Top 10 things to do at NACDS Total Store Expo

It’s show time once again as the National Association of Chain Drug Stores kicks off its Total Store Expo in Boston.

Hailed as the industry’s largest gathering of its most influential leaders, the NACDS Total Store Expo is a combination of both strategic and tactical business meetings between existing and new trading partners. Attendees will no doubt end this four-day conference armed with new insights into today’s evolving marketplace.

Now in its second year, NACDS Total Store Expo 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.

As retailers and suppliers prepare for the next few days and embark on this unique event, DSN has compiled a list of 10 key things to do at NACDS Total Store Expo.

1. Visit the NACDS Total Store Expo website and download the app. If you haven’t done so already, familiarize yourself with the NACDS Total Store Expo website, especially the day-by-day schedule. There’s also an exhibitor resources page with helpful tools and information as you prepare for the conference. The website will be updated each night with new information. Also be sure to download the mobile app. Mobile apps have become vital resources for NACDS events, and this version will enable you to have the most current information about NACDS TSE at your fingertips. And don’t forget that NACDS recently went live with a redesigned mobile-ready membership directory that puts more than 22,000 NACDS retailer and supplier member contacts into members’ hands using responsive web design.

2. 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. The program will include an overview of the retailer, how they use the NACDS Total Show Expo to conduct business, topics they expect to discuss with suppliers, and a question and answer session. Retailer presentations will include CVS/pharmacy, ShopRite, Rite Aid, 7-Eleven, Sam’s Club, Walgreens, Family Dollar, Good Neighbor Pharmacy and Target. The program will be held Aug. 23, 11:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and was restricted to exhibitors only.


Meet the Retailer is an opportunity for suppliers to learn firsthand from retail leadership about how their companies conduct business, to help vendors prepare for successful meetings on the show floor.

3. Meet the Market. This highly anticipated program gives retailers and suppliers a head start on the show floor and leads to more productive meetings when the exhibit floor opens. Participating exhibitors can present their company and products to retailers through a series of 10-minute appointments that are arranged by NACDS. Thousands of presentations take place during this pre-exhibition event. The Meet the Market will be held Aug. 23 from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.


At Meet the Market, participating exhibitors can present their company and products to retailers through a series of 10-minute appointments that are arranged in advance by NACDS.

4. Educational Programming. Be sure to take advantage of the educational sessions to be held throughout NACDS Total Store Expo. Highlights include a variety of Insight Sessions featuring industry experts and panels on some of today’s hottest issues. The sessions, some of which offer CPE credit for pharmacists, include a Food and Drug Administration presentation on the implications of the Drug Supply Chain Security Act; a session on the Affordable Care Act and its impact on community pharmacies; a glimpse into the trends, issues and future of the pharmaceutical and pharmacy market with IMS Health; and a presentation by IRI and Coty on the types of data necessary to drive strategies that win over consumers.

5. Business Program. You won’t want to miss the Business Program on Aug. 24 as keynote speaker Dr. Ben Bernanke, former chairman of the Federal Reserve System, will take the stage. Bernanke served two terms as chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System from 2006 to 2014. He also served as chairman of the Federal Open Market Committee, the system’s principal monetary policy-making body. Before his appointment as chairman of the Fed, he was chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, from June 2005 to January 2006, and he served the Federal Reserve System in several roles.


Dr. Ben Bernanke, former chairman of the Federal Reserve System, will address the NACDS Total Store Expo during Sunday morning’s Business Program.

6. Hit the Show Floor. Opening its doors on Aug. 24, the Exhibit Hall is a must-see, as the industry convenes under one roof. There’s an interactive floor plan via the NACDS website or the mobile app to learn more about an exhibitor, booth locations and more. Following a Retailer Exhibit Hall Preview for retailers only on the morning of Aug. 24, the exhibit hall officially opens to all attendees at noon.

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 will check out the showcase. Products will be presented on the exhibit floor and electronically on the NACDS Total Store Expo website before and during the show.

8. Vision 2025. Get a glimpse into the future as Vision 2025 shares “what comes next” in the industry through technology platforms, displays and interactive experiences. Here, Checkpoint Systems will illustrate how pharmaceutical companies, distributors and pharmacy retailers can leverage RFID. In addition, Kantar Retail will provide a view of retail’s future with an eye toward trends impacting retail in the convenience, beauty and healthcare space. Vision 2025 will be located at the entrance of the exhibit floor.

9. Tune into NACDS-TV. Nestled within Vision 2025, attendees will find the NACDS-TV studio, which will provide full broadcast coverage of the four-day trade show and strategic exchange. NACDS recently launched NACDS-TV to serve as a powerful tool to help you get information you need to have a successful Total Store Expo. Visit the NACDS Total Store Expo website to watch the day’s highlights on NACDS-TV, which will be updated nightly starting Aug. 23.

10. The Nightlife. After a productive day of meetings, relax a bit and enjoy some good food, drinks and mingle with industry peers. There’s a Welcome Event on Aug. 23, a Total Store Expo Reception on Aug. 24, and the big Boston Extravaganza on Aug. 25, featuring the music band Train. Don’t miss out on
the festivities.

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