Ideas 2 Go: Behind the Scenes

By Chris Blasinsky

Pulling together Ideas 2 Go each year to debut at the NACS Show is my favorite project. What the audience sees on the screen is hours of footage funneled into a 5-minute story for each convenience retailer we visit, showcasing the best ideas they deliver to customers each day.

There’s also a lot that happens behind the scenes. We have enacted a code of silence on a few occasions, taking a page from the “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” tagline, but there’s some things I will share and apologize for later.

We’ve found that the least disruptive time for us to film is around 9 am. By then the morning rush is over, so sometimes we are our own talent. I’ve reached into more coolers than I can count, grabbed for snacks, meal kits, made coffee, smoothies—you name it. I played “mom” going through a c-store drive-thru in Kansas and bought milk. I’ve worn a harness with a GoPro and walked around a store with a shopping cart (if memory serves correct, I purchased a roll of paper towels and lip balm). I’ve driven through many car washes, and I’ve been on the roof of a c-store (that’s a different view!). My colleague, Jeff Lenard, has been on every Ideas 2 Go shoot for about 17 years and I’m pretty sure you can spot him in some capacity in most segments.

Four former NACS chairmen—Richard Oneslager, Sonja Hubbard, Jay Ricker and Jeff Miller—have joined us on Ideas 2 Go shoots. Ask Richard about “Cousin Eddy’s shoes,” Sonja about how she eliminated an infestation of ants from the RV, Jay about how stacked 12-packs work as a tripod, and Jeff about our Field Museum detour in Chicago.

Oftentimes we try to combine as many shoots as we can into one outing, crisscrossing multiple states with hours on the road “team-building.” Henry Armour mentions in his speech that the U.S. grows a lot of corn. This is true, and it also has interesting roadside attractions like a round barn, a cow with six legs, the world’s largest prairie dog, and the more iconic ones like Mt. Rushmore, El Capitan and Joshua Tree.

Ideas 2 Go is a blast to film. We get to spend a day with retailers getting to know them, their teams and amazing aspects of their stores. The biggest compliment I can give is that every person we meet is passionate about this industry. They all have their own unique story to tell and I wish every clip could end up on the big screen … but that would literally make Ideas 2 Go about 13 hours long.

Hopefully you saw the debut of the 2019 Ideas 2 Go program today during the general session. If not, you can access the program online at or read about it in NACS Daily. We make you fill out a short questionnaire because we’re also curious about the ideas you see and would like to share.

Ideas are everywhere!

About Chris Blasinsky
Chris Blasinsky is a content communications strategist at NACS and can be reached at

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