It was the biggest crowd ever at the NACS Show this past month, with more than 25,000 people in attendance, eager to learn everything you need to know to operate a successful c-store business. From branding to future fuels to the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), there was an almost audible excitement in the air as retailers gathered ideas to take back to their companies. The NACS Show is a must see.
This years’ speakers were equally as enticing. CSP couldn’t have described the first general session any better, when they said the show opened with, “lessons in modern marketing from a sweaty and yelling Bonin Bough.” You couldn’t help but take notice with his impassioned tales of how he turned the same-old, traditional marketing philosophy on its head.
Marketing continued to be the theme of the next general session speaker, Scott Stratten, as he talked about his “unmarketing” views and the importance of each customer touch. The audience spent the hour laughing as this masterful teacher showed that every interaction is a powerful opportunity for branding, marketing, differentiation and exceptional customer experiences. Sound a little overwhelming? It’s really quite simple, as he shared a real-world example his audience won’t easily forget.
Attendees also had the pleasure of beginning their last morning with a, let’s say, ‘colorful’ session with Mike Rowe, the former host of Dirty Jobs. His experience during his first foray into a dirty job in the sewers of San Francisco was unforgettable. His television show differentiated itself and uncovered a niche that he happily, albeit dirtily, exploited. He truly connected with the audience and the people whose jobs he brought to light. There is no question that there are lessons to be learned from him about differentiation and workforce appreciation.
There was so much more at the show, including educational sessions on disruption, branding, the future of fuels, attracting Millennials, AI, staffing, category management, and the future of marijuana sales, to name just a few. Nearly every session was a full house with topics that were, clearly, right on target. Take a look at some of the coverage, and stay tuned for more blogs, right here, that will delve into some of those areas and explore the ever-evolving c-store world.