NAG: You Will Be Glad You Came

By John Petersen, Publisher.

As we got on the shuttle to head back to the airport leaving the 2010 National Advisory Group (NAG) Conference in Charleston, S.C., I asked one of the retail attendees if he was satisfied with the event. The response was more than I could have hoped for. “Why don’t y’all do two of these a year instead of just one?” he said. “If you would do two I could sign up for both of them in the fall and I could be done with my travel plans for the next year.”

I got two phone calls recently that, in concert with the above, made me realize we are onto something special. The first call was from a veteran of the c-store industry and a long time supporter of NAG. He told me that the agenda for this year’s conference was as solid a lineup of timely topics as he had ever seen. He historically would send only one member of his executive team to NAG, but this year is sending two.

The second call was from a complete stranger who found our conference agenda online. He asked me if we had “bugged his war room” because the topics at this year’s conference were his chain’s personal laundry list of issues and there was no way he was going to miss this conference. He wasn’t too surprised to learn that his peers on the NAG Retailer Advisory Board handpicked the topics. The timeliness of this year’s NAG sessions affects everyone.

Staying Informed
When we set out to restore the National Advisory Group, countless retailers had told us about how they had never been able to find anything that served them as well as NAG. The group was like a family. The meeting always provided abundant ROI and they always left a NAG conference a better operator than when they arrived.

As we assembled the retailer board and began looking toward 2011 we did so with one goal in mind: to create an association that was driven by retailers for retailers. It is their group and their conference. With this in mind and a commitment to building profits and relationships, we moved forward.

The 2011 National Advisory Group Conference has been driven completely by retailers, your peers. From the venue, to the dates, to the content and the social activities, retailers told us what they wanted and we simply executed the details. And what a conference it’s going to be.

From Sept.10-13 in beautiful Savannah, Ga., a group of small-to-midsize convenience chains and the executives that run them will meet to become better operators, and we hope that you too will consider joining them.

The topics that will be discussed include:
• Current labor laws regarding organized unions and positive employee relations.
• The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and insuring that your operation is ADA compliant.
•Meeting the demand for fresh foods and the steps retailers must take when investing in foodservice.
• Tobacco compliance and the FDA and how to handle FDA tobacco inspections.
• How to reach the 18-34 year old consumer by analyzing sales information captured from MSA’s Convenience Consumer insights (CCi) Panel.
• Store tours of some of Savannah’s best operators, including Parkers Markets, Flash Foods and Enmark Stations.

Of course, there will be plenty of social opportunities to showcase the charm of Savannah and the challenge of the local golf course. All the details of this exciting conference can be found on the next few pages and by visiting We hope you will join us at this year’s NAG conference and perhaps become a member of the National Advisory Group. It is a one of a kind conference and a special association of retailers.

You will be glad you came.

John Petersen


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