ARLINGTON, Va. — A suite of tools is available for attendees prepping for the 2017 NACDS Total Store Expo in San Diego, says Jim Whitman, senior vice president of member programs and services for the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.
This year’s event will be held August 19 through August 22 at the San Diego Convention Center. The tools for those who want to get the most out of the annual conference, Whitman says, are on the expo’s website, tse.nacds.org.
By visiting the website, exhibitors planning to attend can click on various links that will provide a range of resources to help them make the most out of the expo, Whitman says. “There’s a tremendous amount of useful information and resources.”
By accessing the categories and subcategories, attendees will be able to directly obtain contact information for others who will be exhibiting or visiting the event.
“The enormous amount of resources available helps to maximize people’s time,” Whitman says, adding that the videos about the conference can further help prepare attendees for getting the most from their experience and time in San Diego.
During the expo, one of the key features that Whitman says can be of great benefit to attendees is Vision 2028, which helps to provide a glimpse into the future. “Each year the Vision floor is different,” Whitman points out, “but it reaches into the future to provide a picture of what may be.”
Vision 2028 offers future insights across multiple functions — supply chain, consumer packaged goods, pharmacy, technology — and this year’s particular focus, Whitman notes, will be on bringing innovation to retail companies, with discussions on such industry-shaping subjects as e-commerce and automation.
“It’s going to be very exciting to see what the future might look like and see new products,” he says. “And it will also help companies with long-term planning, and setting and reaching objectives.”
Meet the Market is another “outstanding” facet of the Total Store Expo, in Whitman’s view, and one he says is being constantly refined. “It’s really the highlight of the session,” he adds. “It allows manufacturers to make appointments with retailers and retailers with manufacturers.”
Another benefit of Meet the Market is that it is tailored to what buyers need — such as cosmetics buyers meeting with cosmetics manufacturers and the like. “It really expands the amount of opportunities for those in attendance,” Whitman adds.
Though 2017 will be the first year that NACDS has held the Total Store Expo in San Diego, the organization has held many other conferences there and it’s a city Whitman says is like a second home.
“We really are looking forward to returning to San Diego,” he says, adding that holding the expo in Denver, Chicago and now San Diego covers important sections of the country, which helps provide a more diverse and eclectic view of what’s going on throughout the industry.
With participants able to have their products prominently displayed in showcases on the exhibit hall floor as well as featured on the NACDS Total Store Expo website before the event, the gathering provides a unique opportunity for attendees that they couldn’t get anywhere else.
“Over a three-day period you can meet multiple people, which is very efficient for business,” Whitman says. “There’s no way you could travel all around the country and do that. At the expo it’s all in one place and it’s a great opportunity to get together with competitors and peers and talk about what’s going on in the industry.”
The opportunity to preview products to retailers looking for new merchandising ideas in advance of the event and showcase them again on the exhibit hall floor is, in Whitman’s view, invaluable exposure.
“The truth is hard work produces good results,” he says. “And good results can be had here, and we’re here to assist both on site and through our resources prior to arriving. That’s really what it’s all about.”