Greatest Industry Event Ever

By Chris Blasinsky

When Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus called it quits a few years ago, the designation of “The Greatest Show On Earth” seemed like it was up for grabs. But, alas, it is not. Feld Entertainment owns the intellectual property of the now-defunct circus. The company sued Kid Rock in 2017 over a trademark infringement for naming his tour the Greatest Show on Earth Tour. “CliffsNotes” version of the lawsuit, Kid Rock eventually changed it to The American Rock N Roll Tour because he didn’t want the case to cause distraction for himself and his fans.

So yes, while we put on a great NACS Show every year, and imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, the “The Greatest Show on Earth” accolade is seemingly off-limits. And besides, we know for a fact that the NACS Show is great, as in global convenience and fuel retailing industry great. This year’s event attracted tens of thousands of retailers, wholesalers, suppliers, exhibitors, guest speakers, PEI and PMAA attendees, and NACS, Conexxus and Fuels Institute staff (well, staff should be a given) from more than 60 countries.

Final registration counts are underway, but we can share some information that speaks to the overall success of the 2019 NACS Show in Atlanta: 

  • Four General Sessions with keynote speakers including a welcomed dose of energy and entertainment from Jim Knight, who oversaw global training for Hard Rock International for two decades; Robyn Benincasa, an amazing and inspiring professional adventure racer, firefighter, author and motivational speaker who spoke on the value of teamwork; and entrepreneur Daymond John of “Shark Tank,” who brought the nostalgia with the history of hip-hop along with his path to success, and spent time on the expo after his presentation. 
  • Engaging and insightful story-telling from the NACS leadership: Frank Gleeson, Henry Armour and Julie Jackowski. (Read the preview.) 
  • Two new Super Sessions with Jacob Schram, industry veteran and a senior advisor for McKinsey & Company, who spoke about the future of mobility and the radical changes it will bring to the c-store format; and Zeynep Ton, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management and co-founder of the Good Jobs Institute, who shared key elements that drive a capable and motivated workforce. 
  • The debut of the 2019 NACS Ideas 2 Go program—if you missed the full video, watch the store segments online at convenience.org/ideas2go2019
  • More than 50 education sessions on topics ranging from technology to food protection and safety, to managing key in-store categories and EMV implementation, to electrification and the emergence of CBD products. 
  • A 425,000-plus square-foot expo featuring more than 1,200 exhibitors. 
  • The all-new CBD Expo, a partitioned section of the expo that showcased hemp-derived CBD products from 50 industry suppliers. 
  • The fifth year of the New Exhibitor Area, a dedicated space that hosted more than 200 new-to-the-industry companies across 20,000 square feet. 
  • The Cool New Products Preview Room boasted a record 36,929 total product scans of more than 304 products: checkout the final Top 10

Armour, NACS president and CEO, mentioned in a note to staff that at least 20 people came up to him in the Atlanta airport raving about the Show. We like to hear that! While bringing 23,000-plus people together for four jam-packed days of meetings, walking, networking, eating, drinking, learning and more walking is no small feat, we’re up to the task. Bring it.

We take an enormous amount pride and ownership in delivering the greatest NACS Show we possibly can. If you missed the excitement, there’s plenty of recap content at nacsshow.com , and the upcoming November issue of NACS Magazine will contain a lot of post-event coverage.

We look forward to seeing everyone next year in Las Vegas, October 11-14!

About Chris Blasinsky
Chris Blasinsky is a content communications strategist at NACS and can be reached at cblasinsky@convenience.org.


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