Winning Together, Learning Together

NACS Show / Conference: October 3-6 Expo: October 4-6 Georgia World Congress Center | Atlanta

Winning Together, Learning Together

September 2023   minute read

On October 3-6, the NACS Show returns to Atlanta for the first time since 2019. Well over 20,000 people typically attend the Show, representing more than 70 countries. Attendees can explore 425,000-plus square feet of expo space, connecting with current partners and discovering the latest products and technology solutions.

Stay in the Know Need to register or plan your trip? Want to see the latest updates as your industry peers prepare to gather in Atlanta? Visit

A highlight is the 45-plus education sessions, crafted by the NACS education team and the NACS Convention Content Committee—leaders in the industry representing a variety of retailers and suppliers. The education sessions equip you with insights and information you can use to build a stronger business.

Check out for the latest details on the education sessions and to plan your visit to the 2023 NACS Show.

Category Management

Growing Baskets With Seasonal Offerings

Thursday, October 05 8:00 - 9:00 a.m.

Leveraging promotions with seasonal products is a powerful strategy for boosting sales. Industry experts will share their insights on how they have successfully increased customer baskets and revenue by strategically focusing on seasonal product offerings.

Impulse Strategies for Modern Convenience Retail

Thursday, October 05 9:15 - 10:15 a.m.

Everyone knows that baskets are boosted by last minute sales added at checkout. With more and more options that take shoppers out of the legacy checkout processes (drive-thru, curbside, self-checkout, etc.), retailers have had to evolve to continue to take advantage of impulse sales. Come to this session to hear successful strategies taken by retailers who are winning in capturing these impulse sales to grow baskets at the end of the shopper journey.

Packaged Beverage Category Deep Dive

Thursday, October 05 8:00 - 9:00 a.m.

More than 50% of all in-store trips occur because the shopper is thirsty. This session looks at the all-important packaged beverage category and sheds important light on the emerging trends, flavors and offerings that can keep your shoppers engaged and excited.

The State of Snacking in Convenience

Wednesday, October 04 8:00 - 9:00 a.m.

This session provides an in-depth examination of macro snacking trends in the convenience industry, offering valuable insights from the perspectives of shoppers, consumers and retailers. Attendees will hear about the evolving landscape of snacking preferences, behaviors and opportunities within the convenience market.

Thriving in the Marketplace: How to Win With Shoppers

Wednesday, October 04 8:00 - 9:00 a.m.

When it comes to category selection, it’s crucial to understand how different categories can influence your sales growth, sourcing strategies, promotional effectiveness and, ultimately, your profit margins. This session will dive into what should guide the decision-making process to ensure informed choices that align with business goals.

Customer Experience

Customer Engagement 2.0: The Power of Digital Innovation

Wednesday, October 04 9:15 - 10:15 a.m.

Throughout this session, industry experts will share real-world examples and case studies showcasing the successful implementation of digital innovation in customer engagement. Key topics covered include the importance of customer-centricity in the digital age, the role of data analytics in understanding customer behavior and preferences and the development of personalized and omnichannel customer journeys. Participants will also explore the impact of social media, mobile applications and other digital platforms on customer engagement, as well as the challenges and opportunities they present.

Overcoming the C-Store Blind Spots in Digital Searching

Wednesday, October 04 9:15 - 10:15 a.m.

Have you ever found yourself searching for a quick snack or drink, only to find that your go-to convenience store is not the top result on your maps app? This session will explore the concept of the convenience store blind spot and why they are often not prioritized on digital maps, along with potential consequences of this blind spot, including missed business opportunities for convenience store owners and inconvenience for customers.


Branded vs. Proprietary Foodservice Programs: What Is Best for You?

Thursday, October 05 9:15 - 10:15 a.m.

Foodservice programs present significant opportunities for business growth. Come to this session to identify the factors and criteria that can help you better navigate the best options to grow your foodservice sales and compete more effectively with QSRs head-on!

Innovating Your Menu

Tuesday, October 03 1:15 - 2:15 p.m.

As the foodservice industry continues to evolve, the importance of the foodservice dollar to overall financial performance cannot be overstated. The costs involved in foodservice cannot be measured comparatively with your merchandise P&L based on the nuances of the labor and ingredients needed to run a successful foodservice program. In this interactive session, speakers will delve into successful strategies aimed at helping attendees achieve a delicate balance between menu offerings, operational efficiency and customer-experience goals.

5 Food Safety Risks You Can Control

Wednesday, October 04 8:00 - 9:00 a.m.

This session will delve into the top five risk factors that organizations must embrace to build and enhance their food safety and safe food handling procedures—and continue serving exceptional food.

Solutions to Optimize Your Foodservice Space

Wednesday, October 04 9:15 - 10:15 a.m.

Space limitations used to make it impossible for convenience stores to have a professional foodservice program. This session shares successful strategies c-store retailers are using to implement thriving foodservice programs in smaller footprints.

