Your Venue as the Community Gathering Place

People once gathered around the fire; now they gather around the bright lights of display screens. Not everyone who walks into an Apple store buys something, but the foot traffic the store creates is enviable and ultimately leads to sales. Is your venue a destination? If not, we’ll examine what companies like Apple and Whole Foods can teach us about connecting with the community and drawing people in.


Paul Blackburn | Vice President, Concept Design, Construction & Merchandising | L’OCCITANE en Provence

Paul joined L’OCCITANE in 2012 and has been working within the Architecture & Design industry for the last 15 years. He is in charge of all aspects of Design, Construction & Merchandising, for a store portfolio of over 250 locations in North America. In 2016 Paul lead the successful launch of the new L’OCCITANE FLATIRON Experiential Community Boutique in NYC, specifically aimed at enhancing the customer experience in unique and innovative ways. Outfitted with digital gifting stations and a smart beauty fitting room, the multisensory Flagship boutique works collectively to create both an immersive and individualized shopping experience. Prior to joining L’OCCITANE, Paul’s previous employers include Kenneth Park Architects, Rawlins Design, and Bowker Sadler Architecture. He has worked with top retailers such as West Elm, Tourneau, Rolex, True Religion Brand Jeans, and MAC Cosmetics, and in top locations such as Harrods London, Bergdorf Goodman New York, and the Fontainebleau Miami.

Andrew Winninger | Business Development Manager | Capital One

Andrew Winninger is a Business Development Manager supporting the Capital One Cafes and their community engagement efforts in South Florida, Richmond and Philadelphia. Prior to this role he led the marketing team at the largest Whole Foods in Florida, directed a global street team and non-profit at an independent record label and developed an intergenerational community program for the United Way. He studied marketing at the University of Central Florida and returned to Ft. Lauderdale after graduating, where he currently resides. Avid golfer, certified SCUBA diver, published author and resident DJ at the monthly art walk.


Tobi Schneidler | CEO | Bouncepad

Tobi Schneidler is the founder of Bouncepad, and the inventor of the tablet kiosk. His commercial design work for clients like Barclays Bank and Vodafone focused on emerging digital interactions in stores, to then lead to the launch of Bouncepad as a product business. He studied architecture, to then research technology’s impact on commercial spaces. His work was presented at SFMoMA and the Science Museum in London. He also taught at the Royal College of Art in London and the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. Bouncepads are now used around the world, to make venues more relevant and connected in the digital age.

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