By Sara Counihan
ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The NACS Show is less than 50 days away, and NACS is gearing up to provide attendees with an amazing experience.
“Our theme is ‘full speed ahead’ and that’s what we are doing. We’re not just back to normal. In fact, we are going to be going bigger and better, I think, than ever before, or at least within the last several years,” said Jeff McQuilkin, director, exhibit sales and services, NACS, on this week’s Convenience Matters podcast episode. “I think it’s just going to be a fantastic event and much needed by the industry. And we can’t wait to get started with it.”
This year, the show takes place October 1-4 in Las Vegas, which is usually a larger draw for attendees. The expo floor has been sold out since June, according to McQuilkin.
“The trade show process really is like a 14- or 15-month process. We’ve already have started working on the floor plan for Atlanta in October 2023,” he said. “The key to getting in the NACS Show is to start early.”
The New Exhibitor Area, which is an area on the expo floor that houses first-time NACS Show exhibiting companies, is a way for attendees to see new products. Often, it’s newer, smaller companies or new-to-the-industry companies that are exhibiting in the area. This year, 170 companies are slated to exhibit in the New Exhibitor section.
“It’s turned out to be one of the most popular areas of the exhibit floor,” said McQuilkin.
McQuilkin said that the first hour of the first two days of the NACS Show is dedicated solely to the New Exhibitor Area—the rest of the exhibit floor is closed.
“It’s great for these first-time exhibitors because they get a dedicated audience, and it’s great for the attendees, too, because they get to budget that extra time to spend with these guys in there with these new products and services,” he said.
Along with an exciting expo experience, there is a robust education component to the NACS Show. This year, NACS is hosting its first NACS Food Safety Conference. There is also a category management certification workshop, where attendees can earn their NACS Certified Convenience Advanced Category Management certification by completing this hands-on education session. NACS also offers more than 45 education sessions to choose from, covering topics from EVs and self-checkout to private label and foodservice menu optimization.
“It’s an important part of the total offer of why it’s important to come to the NACS Show. You’re going to get caught up on education, on new products, on new services, on trends,” McQuilkin said. “You’re going to have networking opportunities, meet old friends, meet new colleagues and associates. So, it’s all part of the package that we offer for four days in Las Vegas.”
Listen to this week’s NACS Convenience Matters podcast episode No. 348 “2022 NACS Show—Full Speed Ahead” to learn more about this year’s NACS Show, including the Cool New Products showroom, hot trends on the show floor and a big-name company showcasing its technology (hint: it rhymes with “Glamazon”).
Sara Counihan is contributing editor of NACS Magazine and NACS Daily. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.