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The National Grocers Association (NGA), which opened the 2012 NGA Show on Feb. 12 at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas, has rolled out a user-friendly, technologically advanced website including an Online Training and Education Center. This year’s show boasts new partnerships with such organizations as IGA, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and the Produce Marketing Association (PMA), all with the goal of bringing greater value to N.G.A. members and attendees.
Anticipating “record attendance and participation” at the annual event, Peter Larkin, president and CEO of the Arlington, Va.-based trade association, noted, “We have focused our efforts on increasing the value proposition offered to our members, and as a result, there are more opportunities to grow sales, increase partnerships and help improve business operations for the independent grocers and vendors who attend.”
The new website aims to provide independent grocers, vendors, consumers and stakeholders with the necessary tools and resources to help meet their business needs. Services and features include interactive applications, information on best-practices management skills, legal compliance issues and employee training modules. Content for the site comes from industry experts, academic consultants and N.G.A. representatives.
A key offering of the revamped site is the NGA Online Training and Education Center, which will expand online certification courses for N.G.A. members to more than 80. The courses specialize in such core aspects of the supermarket industry as management training, regulatory issues, inventory control and risk management.
“N.G.A.’s new website is the culmination of months of hard work and is designed to create a one-stop shop of relevant information for our members,” said Larkin.
For the first time, The NGA Show and the international IGA Global Rally are co-locating, enabling attendees to benefit not only from IGA’s business sessions and networking opportunities, but also from greater access to the convention floor and exhibitors. This year's convention floor takes up nearly 35,000 square feet and has more than 200 exhibitors. New this year are the PMA Produce Pavilion and the N.G.A./GMA Center of Collaboration.
Additionally, attendees will now be able to take part in Idea Exchange Sessions, which will enable them to ask additional questions and continue discussions resulting from workshop sessions. Among the topics to be covered are promotion and marketing, employee development, operations, technology, growth strategies and digital marketing techniques.
Other highlights of the 2012 show include the Feb. 12 opening keynote address by former Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, and country music headliner LeAnn Rimes at the Chairman’s Gala on Feb. 14, as well as honors bestowed on industry veterans such as Archie McGregor, president of Archie's IGA in St. Marie's Idaho, and Dissmore's IGA in Pullman, Wash., who received the annual Thomas K. Zaucha Entrepreneurial Excellence Award from Kraft Foods at the NGA Board of Directors Dinner held just prior to the show’s kickoff, and the winners of contests including Best Bagger, Creative Choice Best in Show and the University Case Competition.