ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The 2022 NACS Show delivered four days of learnings, insights, networking and exploring what’s new and exciting for the convenience and fuel retailing industry. This year’s event took place October 1-4 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas and attracted the third-highest attendance in NACS Show history with 24,534 industry stakeholders from 73 countries, which includes 8,841 retail “buyers.”
“Our NACS Show theme of Full Speed Ahead certainly represented the mood of NACS Show attendees. There was incredible energy throughout the four days, whether in packed education and general sessions or on the always-popular Expo. I am energized about how our industry will continue to redefine convenience to our customers,” said NACS 2022-23 Chair Don Rhoads, president and CEO of The Convenience Group LLC in Vancouver, Washington.
Expo Delivers New Products, Category Excitement
From food to technology, car wash, electric vehicle equipment and in-store merchandise, the NACS Show Expo was the second largest in NACS Show history at 429,200 net square feet. It featured 1,262 exhibitors, 250 of them new to the NACS Show, offering retailers a sneak peek at the new products and services available for their stores.
In addition, the Cool New Products Preview Room helped attendees explore 278 of the newest products, services and line extensions. The Preview Room boasted 11,424 total scans that customized users’ target lists; the final 10 products and services based on those scans were:
- Space Saver Modular Stackable Condiment Organizer by Plastic and Products Marketing
- New Products from Cookies United by Cookies United
- Smirnoff Ice Neon Lemonades by Diageo Beer Company
- Retail Ready Edible Cookie Dough Chunks by David’s Cookies
- Frazil Energy by Frazil
- OH SNAP! Pickled Fruit by GLK Foods
- NUDE Mints: Breath & Gut Mint by Nude Mints
- Nutella B-ready by Ferrero
- Tyson Foods New Innovation by Tyson Convenience
- Flexeserve Zone - Rear Feed by Flexeserve
Education Sessions Focus on Hot Topics
The NACS Show’s 40-plus education sessions, designed by retailers for retailers, delivered content and engaging discussions that delved into today’s strategic challenges labor, supply chain, category management, foodservice, technology, fuels, EV infrastructure and leadership. These sessions averaged a record 223 attendees per session; the top three most-attended sessions were:
- Promotions Customers Actually Want
- Revisiting Store Design for Your Streamlined Workforce
- Build a Better Brand
New this year, NACS hosted a Food Safety Conference on October 1—the first industry-specific event of its kind for the global convenience retail community. “NACS members have a role to play to move the industry in the right direction and help our businesses reduce their risks and protect their brands,” said Dr. Jay Ellingson, chief scientific officer at Wisconsin-based Kwik Trip and conference moderator.
The NACS Show held a sold-out Advanced Category Management Certification course for 55 attendees, featuring a full day of category management best practices and trends that focused on brand strategy, pricing and promotions, understanding shopper behavior, and assortment analysis and space planning.
General Sessions Highlight Industry Issues
Content from the general sessions focused on leadership, industry advocacy and mobility, community and reigniting the customer experience.
Scott Stratten, founder and partner of UnMarketing, kicked off the NACS Show on October 1 by sharing how industry leaders should remember three simple words—Stop, start, continue—and ask employees what the company should stop doing, what it should start doing and what it should continue doing.
On October 2, NACS President and CEO Henry Armour and 2021-22 NACS Chair Jared Scheeler led a discussion with U.S. Senator Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) on swipe fee reform. Marshall, who is a lead co-sponsor of industry-backed legislation that has been introduced in both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives, shared that the Credit Card Competition Act would bring long overdue competition to the credit card marketplace. Attendees were urged to contact their elected leaders to fix the broken credit card system. Another discussion focused on the future of mobility and featured Dr. Gill Pratt, chief scientist and executive fellow for research at Toyota Motor Corp. and Doug Haugh, President of Parkland USA.
October 3 speakers, including Don Rhoads, focused on the power of community engagement and the impactful role convenience retailers have in making a difference. Jake Wood, founder of Team Rubicon, a disaster response organization, urged the audience to think about the moments where they can have the greatest impact.
On October 4, NACS Vice President of Research and Education Lori Stillman debuted THRIVR™, a new NACS tool built with SOCi to help convenience retailers build and manage a localized marketing strategy that maximizes their stores’ online presence and meets customers when and wherever they are searching.
The October 4 general session also included the debut of the 2022 edition of the NACS Ideas 2 Go video program, featuring six companies that are redefining convenience retail and the customer experience: TXB Stores; The Walk-Off Market, powered by Amazon; Lou Perrine’s Gas & Groceries; Coen Markets; Kwik Trip and Wakepoint LBJ. Each episode is live at convenience.org/ideas2go.
At the conclusion of the NACS Show, NACS worked with Three Square, a local charity dedicated to providing wholesome food to hungry people in the greater Las Vegas area. Food and beverages donated by exhibitors were distributed to a network of community partners to help fight hunger in Lincoln, Nye, Esmeralda and Clark counties.
Visit the NACS Show website (nacsshow.com) for post-event coverage, including the NACS Show Daily News, and look for more coverage in the upcoming November issue of NACS Magazine. On-demand education session packages, designed to help convenience retailers plan a learning experience for their teams that are tailored to their specific needs and goals, soon will be available for purchase.
The 2023 NACS Show will take place October 3-6 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta; sign up to be notified when registration opens.