NACS credits the PEI Convention at the NACS Show for helping set a NACS Show record.
Attendance at the NACS Show — the only global event for all things convenience — topped 25,000 for the first time, led by a 7 percent increase in buyers at the four-day event held Oct. 7-10 in Las Vegas.
Overall, 25,159 industry stakeholders from 72 countries bested the attendance record set in 2017. NACS attributes much of this attendance growth to a strong increase in the number of buyers — retailers and convenience distributors and registrations from the Petroleum Equipment Institute — which reached 9,095, a 7 percent increase over the 2017 tally. Overall buyer attendance was up 10.5 percent over the past two years.
The NACS Show expo also set a record, reaching 431,800 net square feet, up from the previous record in 2017 at 425,800 net square feet. More than 1,250 exhibitors participated, including 182 first-time exhibitors in the New Exhibitor area.
Attendees, exhibitors and speakers shared ideas and solutions on the expo and during four days of general sessions and 64 education sessions. Education sessions covered 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, 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 Frank Gleeson, NACS 2018-19 chairman and president of Aramark Northern Europe in Dublin.
Extending the value of the expo, the 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 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 education sessions ranging from data security to how to improve overall operational efficiency. Tech Edge provides industry retailer technology professionals a more personalized, high-value experience of learning, connecting and access to new solutions at the NACS Show. This program partners with the industry’s standards and technology organization, Conexxus, 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 Co., 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 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 for the Las Vegas community.
The 2019 NACS Show will be Oct. 1-4 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. 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.
NACS is dedicated to advancing the role of convenience stores as positive economic, social and philanthropic contributors to the globally connected communities they serve. The U.S. convenience store industry, with more than 154,000 stores nationwide selling fuel, food and merchandise, serves 165 million customers daily — half of the U.S. population — and has sales that are 10.8 percent of total U.S. retail and foodservice sales. NACS has 2,100 retailer and 1,750 supplier company members from more than 50 countries.