Expect business opportunities, innovation at 2012 NACDS Marketplace

DENVER, Colo. — The 2012 National Association of Chain Drug Stores Marketplace Conference will kick off this weekend, boasting business programming and opportunities, as well as a glimpse of the innovations and programming that are in store for NACDS' Total Store Expo that will debut in 2013.

This year's Marketplace Conference will be held June 23 to 26 at the Colorado Convention Center.

This year's conference boasts top-notch business programming and opportunities, as well as a glimpse of the innovations and programming that are in store for NACDS' new trade show and strategic exchange.

"Business opportunities abound at the NACDS Marketplace Conference, and attendees can look forward to those same opportunities and more at the NACDS Total Store Expo. NACDS has maintained its commitment to deliver a value-packed NACDS Marketplace Conference in 2012, with returning popular features such as Meet the Market and Meet the Retailer, while presenting new features such as the Digital Learning Center that will present educational opportunities right on the exhibit hall floor," NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson said.

The NACDS Marketplace Conference offers industry leaders from drug, food, mass and specialty retail an opportunity to do business. Attended by more than 230 retail companies, more than 145,000 retail outlets and $500 billion in annual buying power are represented at the conference.

The "Meet the Market" program is an institution within the Marketplace Conference, pairing suppliers and manufacturers with corresponding retailers for individual appointments. More than 8,000 appointments are expected to take place during this one-day program.

Another important cornerstone of the Marketplace Conference is the "Meet the Retailer/How to do Business With..." program. These sessions provide suppliers an opportunity to hear first-hand from retailers about effective strategies for taking their products to market. This year's participating companies are 99 Cent Only Stores, Chain Drug Consortium, Costco, CVS Caremark, Family Dollar Stores, Meijer, Rite Aid, Safeway, Sam's Club and Walgreens.

A new feature is an educational resource that will be made available on the exhibit floor of the Marketplace Conference. The NACDS Marketplace Digital Learning Center, which will be located just inside the exhibit hall floor near the New Product Showcase, will offer retailers and suppliers an understanding of the importance of developing and implementing a cohesive digital strategy. NACDS will partner with technology solutions company Inmar — an NACDS associate member —­ for this interactive educational resource. Seminars, hands-on displays and one-to-one meetings will be available for attendees to further explore digital business opportunities.

"As NACDS looks ahead to its new show ­— the NACDS Total Store Expo in 2013 ­ innovative educational resources, such as the Digital Learning Center, will continue to be utilized to help retailers and suppliers see the value and impact of NACDS conferences and meetings in their day-to-day businesses," Anderson said The NACDS Total Store Expo will debut Aug. 10 to 13, 2013 in Las Vegas.

Additional conference highlights include:

  • The Marketplace Conference mobile web-based application, or "app," offers a toolkit for conference attendees to enhance planning and the overall experience for the conference. Sponsored by The Emerson Group, the app provides attendees with the schedule of events, alerts, exhibit floor maps, speakers and photos at their fingertips.
  • New Product Showcase — Exhibitors can have their products prominently displayed in showcases on the floor of the exhibit hall. The showcase participants also will have their products featured on the Marketplace Conference website. A winner will be selected for each product category and announced during the conference on Tuesday, June 26.
  • On Monday, two educational programs will offer attendees important insights on consumer shopping. Navin Gautam with SymphonyIRI Group will present "Inside the Mind of the Shopper: Understanding the Difference in Motivation by Generations." John Carroll will lead a panel discussion called "Game-Changing Marketing: Best Practices for a Digital World." Panelists will include John "JD" Doughney with Coca-Cola, Mike Haines with Facebook and Michael La Kier with Coca-Cola.
  • At the conclusion of the conference on June 26, NACDS will partner with local charitable organizations to donate products from exhibitors. The donation is scheduled for Tuesday, June 26 following the closing of the conference, beginning at noon. Collection bins will be placed in the aisles throughout the exhibit floor.

"NACDS looks forward to continuing to showcase the value and opportunities in store for the NACDS Total Store Expo next year," Anderson said. "Next stop: the 2012 NACDS Pharmacy & Technology Conference, which will also be held in Denver, Aug. 25 to 28."

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