Attendance for the NACS Show—the only global event for all things convenience— topped 25,000 for the first time ever, led by a 7.0% increase in “buyers” at the four-day event held October 7-10 in Las Vegas.

Overall attendance was 25,159 industry stakeholders from 72 countries, besting the attendance record set last year. A large part of this attendance growth was attributed to a strong increase in the number of “buyers”— retailers and convenience distributors and registrations from Show partner the Petroleum Equipment Institute—which reached 9,095, a 7.0% increase over the tally in 2017. Overall buyer attendance is up 10.5% over the past two years.

The NACS Show expo also set a record, reaching 431,800 net square feet, up from the previous record-setting expo in 2017 at 425,800 net square feet. More than 1,250 exhibitors participated, including 182 first-time exhibitors in the New Exhibitor area.

Sharing ideas and solutions was certainly a focus on the expo and also in four days of general sessions and 64 education sessions. Education sessions covered relevant industry topics such as foodservice and food safety, leadership development, category management, marketing, technology and fuels. Reflecting the growing international opportunities offered at the NACS Show, select education sessions were translated into Portuguese and Spanish, and the four general sessions were translated into Portuguese, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese. Also, for the first time ever, the videos showcased in the standing room only presentation of Ideas 2 Go are available for free at www.convenience.org/ideas2go2018.

“No matter where you are from or how many stores you operate, if you take one good idea and bring it back to your business from the NACS Show, your business will improve and you will be successful,” said NACS 2018-19 Chairman Frank Gleeson, president of Aramark Northern Europe (Dublin, Ireland).

Extending the value of the expo, the popular Cool New Products Preview Room showcased 309 new products and services from 194 companies. Visitors to the Preview Room used handheld scanners to capture product and booth information of the exhibitors they were interested in, producing a record 37,874 product scans.

TechEdge at the NACS Show, in its fifth year, attracted 627 industry technology professionals participating in the program’s specialized education sessions on topics ranging from data security to how to improve overall operational efficiency. Tech Edge provides industry retailer technology professionals a more personalized and high-value experience of learning, connecting and access to new solutions at the NACS Show. This forward-looking program partners with the industry’s standards and technology organization, Conexxus (conexxus.org), to bring more value, deeper education and broader solutions to attendees.

The NACS Show is also a business meeting and NACS elected new members to its Retailer and Supplier Boards. Gleeson became the first European-based chairman in the association’s 57-year history. Dave Riser, vice president of external relations at RAI Trade Marketing Services Company, was named the 2018–19 Chairman of the NACS Supplier Board.

On the final day of the NACS Show, Tyson Foods Inc. and NACS partnered to donate a truckload of protein totaling 35,000 pounds to Three Square Food Bank to help fight hunger in Southern Nevada. Three Square will distribute the donated food, which is equivalent to 140,000 servings, through its service network of more than 1,600 community partners to reach struggling individuals and families at risk of hunger. Three Square also collected a record 142,829 pounds of food from NACS Show exhibitors—equivalent to 119,024 meals that will support the food insecure within the Las Vegas community.

The 2019 NACS Show will take place October 1–4 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Highlights from the 2018 NACS Show and information on next year’s event can be found at nacsshow.com. A full listing of upcoming NACS events is posted at convenience.org/calendar.