Get Ready for The NACS Show

By Jim Callahan

With the 2012 NACS Show now just days away, here are some tips, thoughts and reminders to enhance your NACS Show experience.

Beyond the night life, parties, shows and the glitter of the Las Vegas lights lies, by far, the best and most comprehensive trade show and conference in the industry for convenience store owners and executives. If, however, you hope to achieve the kind of success to justify a trip to the NACS Show and, more importantly, bring back the knowledge, ideas and new product information that are crucial for getting your company to the next level, it is absolutely essential that you place a great deal of thought into the planning of your show.

There is a lot to do and see and without the proper planning, whether it’s on the trade show floor or in the educational sessions, you could miss the next big idea for your business. Develop that plan, make appointments and stick to your schedule. Choose in advance from the educational meetings menu those that will do you and your organization the most good.

With upwards of 22,000 attendees, the NACS Show also offers an abundance of networking opportunities. Your peers are coming to the show ready and willing to share ideas. Don’t be shy. The finest minds in the industry will be there and they are all very approachable. Remember, it’s not just first time attendees that can learn. NACS prides itself on having something for even the saltiest dog.

Be Prepared
To manage the key insights you’ll be learning, I suggest bringing along a tape recorder. Sure you’ll stand out in the crowd, but, more importantly, you’ll be able to write a meaningful report to share with the rest of the management team when you arrive home. Think that won’t be appreciated?

Other tips to remember include getting to the trade show early to be among the first to check out NACS’ “Cool New Products Showcase” area. There are great ideas in there for category managers and chains of all sizes, and it opens before the trade show.

Lastly, don’t forget your business cards. Vendors will be scanning badges, but scanners sometimes malfunction and business cards don’t, plus they are great to exchange with the people you meet.

If you still have some questions or concerns while you are at the show, please don’t hesitate to call me, I would be happy to meet with you and tell you how we can add an extra $10,000 per store to your bottom line–that will perpetuate year after year–in less than 30 days. Put my 40 years experience to work for you!

About the Author
Jim Callahan has more than 40 years experience as a convenience store and petroleum marketer. His Convenience Store Solutions blog appears regularly on He can be reached at (678) 485-4773 or via e-mail at


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