Monday, September 29, 2008

The NACS Show

I'm traveling on Wednesday to a show that is significant in American marketing and the trade show world: the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS). I've never been to this show, so this should be a treat and an experience.

The exhibition is held in conjunction with the NACS conference and educational sessions. The conference is aimed at the owners of and suppliers to convenience stores and deals with their issues which include everything from food marketing to cigarette theft to beer and lottery sales. This organization has been around since 1961 and is really a big part of the petroleum industry. It is nothing to sneeze at or take lightly: with almost 150,000 C-stores in the U.S. doing $570 billion in business ($400 million of it in petroleum sales), they are a significant part of our retail economy.

This show features over 1,400 exhibitors in two halls of McCormick Place in Chicago. The show stays put every year (like the National Restaurant Show) and features suppliers of everything from gum and candy to food and automotive products and energy drinks. Like AWMA (which I attended in the spring) this is a variation on the "cigarettes and candy" show theme.

My client is Retalix, a provider to the industry of point-of-sale (POS) hardware and software and related systems. I'll be reporting from the show over the next week on issues as I encounter them and plan to put each one into a lesson-type format.

Thanks for staying tuned. We should learn a lot from the show floor.


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