I’ve had the opportunity to be involved with the National Association of Convenience Stores (”NACS”) for almost 30 years. That time has included being on the NACS Board of Directors, serving as a Vice Chairman, and participating on several different committees.
Something that my involvement in NACS, and in the c-store industry in general, has shown me is the importance of training in creating a professional retail organization. This comes together very nicely with the fact that I attended a meeting of the NACS Education Committee about a week ago. Our group is tasked with developing educational programing for the annual NACS Show. Each year NACS puts on almost 100 hours worth of education sessions at the Show with topics ranging from operations to food service to customer service. The sessions are targeted to CEOs, single store operators, and management involved in operations, marketing, foodservice, HR, IT, and fuels. The next NACS Show is October 12 – 15, 2013 in Atlanta. If you plan to attend let me know and I’d be happy to meet up with you there.
The educational program is a very important but, relatively, small part of the NACS Show. The Show is also three days of the largest convenience retailing products and services exhibition in the world. You can see new products being introduced into the convenience channel, the latest marketing and promotional programs of the big manufacturers, and try out some of the products. Equipment suppliers bring examples of their equipment (ranging from coffee machines to shelving, to car washes) and are happy to explain how they work. Service providers can give you a spiel about what they do and make plans to follow up at a later date. In addition to all of this there is free beer!
There is no better place to get an overview of the current state of the convenience store industry than at the NACS Show. Find out more about it at www.nacsonline/nacsshow.com.
Okay – in rereading those last paragraphs it comes across as a pretty overt advertisement for the NACS Show in October. I don’t think that is a bad thing. NACS provides a center point for the convenience industry and, if you want to really be involved with the industry, you really need to be involved with NACS. The more you know the better retailer you will be. It also helps strengthen us as an industry. Join!
Since this has become a shill for NACS I’m going to save my thoughts on training for my next post.