Step Right Up … Convenience Showdown: A Gameshow Experience Thursday, October 05 8:00 - 9:00 a.m. Back by popular demand, attend the second annual Convenience Showdown to test your convenience-store knowledge in this multi-round, interactive trivia game show. Prizes will be awarded to the winning teams.


The Business Case for EV Charging

Tuesday, October 03 2:30 - 3:30 p.m.

The market for electric vehicles continues to expand, creating increased demand for publicly available EV chargers. Government funding is intended to support the deployment of stations, but generating an economic return on your investment requires more than financial incentives to install the equipment. What equipment you install, how you configure your site and how you manage your utility expenses consistent with consumer demand will all influence whether you make or lose money on your charging station. This session will dive into the realities of charging economics and explore critical insights that can help you realize a profitable return on your investment.

The Future of Fuel Retailing

Wednesday, October 04 9:15 - 10:15 a.m.

As the transportation market undergoes rapid changes, fuel retailers need to anticipate the evolving needs of their customers and adapt accordingly. This session explores the future of fuel retailing and aims to help retailers understand how their markets will evolve as customers adopt new vehicle technologies and adjust their travel patterns. The focus is on identifying strategies and positioning that will enable retailers to serve their customers’ mobility needs successfully.

Thriving in a Shifting Fuel Market

Tuesday, October 03 1:15 - 2:15 p.m.

Today’s vehicles are much more efficient than ever, which is cutting into fuel demand. At the same time, pressures to reduce carbon emissions from the transportation sector continue to mount in the form of government regulation, financial and banking services requirements and societal/consumer demand. Attend this session to hear ideas on how you can maintain profitability at the pump when drivers demand less fuel and how you can leverage the low carbon trend to benefit your business.

Government Relations

What California’s Regulations Can Teach Us

Wednesday, October 04 9:15 - 10:15 a.m.

California regulators are pioneers across many facets of the regulatory landscape: labor, tobacco, fuel, cannabis and more. This session looks at the lessons other states can learn from California mandates.


Cultivating an Employee-Centric Culture

Tuesday, October 03 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

Join industry-leading firms for an enlightening session with insights on building, sustaining and growing connectivity through a relentless commitment to culture. Discover the vital role that the work environment plays in fostering meaningful connections between your stores, customers and communities. The panel will discuss how part-time jobs can evolve into fulfilling long-term careers with an organizational culture where employees feel connected. The session will touch on the critical elements of creating the right environment, including setting expectations, providing effective training and meeting the needs of your workforce. Attendees will gain valuable knowledge from the panelists’ experiences to enhance their own organizational culture.

Who’s Covering the Shift

Tuesday, October 03 12:00 - 1:00 .p.m.

The NACS State of the Industry Compensation Report revealed alarming turnover rates of up to 130% for full-time employees and 152% for part-time employees. With labor concerns remaining a top priority for retailers of all scales, this session aims to provide valuable insights into the current and projected labor landscape, along with effective strategies to successfully hire, retain and expand the available labor pool for the future.


Bridging Business and Technology

Tuesday, October 03 2:30 - 3:30 p.m.

Great innovation and game-changing strategy require alignment of all organizational stakeholders to ensure plans stay intact upon execution. This session looks at the role technology stakeholders must play from concept to execution to enable success.

Ideas in Action: Solutions from the Frontline (Part 1) (for details, see below)

Thursday, October 05 8:00 - 9:00 a.m.

Ideas in Action: Solutions from the Frontline (Part 2)

Thursday, October 05 9:15 - 10:15 a.m.

The NACS Leadership for Success Program brings the brightest supervisors in the industry together each year to develop their leadership skills. This group values integrity and commits to developing their team and themselves into better leaders. For the past five months, the participants have been working on reducing turnover, increasing employee engagement and developing store managers by developing plans, setting goals and tracking their progress. They are ready to share their results and success stories. Come to this session to learn from your peers on what worked (and what didn’t!) as they developed and strengthened their team. Please note that this is a two-part session.


Building a Successful Mobile Strategy

Tuesday, October 03 2:30 - 3:30 p.m.

What does it take for your store to show up when and where shoppers are looking for solutions and discovering new offerings? We’ll break down the growing importance of a digital presence and help you connect with and win the trips of the convenience-minded mobile shopper.

Enhancing Your Loyalty Program to Increase Engagement

Tuesday, October 03 1:15 - 2:15 p.m.

Loyalty is not just a card but is instead the outcome of the digital and physical touchpoints retailers deliver to drive shopper engagement. Learn how retailers are thinking outside the box when it comes to shaping their loyalty strategies for the future.

Foundations of a Retail Media Network

Tuesday, October 03 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

Retailers seek secure, brand-safe advertising environments that enable access to first-party data in a privacy-safe environment. