The National Grocers Association (N.G.A.) is gearing up for the 2012 N.G.A Show, which begins this weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada. The annual four-day event is the only trade show of its size exclusively dedicated to help independent grocers grow their sales, business operations and partnerships.
Highlights at this year’s show include the launch of a new user-friendly, technologically advanced website, appearances by nationally recognized leaders and celebrities and the latest in food and other grocery products available. The Show also features new partnerships with IGA, the Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA) and the Produce Marketing Association (PMA), among others, all designed to bring greater value to N.G.A. members and attendees.
“We are extremely excited to kick-off this year’s show which is expected to reach record attendance and participation,” says Peter Larkin, President and CEO of the N.G.A. “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.”
Today, in advance of the show, N.G.A. launched a new, innovative member website, designed to provide independent grocers, vendors, consumers and stakeholders tools and resources important to help meet their business needs. The website, www.nationalgrocers.org, offers updated web services and features such as interactive applications, information on best-practices management skills, legal compliance issues and employee training modules. The new and updated content has been developed by industry experts, academic consultants and N.G.A. representatives to be a one-stop shop for N.G.A. member and partner needs.
The website also features N.G.A. Online Training and Education center, which will expand online certification courses for N.G.A. members to more than 80. Courses offered specialize in the core aspects of the supermarket industry such as management training, regulatory issues, inventory control, risk management and more.
“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,” says Larkin. “The website will offer new features, industry tools and resources in a use-friendly way to help N.G.A. members with the information they need to meet their business needs.”
For the first time, The N.G.A. Show and the international IGA Global Rally are co-locating together. By bringing under one roof two of the most valuable events for independent grocers, all attendees will have the opportunity to not only benefit from the business sessions and networking opportunities through IGA, but also have expanded access to the convention floor and exhibitors. This year’s convention floor has expanded to nearly 35,000 square feet and more than 200 exhibitors. New this year is the PMA Produce Pavilion where attendees will have access to firms that grow, pack and distribute produce, equipment and services to the industry. As well, N.G.A. has partnered with GMA to create the N.G.A./GMA Center of Collaboration, which offers opportunities for wholesalers, retailers, manufacturers and suppliers to come together on issues and develop new relationships.
Show attendees will now be able to participate in Idea Exchange Sessions, allowing members and others an opportunity to ask additional questions and continue discussions resulting from workshop sessions. Topics will include promotion and marketing, employee development, operations, technology, growth strategies and digital marketing techniques.
Other highlights at this year’s Show include the February 12 opening keynote address by former Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates. Dr. Gates served as the 22nd U.S. Secretary of Defense from 2006 to 2011, serving in that capacity under the last two U.S. presidents and also in various capacities in previous six Administrations. He has been bestowed with numerous national awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor in 2011. Singer LeAnn Rimes will be the N.G.A. Show’s headline entertainment at the Chairman’s Gala on February 14. N.G.A. will also honor several industry veterans and announce winners of the Best Bagger, Creative Choice Best in Show and the University Case Competition, among others.