NACS Show 2019
As convenience and fuel retailing’s premier industry event, the NACS Show attracts more than 23,500 industry stakeholders from around the world. Buyers and sellers come together to conduct business and learn from one another — all in an environment rich with new ideas and partnerships. The NACS Show is the place to network and connect with convenience and fuel retailing industry peers and experts.
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I visited the NACS, National Association of Convenience Stores, this past week. It is a trade show and conference event for everyone involved in selling to or running convenience stores.
If your beverage or other product can be sold at convenience stores, this show is for you. It is visited by buyers from distribution companies, convenience stores and supermarkets.
First of all you need to know that the exhibitors at this trade show are not convenience stores. Instead, they are all suppliers to convenience stores. Many people believe that 7-Eleven, Circle K, Valero, Shell, Chevron, Safeway, Albertsons, Walgreens, Supervalu, AVC, or Kroger will be exhibiting their own booths, allowing you to go and talk with them or sell them your products. This is not the case. If you want to sell to distributors or retailers at the show, you need a booth.
Retail stores don’t exhibit at the NACS, suppliers to these stores or companies that want to be suppliers to these stores have the booths. Buyers from convenience stores and even distributors are the ones walking the floor looking for new products. On the beverage side you see exhibitors like Rockstar Energy Drink, Monster Energy Drink, Red Bull Energy Drink, Fiji Water, Fuze, Clearly Canadian, Coca Cola, Pepsi Cola, Budweiser Beer, Miller Beer, and many other new and existing brands.
If you plan on having a booth you will talk to small and large distributors and retail stores that come to your booth and probably end up with many leads and hopefully some sales.
If you are there to walk the floor you will see what many other manufacturers or product brands are doing, their new products, and how they are selling to retailers and wholesalers.
A great strategy whether you have a booth or not is to make appointments. This is true not only for this trade show but any other. This is a strategy I’ve used for years with great success. I call, mail, email, or fax all my contacts and leads before hand and let them know that I will be attending a particular trade show. The result is that my schedule is packed with sales meetings as it was at the NACS this year.
When you get back to your office don’t forget to follow up with all your contacts. Follow up by email first instead of phone. Most of your contacts will be busy with their contacts and getting back to the normal office hustle after being out of the office for a couple of days. After you follow up by email wait a week and call them to continue your sales or buying process.
This year’s Nacs trade show 2019 in Las Vegas was a good one, organized a little differently, for the better; it was much easier to find what I was looking for, in this case, point of sale material and distributors.
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