This October’s National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) Show was the most popular NACS Show in Atlanta in terms of overall attendees.
The 2016 NACS Show attracted 23,301 overall attendees, marking the third consecutive year the convenience and fuel retailing industry’s preeminent event has topped more than 23,000 attendees. The NACS Show attracted 8,228 buyers (classified as retailers and convenience distributors, which includes Petroleum Equipment Institute (PEI) registration).
The last time the NACS Show took place in Atlanta was 2013, when overall attendance reached 22,236 and buyer registration was 7,784. Although this year’s attendee numbers are not the highest in NACS Show history, they are a record for when the event takes place in Atlanta. The NACS Show rotates between three host cities: Atlanta, Chicago and Las Vegas.
“Each year at the NACS Show we come together to strengthen our industry, and the strong numbers only tell part of the story of this year’s success. Great energy and insightful ideas were also found throughout the NACS Show—from standing-room-only general sessions to lively discussions during education sessions and networking events, to the buzz generated at the expo,” said NACS 2016-17 Chairman of Rahim Budhwani, CEO of 6040 LLC, which operates convenience stores, including the Encore brand, in Alabama.
Showcasing the event’s importance to the success of the global convenience and fuel retailing community, the 2016 NACS Show attracted 2,134 international attendees representing 67 countries.
The NACS Show expo was its second-largest expo ever at 408,500 square feet, and featured a total of 1,227 exhibitors. Now in its second year, the New Exhibitor Area featured 193 companies new to the NACS Show.
Technology Edge at the NACS Show, in its third year, set a record with more than 750 industry technology professionals participating in the program’s specialized education sessions on topics ranging from EMV to skimming and data security, as well as the Technology Edge Solutions Center. Technology Edge partners with Conexxus, the industry’s standards and technology organization.
Extending the value of the expo, the popular Cool New Products Preview Room showcased 334 products and services new to the convenience store industry. Visitors to the Preview Room used handheld scanners to capture product and booth information of the exhibitors they were interested in, producing nearly 28,000 total product scans.
The NACS Show featured four days of general sessions headlined by leadership experts and the popular NACS Ideas 2 Go program, a fast-paced video program of emerging concepts that redefine convenience. This was the first year that the event featured four days of general sessions. The Ideas 2 Go video is available for purchase online at nacsonline/ideas2go2016.
Attendees could choose from 60 education sessions on relevant industry topics such as foodservice, leadership development, marketing, technology and fuels. The sessions drew a total of 12,123 attendees. Reflecting the growing international opportunities offered at the NACS Show, the general sessions were translated into Portuguese, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese, and select education sessions were translated into Portuguese and Spanish.
At the conclusion of the NACS Show, 114,412 pounds of leftover product from exhibitors was donated to the Atlanta Community Food Bank, which provides meals to local residents in need, and will help provide 76,275 meals for greater metro area residents of Atlanta.
The 2017 NACS Show will take place Oct. 17–20 in Chicago at McCormick Place. Highlights from the 2016 NACS Show and information on next year’s event can be found at nacsshow.com. NACS has a complete listing of 2017 events posted at nacsonline.com/calendar.
NACS has held an annual meeting every year since its founding in 1961, but it wasn’t until 1976 that the meeting included a full-scale expo, which was part of the meeting every two or three years. The annual meeting became the annual NACS Show in 1993. The Petroleum Marketers Association of America (PMAA) has held its Fall Meeting as part of the NACS Show since in 1995 and PEI has held its annual meeting as part of the NACS Show since in 2002.