The Show Before the Show

By Chris Blasinsky

Today is the day, the anticipated opening of the expo—22 football fields in size—the continuation of the education sessions, Cool New Products Preview Room, our first-ever CBD Pavilion, New Exhibitor Area, general session, super session and a happy hour in Hall C Lobby after the expo closes. Phew!

Before all of this happens, there were two full days of business and strategic meetings with NACS leadership and the NACS Board of Directors, the NACS Supplier Board, NACS Global Government Affairs Council and International Board and the Joint Session for Industry Association Executives, to name a few. These meetings help us drive the NACS value proposition to NACS members year-round. Needless to say, a lot happens at the NACS Show before the registration booths open.

Here’s a little bit of what happened at these meetings: The NACS Supplier Board officially welcomed Drew Mize as its new chairman and Rick Brindle as chairman-elect, as well as several new supplier members. On the retail side, the NACS Board of Directors looked at a handful of issues through a future-focused lens, such as sustainability with an emphasis on single-use plastics. The Industry Association Executives meeting, where state and international convenience retail and fuel associations convened, had robust group discussions on issues that are top of mind in their respective states and provinces, such as vaping bans, electrification, skimming, EMV implementation, plain-packaging on cigarettes, bottle bills, plastic bag bans and minimum wage increases.

For most, the NACS Show is a 4-day event. And for NACS—as in the folks at 1600 Duke Street in Alexandria, Virginia, it’s a week-long event, or even longer if you’re on the expo and meetings teams. The running joke (because we’ve never been correct) is that we look at the expo the day before it opens and think “there’s no way it will open on time’’ and yet it always and flawlessly does. It literally takes a village to deliver a world-class event, pay attention to the details and serve our customers to ensure that they have a great event.

The NACS Show is so much more than a show. If you’re curious about the meetings that take place before all the excitement and energy around the education sessions, Kick-Off Party and expo begins, ask us. And if you’re interested in becoming involved with any of these meetings, ask us. If you have any suggestions, send them our way.

It’s NACS Show time!

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

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