ICSC Indiana Idea Exchange

Author: Cindy Heigl

Last week I attended the ICSC Indiana idea exchange in Indianapolis. I went with a project manager from our general contractor parent company and we both found it to be a worthwhile event. Here are a few highlights...


  • Round Table Discussions
    • Restaurants- Indiana is seeing an influx of various new franchise restaurants specializing in yogurt, ice cream, sub sandwiches, and cupcakes.
    • Social Media- Jenn Rarick from Pivot Marketing had a great presentation regarding all types of social media and how to best utilize it (@pivotmarketing). Most of the table participants either had a good grasp of social media... or no clue. Every event I attend incorporates social media pre-, during, and post-show... so if you're not on board you are definitely out of the loop!
    • Lafayette Square area- my co-worker was at this table so I didn't hear the whole scoop, but there are big plans for the Lafayette Square area in Indianapolis near 38th street!
  • State of the State Panel Session
    • We heard from leading experts in Indiana retail markets about how regions are recovering and what is on the horizon. Leaders from South Bend, Indianapolis, Ft. Wayne, and Evansville all had positive reports of growth and new retailers filling their local vacancies. For all of the negative press I'm hearing about our economy, this panel had quite a different story to report...
  • Retailers' Runway
    • DiBella's Old Fashion Submarines, Dollar General, McDonald's, The Cellular Connection (Verizon Wireless), Orange Leaf, Save-A-Lot, and Subway all discussed their local plans for expansion and growth. (Orange Leaf is one of the new yogurt concepts and I'm so excited to try it!)
  • Keynote From Leonard Hoops- President & CEO Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association
    • Leonard talked about the changes Indianapolis has seen over the past 10-20 years (cultural centers,Universities, world class Medical Schools,  Mass Ave, Broad Ripple, etc.) and how we are becoming a destination city. There were several interesting points about Indy- for example the Children's Museum is the largest in the US, our JW Marriott has the most room of all Marriott Hotels, you can visit the Indy 500 track year round and drive an Indy car OR have an Indy car pick up your guest at the airport! Can you say "WELCOME TO INDIANAPOLIS!?!" He also discussed the exciting upgrades and projects the city is undergoing for the 2012 Super Bowl. Keynote presentations are notoriously boring, however this one was quite relevant and exciting... it rocked.
  • Last but not least was the Deal Making Session where retailers looking to expand in the regional market were able to meet with local commercial real estate brokers, developers, city officials, general contractors, and other parties who help make it happen.  
It was a great event- thanks to all who helped put it together and my boss who paid for me to attend! While there is no shortage of bad economic news, I assure you the Indianapolis retail industry is doing just fine and growing!  023