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LAS VEGAS — It’s show time! Jam-packed with all of the excitement that is Las Vegas, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Total Store Expo has officially kicked off. As you gear up for the next few days and embark on this game-changing event, DSN has compiled a list of 10 key things to do at NACDS TSE.
NACDS TSE marks a new concept for trading partners, combining the Marketplace Conference, the Pharmacy and Technology Conference and the Supply Chain and Logistics Conference into one event. Not only is the industry brought together under one roof, but also more than 1,100 retailer attendees will be in attendance — the most ever at an NACDS conference.
There’s no doubt that over the next few days the opportunities for retailers and exhibitors will be unprecedented. So, as the event kicks off, here are 10 things to put on your “to-do list”:
1. Download the app. Everything you need to work the show will be in the palm of your hand. Mobile apps have become vital resources for NACDS events, and this version will enable you to easily access such information as exhibitors, a map of the show floor and speaker information. It also has a GPS to help you find exactly what you are looking for in the exhibit hall. Via the app, attendees also can create a profile that will help participants link up correctly with their counterparts in partner companies.
2. Educational Programming. Take advantage of 36 — yes, 36 — educational program sessions to be held throughout NACDS TSE. Highlights include: business programs; Insight Sessions on such topics as medication adherence initiatives and healthcare reform; Super Sessions with high-caliber speakers like Doug Long of IMS Health; and presentations.
3. Meet the Retailer. If you expect to have any success on the show floor, you had better know a thing or two about the retailers you’ll be talking with — nothing turns off a retailer more than not being familiar with their stores and basic strategy. Over the years, the Meet the Retailer series has become an integral component of NACDS meetings and conferences. At NACDS TSE, this program has been enhanced and featured presentations on the “total store” by key executives of such retailers as Walgreens, Alliance Boots, Family Dollar Stores and CVS Caremark. Attendees got an overview of the company, heard how retailers use the conference to conduct business, learned what topics retailers expect to discuss with suppliers and had the opportunity to participate in a question-and-answer session. This program was held Aug. 10 from 11 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. and was restricted to exhibitors only.
4. Meet the Market. It’s the dance before the big dance. It gives retailers and suppliers a head start on the show floor, leading to more productive meetings when the exhibit floor opens on Aug. 11. Participating exhibitors present their company and products to retailers through a series of 10-minute appointments arranged by NACDS. It is geared toward any manufacturer or service provider that is new to NACDS conferences or exhibiting a new product, service or technology. Buyers/category managers and other product decision-makers from drug stores, supermarkets, club stores, mass merchants, convenience, dollar and specialty retail will participate. There are literally thousands of presentations that take place during this highly acclaimed pre-exhibition event. Meet the Market was held Aug. 10 from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
5. Business Programs. From Jim Collins to Hillary Clinton to the Pratt Award, the business programs are ones you won’t want to miss! Author and business consultant Jim Collins will offer his keynote remarks during the Aug. 11 opening business program. Collins is author or co-author of six books, including the international best-seller “Good to Great” and New York Times best-seller “How the Mighty Fall.” Also during the morning of Aug. 11 will be the Pratt Award presentation. The annual award that is named for Harold W. Pratt was established in 1985 by the NACDS board of directors and recognizes individuals whose activities have contributed to the promotion, recognition and improvement of the practice of pharmacy within the chain drug industry. Then there’s the keynote address on Aug. 12 by Hillary Rodham Clinton, former Secretary of State and former U.S. Senator from New York.
6. Hit the Show Floor! It’s sold out. Complete with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11:45 a.m. on Aug. 11, the show floor is bound to be especially impressive this year as the industry convenes under one roof. Be sure to check out the interactive floor plan via the NACDS website or the mobile app to learn more about an exhibitor, booth locations, schedule an appointment and more. Following a Retailer Exhibit Hall Preview exclusively for retailers on the morning of Aug. 11, the exhibit hall officially opens to all attendees following the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
7. “Total” Product Showcase. Being featured in the Product Showcase is a great way for exhibitors to expand their product exposure at NACDS Total Store Expo and is an ideal way for retailers to easily check out some of the hottest products on the show floor. Preparation is key to success, and you can bet that retailers looking for new merchandising ideas have previewed these products — which encompass the “total store” — in advance of NACDS Total Store Expo on the Total Store Expo website, and will do so again in the showcases on the exhibit hall floor.
8. Innovation Zone. You can scope out some of the coolest industry-related innovations being showcased by participants. Located on the exhibit hall floor, the Innovation Zone will house such companies as MoBeam, for example. MoBeam is showcasing its patented light-based communications technology and software for mobile handset manufacturers that enables mobile phones to interact with existing POS retail technology. Additional participants include Altierre, A.T. Kearney, Coca-Cola, Descartes and 3-D Printer.
9. Pharmacists Connect. Housed within the Innovation Zone, this center will enable attendees to meet with pharmacists from such member companies as Costco, CVS Caremark, Walgreens, Walmart, Sears/Kmart and Safeway. This is a great opportunity to gain a better understanding of how pharmacists interact with patients and make product recommendations to their patients. And the pharmacists will be prepared to answer general questions related to a health or prescription drug inquiry.
10. Networking. After a productive day of meetings, relax a bit, enjoy some good food and drinks, and mingle with industry peers. There’s the Welcome Reception on Aug. 10, Total Store Expo Reception on Aug. 11 and the big Vegas Extravaganza on Aug. 12 featuring Roger Daltrey of The Who. Don’t miss out on the festivities!