The 2019 NACS Show delivered an impressive four days of learning, insights, networking and exploring what’s new and exciting for the global convenience and fuel retailing industry. This year’s event took place October 1-4 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta and attracted 23,539 attendees (7,643 buyers) from 69 countries.
“The NACS Show is the premier event where industry leaders and entrepreneurs collaborate, network, see new products and innovative technologies and become better educated in cutting-edge issues that affect our businesses,” said 2019-20 NACS Chair Julie Jackowski. “This year’s event proved to be an excellent forum for attendees to explore new products and services that will enhance the convenience retail business, enrich the experiences of our guests and companies and lead us into a successful year as an industry.”
As the convenience retailing industry continues to thrive in today’s constantly evolving retail environment, the NACS Show’s 57 education sessions, led by industry experts, helped attendees meet their strategic goals around core business functions relating to foodservice, technology, consumer insights, category management, professional development, fuels and human resources. This year’s education content also included two “Super Sessions” designed for leaders looking to push the boundaries of their business. The new session format focused on how global mobility developments are shifting the convenience retail industry from a fuel to energy provider from Jacob Schram, industry veteran and a senior advisor for McKinsey & Company; and insights on how companies can deliver workplace excellence from Zeynep Ton, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management and co-founder of the Good Jobs Institute.
Content from the four general sessions featured NACS leadership and keynotes from high-profile speakers, including Jim Knight, who oversaw global training for Hard Rock International for two decades and shared how creating unforgettable moments can help retailers achieve rock-star status; Robyn Benincasa, professional adventure racer, firefighter and author who spoke on the value of teamwork; and Daymond John of “Shark Tank,” who shared his entrepreneurial journey that began with creating the successful FUBU brand.
NACS also debuted the 2019 edition of its popular Ideas 2 Go program (convenience.org/ideas2go2019), featuring ideas that are innovating the convenience retail industry from Hy-Vee Fast & Fresh, Choice Market, Alltown Fresh, Good To Go Market/Bullhead Pit Beef, 7-Eleven, Russell’s Xpress, High’s, Goods Mart and four retailers showcasing “new retail” in Shanghai, China: Ratio, Hema, uSmile and BK24. In addition, NACS recorded a live Convenience Matters podcast with Kum & Go President Tanner Krause and Maverik Chief Adventure Guide Chuck Maggelet that will be published October 21 via iTunes, Google Play and other podcast apps and at conveniencematters.com.
The size and scope of the NACS Show expo continues to grow at 425,000-plus net square feet, featuring more than 1,200 exhibitors from startups to big brands; an all-new CBD Pavilion, a partitioned section of the expo that showcased hemp-derived CBD products from 50 industry suppliers; and the fifth year of the New Exhibitor Area, 20,000 square feet of dedicated expo space spotlighting more than 200 companies brand-new to the NACS Show, giving retailers a chance to interact with first-time exhibitors. In addition, the Cool New Products Preview Room, where attendees discovered cutting-edge products and ideas, boasted a record 36,929 total product scans of more than 304 products.
“As a supplier to the convenience and fuel retail channel for more than 25 years, I strongly believe the NACS Show is the highest ROI event in our industry for retailers and suppliers alike,” said 2019-20 NACS Supplier Board Chairman Drew Mize. “There is no better venue to convene the quantity and quality of industry stakeholders that the NACS Show attracts each year, both domestic and international, to spot industry trends and new products, collaborate and share ideas and network among our peers,” he said.
In collaboration with the Georgia World Congress Center, NACS worked to reduce its environmental impact at the NACS Show. For example, Terracycle provided designated name badge recycle bins at convention center exits, and exhibitors donated more than 100,000 pounds of product to the Atlanta Community Food Bank at the conclusion of the NACS Show. Donated product helped provided more than 100,000 meals to residents of the greater Atlanta community. Prior to the NACS Show, Tyson Foods donated 4,774 cases (38,526 lbs.) of assorted Jimmy Dean® and Hillshire Farm® products to the Atlanta Community Food Bank.
The NACS Show is also a business meeting and NACS elected new members to its Retailer and Supplier Boards: Julie Jackowski, senior vice president, corporate general counsel and secretary of Casey’s General Stores, was named the 2019-20 NACS chair; and Drew Mize, executive vice president of global ERP solutions at PDI, was named 2019-20 chairman of the NACS Supplier Board.
See the NACS Show website (nacsshow.com) for post-event coverage, including event photos, the onsite NACS Show Daily News, the Convenience Corner blog, NACS TV episodes and general session speeches from NACS President & CEO Henry Armour, 2018-19 NACS Chairman Frank Gleeson and 2019-20 NACS Chair Julie Jackowski. The suite of education sessions will also be available for purchase in a streaming audio-video format on October 21.
The 2020 NACS Show will take place October 11-14 in Las Vegas at the Las Vegas Convention Center; sign up to be notified when 2020 registration opens.