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The Digital Learning Center is one of several new features that have been added to the 2012 National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) Marketplace Conference, which kicks off this weekend – June 23 to June 26 at the Colorado Convention Center.
This year’s conference will also provide a glimpse of the innovations and programming that will be included in NACDS’ new trade show and strategic exchange, the NACDS Total Store Expo, which will debut August 10-13, 2013 in Las Vegas.
“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,” said NACDS President and CEO Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE. “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.”
The NACDS Marketplace Conference is 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 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, LLC, Costco Wholesale dba Costco Pharmacies, CVS Caremark Corporation, Family Dollar Stores, Meijer, Inc, Rite Aid Corporation, Safeway Inc., Sam’s Club, and Walgreen Co.
The NACDS Marketplace Digital Learning Center will be located just inside the exhibit hall floor near the New Product Showcase, and 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,” said Anderson.
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 right at your fingertips. Download the app now on your Smartphone.
- New Product Showcase – Exhibitors can have their products prominently displayed in showcases on the floor of the exhibit hall. The showcase participants will also 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 the Coca-Cola Company, Mike Haines with Facebook and Michael La Kier with The Coca-Cola Company.
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 12:00 noon. Collection bins will be placed in the aisles throughout the exhibit floor.
NACDS represents traditional drug stores, supermarkets, and mass merchants with pharmacies – from regional chains with four stores to national companies.