NACDS offers a primer for both new and veteran attendees
SAN DIEGO — The NACDS Total Store Expo is deservedly one of the most highly anticipated events on the retail industry’s calendar. Whether you’re a retailer, supplier or industry enthusiast, attending TSE offers valuable opportunities to connect, learn and grow.
It is a big event, with a lot going on. For exhibitors, the show offers the opportunity to connect with the buyers from more than 250 retail companies, representing over 160,000 retail outlets, who collectively buy $650 billion in supplier goods and services. Besides the exhibit floor, suppliers can connect with retailers via TSE’s guaranteed-appointments program, Meet the Market, which offers more than 5,400 prescheduled meetings. For retailers, the show floor offers the opportunity to preview the latest innovations in consumer packaged goods, store and pharmacy technology, pharmaceutical products, and more.
For retailers and suppliers alike, TSE enables a combination of both strategic and tactical business meetings between existing and new trading partners. There is also a formal business program featuring business experts and renowned speakers that allow attendees to gain valuable perspective on the big issues facing the industry today. Meanwhile, opportunities for suppliers and retailers to interact extend beyond the exhibit floor and structured meetings to include networking opportunities at continental breakfasts, exhibit hall lunches and evening receptions.
Recognizing that the shear scope of opportunities on offer at TSE might be daunting for some, NACDS offers a primer designed both for first-time attendees and for more experienced participants who want to maximize their show experience.
What follows are some tips for getting the most out of TSE, based on the information available at tse.nacds.org/guide-to-success/:
- Plan Ahead: Before attending the NACDS Total Store Expo, planning your visit is crucial. Start by exploring the event website and familiarizing yourself with the schedule, exhibitors and educational sessions. Note the key areas or booths you wish to visit and create a detailed itinerary to ensure you make the most of your time at the expo.
- Networking: The Total Store Expo provides an ideal setting for networking with industry professionals. Use the attendee list available on the event website to identify key individuals or companies you’d like to connect with. Reach out in advance to schedule meetings or casual coffee breaks during the expo. Networking events like receptions and social gatherings are also great opportunities to expand your professional network.
- Attend Educational Sessions: The NACDS Total Store Expo offers a range of educational sessions and presentations delivered by industry experts. These sessions cover various retail, pharmacy and health care topics, providing valuable insights and knowledge. Identify the sessions that align with your interests and professional goals, and make a point to attend them. Take notes, engage in discussions and ask questions to enhance your learning experience.
- Explore the Exhibit Hall: The exhibit hall at the Total Store Expo showcases a wide array of products, services and innovations from leading companies in the industry. Allocate sufficient time to explore the exhibits, interact with exhibitors, and discover new trends and solutions. Use the event website’s interactive floor plan to identify specific booths of interest and make a beeline for them. Don’t forget to collect relevant brochures, business cards and samples to review later.
- Leverage Technology: The NACDS Total Store Expo embraces technology to enhance attendees’ experience. Utilize the event’s mobile app, available for download on the website, to access real-time updates, maps, exhibitor information and session schedules. The app can help you stay organized and navigate the event efficiently, ensuring you don’t miss any valuable opportunities.
- Engage on Social Media: Social media platforms are vital in connecting with industry professionals and sharing experiences during the Total Store Expo. Follow NACDS and the event’s official Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram hashtags to stay updated on the latest news, highlights and discussions. Engage in conversations, share your experiences and connect with fellow attendees through these channels.
- Follow Up: After the expo concludes, don’t let the valuable connections you made fade away. Follow up with the people you meet, whether it’s through a personalized email, LinkedIn connection request, or a phone call. Recap your conversations, express interest in further collaboration or partnership, and schedule follow-up meetings. Nurturing these relationships can lead to fruitful opportunities in the future.