NACDS Consolidates Show Portfolio

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) will consolidate its three trade shows into one large event called the NACDS Total Store Expo beginning in 2013. The new, bigger event intends to bring all sectors of the drug store industry together to give attendees and exhibitors more networking, merchandising and selling options.
Jim Whitman, senior vice president of member programs and services for the NACDS spoke to EXPO about the new show, which will be “a lot more in-depth than a traditional tradeshow,” he says. “It also allows us to build on all the other facets of [the shows] in terms of the educational programming, the business programming and the interaction between buyers and sellers and retailers and sellers.”
The new NACDS show will premier in 2013 in Las Vegas, NV, where it will unify the NACDS Market Place Conference; Pharmacy and Technology Conference and the Supply Chain and Logistics Conference.
“In terms of efficiencies everyone’s challenged to be more efficient. So, for the suppliers we think they’ll be very receptive to this whole idea of serving them and making them more efficient,” Whitman says.
A spokeswoman for the NACDS says the Supply Chain and Logistics Conference averages about 400 individuals; the Marketplace Conference about 3,300 and the Pharmacy and Technology Conference about 3,000.
“There was very little overlap and that’s what actually dawned on us,” Whitman says. “We thought it would be more effective. We actually think this will allow for even greater interaction [and] to a certain extent allow even the manufactures to start better coordinating among various divisions and operations sides of the business.”
The decision to consolidate the shows into one was made by the NACDS Board of Directors based on formal outreach programs and member generated dialogue, a news release from the group said.
“The association really reflects what its members are going through,” Whitman says. A retailer can now have all the key members of their buying and financial team together to be able to better go to market—instead of having these individuals separately come to three different shows.
With these new changes the NACDS Board of Directors will now meet every four months instead of twice a year.
The increased frequency in meetings, Whitman says, will allow the board “to be more reflective of the membership and also to communicate to the decision makers and the public policy people within both the Federal government on Capital Hill and the administration as well as governors and state legislators, that’s NACDS’ role in the health care delivery system. In its broadest sense we’re the face of neighborhood healthcare, we think it’s very important to leverage that and keep on building it.”
Building on it they will. The NACDS has no plans to skimp on services for show attendees.
When asked if the single, new show will streamline costs Whitman says the group isn’t “cutting anything or reducing anything. We’re going to stay with what the foundation, generally speaking, starting on Saturday and ending on Tuesday. We’re going to continue to start on Saturday and end on Tuesday. I guess there will be some efficiencies in terms of staff travel but we don’t really see [major changes]. It’s not about cost cutting, it’s really about building a stronger base than we’ve had. We wanted to do this when the industry was ready for it–from a position of strength."