, changing regulations, cloud POS  – all are coming together in a perfect storm.  POS specialists can benefit from training and education.   I’ve been around this industry since 1985 and I have never seen it as complex as it is right now.  Delivering a great solution is just part of the equation for success today.  Educating and protecting the business owner and his data is another part.   I encourage every POS specialist to join the RSPA and use all of their numerous resources!!    We will be running a number of stories about the show and products that were featured there in the upcoming weeks.  Stay tuned !
(Images – top – welcome reception at RSPA, middle – RSPA team members were always smiling and helpful, lower – team member Stephen Gift )
Some of the numerous announcements from the show: 
RSPA Awards – Congratulations to all !!
Electronic Payment/ Financing:
Gold Award: Mercury, a Vantiv Company
Silver Award: Datacap Systems, Inc.
Bronze Award: Sterling Payment Technologies, LLC
Technology Distributor:
Gold Award: BlueStar
Silver Award: ScanSource, Inc.
Bronze Award: M-S Cash Drawer LLC
Hardware Manufacturers:
Gold Award: Touch Dynamic, Inc.
Silver Award: Epson America
Bronze Award: APG Cash Drawer, LLC
Gold Award: Future POS, Inc.
Silver Award: National Computer Corporation
Bronze Award: Digital Dining
Software & Hardware:
Gold Award: Cash Register Sales, Inc. (CRS)
Silver Award: NCR Corporation
Bronze Award: Casio America, Inc.
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