This primer is for first-time attendees. It has been developed by members of the Regional Chain Committee and the NACDS Retail Advisory Board Membership and Conferences Subcommittee and is based on their collective experiences.
Know Before You Go.
The descriptions and suggestions are taken from actual business practices of successful NACDS members. The sole focus of this document is to help you prepare for and gain greater value from your participation in this conference. Your preparation, conduct, and follow-up will determine your unique Return on Investment (ROI).
Start your planning early – Now is the time to start building rapport!
Become familiar with the NACDS Regional Chain Conference website and particularly the Schedule.
Determine who you want to meet with, and what you want to accomplish with them. Check the Participating Companies section of the website for meeting attendees and their contact information. Familiarize yourself with the retailer and make sure you are meeting with the right person. You must be registered for the meeting and have a username and password to gain access to this information.
When you invite someone to meet with you, have a proposed agenda and tell them up-front what the potential value could mean to their business.
If you are unknown to a retailer, call for the appointment yourself; it’s much more productive than having your administrative person do it. Be prepared to answer the hard question, “How would we benefit from meeting with you?”
If you are unable to call for the appointment and you have a broker or an independent sales and marketing firm relationship, ask them to help you develop appointments.
If you are a small or new company and don’t know the retailers, you may want to consider utilizing a broker. Call NACDS, we can assist you with a list of current Sales & Marketing Companies and Manufacturer Representatives.
Check the Schedule. Extend invitations and make dinner reservations well in advance of the meeting. Do the latter now. You can always reduce the number for the reservation or cancel if need be.
Start soliciting appointments early – as much as three months in advance.
Develop a convincing proposition for each company as to why they will benefit from a meeting with you.
Establish a specific agenda for each meeting.
Develop a “one pager” summarizing the important facts about your company, key products, point of difference, and any performance matrices that set you apart from the competition.
Consider room-dropping an advance thank you for a planned meeting. This will help remind the person of the appointment. Or do a room drop after the meeting as a thank you to recap what was accomplished.
NACDS is the official housing bureau for the Regional Chain Conference. Once you have registered for the conference, you will receive access to the online hotel reservations site enabling you to make your hotel reservation.
Username & Password.
Each attendee requires a username and password to gain access to the Participating Companies section of the website. Your username and password from your online account will become active upon receipt of paid registration.
Attire for all official NACDS Events is Business Casual.
Please note one exception: Attire for the Super Bowl Party is casual… feel free to wear your favorite team colors or jersey!
Download the NACDS App.
Navigate NACDS Meetings and Conferences like a pro with the mobile app, developed to enhance attendee and exhibitor experience.
With the NACDS Events app, users can:
Get the most up-to-date conference information and personalize your schedule.
Search for participating companies, bookmark favorites and navigate based on your location.
Access social media to keep up on all the buzz surrounding the event.