DX3 Canada Conference 10th Anniversary Edition: March 2-5

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Over the past 10 years, DX3 has been committed to the nexus of retail, marketing, and technology, and for its 10th annual event next month, DX3 is exploring what the future will look like post pandemic.

DX3 Season 10 will include 56+ episodes, all streaming from March 2-5. The DX3 2021 speaking faculty will provide industry insights on key focused areas; retail, marketing, and technology, and they will share their challenges and opportunities on how to build a brand and be relevant in this competitive environment.

Explore trending and futuristic technology leaders and solution providers through the virtual exhibition.


DX3 Season 10 will be a 100% virtual event spread over 4 days. Everyone who registers for the event will get access to the platform and can login with the email they registered to the event with.


DX3 Season 10 will witness 3 summits – Retail Summit, Marketing and Innovation Summit, and for the 1st time ever, Generational Summit. The speaker faculty consists of the top thought leaders across a variety of industries, providing attendees with invaluable knowledge that they can immediately implement in their respective industries.

Some of our speakers include:

  • Fareena Contractor, Director, Intl. Emerging Tech, Walmart
  • John Defranco, COO, Staples Canada
  • Alyssa Kerbel, Founder & President, mini mioche
  • Nikita Medvedev, Sr. Manager of Predictive Analytics, Coca-Cola
  • Rena Nickerson, GM, SodaStream Canada
  • Rajen Ruparell, Chairman & Founder, Endy
  • Alyssa Kerbel, Founder & President, mini mioche
  • Cynthia Wong, Associate Vice President, Digital Product Management, Canadian Tire Corporation
  • Simon Tooley Founder & President, Maison
  • Etiket Trinh Tham, CMO, Harry Rosen
  • Jill Van Gyn, CEO/Founder, Fatso
  • Sarah Jordan, CEO, Mastermind Toys
  • Courtne Smith, CEO & Founder, NewNew


Discover new and clever concepts and solutions that can help you take your company to the next level. Experience it for yourself, what the latest in retail and marketing innovation has to offer at this large two-day exhibition.

Some exciting exhibitors include:

  • TikTok
  • Medallia
  • PayPal
  • EY Ada
  • Afterpay
  • AIR MILES Reward Program
  • Second Closet
  • Kognitiv


Enjoy a variety of learning offerings and workshops every afternoon at DX3 2021. They are all about HOW TO implement strategies, new concepts, products, and expert advice. This amazing feature takes place after the main episodes of each day.

Use Code RETAILINSIDER25 to get 25% off on the ticket prices. You can register here: https://bit.ly/3pBaC8q

The following is a Q&A with some presenters:

Sarah Jordan
Sarah Jordan

Sarah Jordan, CEO, Mastermind Toys

Q: What is the top positive change to emerge from the past year?

A: Joining the Mastermind Toys team as CEO in January of 2020 and then navigating a pandemic within my first 100 days was a unique, albeit challenging, experience! I am a purpose-driven leader so I’ve encouraged my team to keep Mastermind Toys’ purpose that Play is Kids’ Work in mind with every decision—from closing our stores before the government mandate to offering a greater assortment for our kids-at-heart to recognizing the benefits of play have no age limit. I deeply believe that purpose-driven leadership is what inspires employees to connect with our core mission.

We are so much more than a toy store. We are Canada’s Authority on Play and a place of wonder for our customers. Through our expert curation, we support child development at every age and stage following our ‘Why Kids Play’ model. Our customers are central to everything we do, and so while Canadians reimagined how they work, live, learn, and play over the past year, we stepped up to be a resource for parents, grandparents, educators, and kids adapting to remote learning and time spent at home. Facing an ever-changing retail landscape during a pandemic isn’t how I imagined my first year, but it has given me clear perspective on how we can best deliver wonder and delight to our customers.

Q: What changes do you expect to see this summer and how are you preparing?

A: The pandemic has resulted in a renewed love and enthusiasm for the great outdoors. Families have turned their backyards into the recess playground and celebrated birthday parties from sidewalks with friends driving by. As the weather gets nicer, we know Canadians will be eager to spend more time outside with scooters, bikes, spring gardening, and other outdoor accessories to get kids excited. You can expect to see lots of ideas from Mastermind Toys about how to spend time together outside this year.

We’re also anticipating a great excitement around back-to-school, with this moment of time really taking on new meaning for kids and parents. While September has always marked the start of a new chapter for families, there is a heightened hope of what this fall could bring for all Canadians. Mastermind Toys is preparing for this milestone moment by making a big splash for our customers: more specialty school supplies offered in our stores and online, ideas for activities that kids can easily pack with them for recess, among other exciting plans that are in the works!

Q: What’s the best marketing initiative you’ve seen recently?

A: I loved our highly coveted 2020 Mastermind Toys Gift Guide. After a year where so many families were looking for something to celebrate, the gift guide was a welcome reminder of all that we had to be grateful for and it truly embraced the wonder of the season. Our industry-leading merchants hand-curated an incredible assortment of toys, books, puzzles, and games, aimed to spark new discoveries and joy for kids and kids-at-heart, as well as keep families entertained during the holidays and beyond.

I am also proud of the type of representation featured in our Gift Guide. Since our beginning, we have been passionate about having all types of kids, from all backgrounds and of all abilities, in our marketing and content. We have a proud 36-year heritage of serving Canadians and so it’s really important to us that we reflect the communities we’re a part of coast-to-coast. The guide itself was designed in Canada and includes special tributes to our roots throughout it, including our partnership with another beloved Canadian brand, Hatley, who provided pajamas for our families. Through the gift guide, we hoped to play a small role in bringing wonder of all sizes during a very different holiday season.

Q: What are you looking forward to in the future?

A: Mastermind Toys has always been a destination spot for our customers celebrating birthdays and other milestones in their lives. We have reinvented birthday parties and family gatherings with Virtual Verified games and activities that make online togetherness fun, but I am really looking forward to the day when these celebrations can happen with everyone in person again.

Mastermind Toys is also the nation’s largest specialty toy and children’s book retailer, with our world-class assortment driving who we are. Our Category Buyers are always looking for the next best toy and game to share with our customers and historically they’ve built our curation with great finds from toy fairs. We are greatly missing the opportunity to meet with vendors worldwide at toy fairs, and though we’ve innovated that experience to host our very own Mastermind Toys Play Preview virtually, we’re excited for the day where the industry can come together. In the meantime, we are incredibly grateful for our vendors and partners who continue to look for new ways to co-create with us.

Shelby Taylor
Shelby Taylor

Shelby Taylor, CEO & Founder, Chickapea

Q: What is the top positive change to emerge from the past year? 

A: Less travel and more efficient use of time via video meetings. Now that everyone is up to speed with meeting technology, I think the days of travel for a 30 minute meeting may be over or at least significantly reduced. It not only saves time and has a positive impact on the environment, but gives back precious time with family.

Q: What changes do you expect to see this summer and how are you preparing? 

A: I think most people will still be eating at home the majority of the time and looking for more creative BBQ, summer salad and cocktail recipes to try. At Chickapea we’re creating tons of fresh, nutritious pasta salad recipes and showing customers how they can incorporate Chickapea into their summer meals in place of animal protein – like tossing our spirals on top of a green salad instead of chicken or using our spaghetti in fresh salad rolls.

Q: What’s the best marketing initiative you’ve seen recently?

A: I love everything Oatly puts out. They manage to use fun and humor to communicate their beliefs on serious issues; namely animal consumption. They’re open, honest and brave with their marketing and it’s inspiring.

Q: What are you looking forward to in the future?

A: I’m very curious to see how grocery shopping is permanently impacted by the trends of this past year and how much online grocery will continue to grow. As happy as I am not to travel as much, I am really looking forward to being face to face with our customers again at events and shows because I am missing that connection.

Albert Chow
Albert Chow

Albert Chow, CEO & Co-founder, Silk & Snow

Q: What is the top positive change to emerge from the past year?

A: Our brand has always been built around prioritizing high quality local manufacturing using traceable raw materials. Our customers appreciated deliberate, small batch manufacturing with total transparency and control of where our products came from. The pandemic seemed to have put a renewed focus on both the support for local manufacturing, and the awareness of where their products come from. Many customers who were previously very transactional, were now more thoughtful of their purchases and were more inquisitive of how the products they are purchasing are being made.

Q: What changes do you expect to see this summer and how are you preparing?

A: Container shortages are causing continual shortages in raw materials.  Although we manufacture and source raw materials for most of our products locally, many of our competitors use imported materials and have now resorted to sourcing things locally due to the impact the pandemic has had on importing raw materials.  This has lead to pricing pressure due to the additional demand on our local suppliers, and in turn has caused some of our suppliers to start rationing and applying measured allocations to their customers. Fortunately for us, we have been a prominent buyer of locally sourced materials prior to the pandemic and have established very good relationships with our local suppliers, meaning we have not been impacted as much as our competitors, but we expect to see the issue of price pressure and inconsistency of supply for raw materials continue to worsen in the summer. To avoid the risk of these supply chain disruptions impacting our customers, we plan on maintaining a larger inventory and continuing to take advantage of our relationships with our local suppliers.

Q: What’s the best marketing initiative you’ve seen recently?

A: We started to run more traditional radio ads recently, as traditional media rates have fallen quite a bit due to a lack of demand.  The return on ad spend for traditional media had never made sense for a digitally native retail business like ours, due to the high cost.  However, the pandemic has opened up a unique opportunity for us to start testing marketing initiatives using more traditional media such as radio or out-of-home.

Q: What are you looking forward to in the future?

A: We want to continue to focus on promoting our locally made products and tell the story behind the people and businesses that manufacture thoughtfully made, high quality products, like the ones we continue to offer.

Brandon Kim
Brandon Kim

Brandon Kim, Co-founder, Creative & Strategy, Brevitē

Q: What is the top positive change to emerge from the past year?

A: 2020 allowed for us to become very concise in our vision and very focused in our efforts. In March, we had a huge mindshift change that allowed for us to remove the external distractions and double down on our core efforts.

Q: What changes do you expect to see this summer and how are you preparing?

A: As a backpack brand, our business revolves around the movement of people. We are anticipating as the nicer weather comes and as the vaccine is rolled out at scale, there will be an increase in sales. Fortunately, you can use our product without other people, so it is good for socially distanced activities as well. As we prep for the summer, we are now building up our marketing operations in anticipation.

Q: What’s the best marketing initiative you’ve seen recently?

A: Kinfield and Blume are very good at engaging their audiences via SMS strategy. Their ability to be human in their language and approachable as a brand has allowed for them to have a very successful SMS channel.

Q: What are you looking forward to in the future?

A: We are looking forward to telling more of our Brand story.

Use Code RETAILINSIDER25 to get 25% off on the ticket prices. You can register here: https://bit.ly/3pBaC8q

*Partner content. To work with Retail Insider, email: craig@retail-insider.com more than ever, the story you tell is vital as everything is going digital.

Article Author

Jessica Finch
Jessica Finch
Jessica Finch is a writer and editor based in Toronto. She holds a BA in English and Psychology and is a graduate of Ryerson University’s Publishing program. She has extensive managerial experience in the food service industry, and is interested in exploring innovations within this sector and other retail environments.

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