At NACDS, there’s life after Boston

When NACDS Total Store Expo attendees depart Boston, the show is far from over. Just as preparation is essential for effectiveness, post-meeting follow-up and analysis are necessary to capitalize on the opportunities and firm up the results. There is another “must do” that can benefit your company after Boston, and it relates to the very thinking that went into the creation of this new tradeshow and
strategic exchange.

Put simply, we invite all retailers and suppliers to discover all that NACDS offers — beyond everything that you have experienced over the past several days in Boston.

In fact, NACDS’ programs and services beyond NACDS Total Store Expo are integral to the Total Store Expo experience. NACDS Total Store Expo was never intended to be a stand-alone event, but rather a vital piece of a comprehensive approach to advancing the industry and business objectives
through NACDS.

Some may not remember that the NACDS Total Store Expo merged three previously separate NACDS meetings into one for the purpose of facilitating cross-departmental — “total store” — discussions. And this unified NACDS Total Store Expo has been designed to fit into a newly aligned schedule of NACDS events throughout the year:

The calendar starts in February with the NACDS Regional Chain Conference. It continues in April with the NACDS Annual Meeting. These events bring together chains and suppliers for top-to-top meetings that set the stage for the
entire year;

The timing of the NACDS Total Store Expo in August allows for larger-team discussions, execution and
mid-course corrections;

NACDS Week in New York City in December puts an exclamation point on the year’s
results; and

I think it’s also important to note the importance of the NACDS RxImpact Day on Capitol Hill — held in Washington, D.C., in March — which contributes mightily to the grassroots advocacy that drives public policy success.

In addition to these events, NACDS offers even more to contribute to members’ success.

For example, this year we redesigned and redeveloped the NACDS Membership Directory, which is offered exclusively to the association’s members. The online directory includes contact information for 22,400 representatives of NACDS member companies, chains and associates alike. As we like to say, the directory includes “22,400-plus contacts — and the one who can say ‘yes.’”

The power of the directory’s new format lies not only in the information that members can access, but also the ways in which they can access it. The directory has been created using responsive web design, which means that it appears in a user-friendly manner on computers, tablets and smartphones alike. The directory is prominently featured on NACDS.org, and we hope you will pay it a visit.

When you think about it, NACDS does three things. NACDS advocates for the industry. NACDS communicates the value of the industry. And NACDS fosters business community and education through events and other programs and services throughout the year.

The biggest advice that I can give to any company within the industry is to join NACDS as a member and then to truly engage in your association. To me, “engagement” describes a commitment to make the most of the opportunity, and to identify and execute on the aspects of NACDS that relate directly to a company’s objectives.

The companies that gain the most out of their relationship with NACDS bring this sense of “engagement” to the equation. They are “all in.”

Thank you for contributing to the success of the NACDS Total Store Expo. NACDS’ commitment is that we will help you determine the methods of engagement that will add tremendous value to your company. In this way, we are convinced you will see the true power of the NACDS Total Store Expo: That it is just the beginning.

Steve Anderson, IOM, CAE, is president and CEO of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.

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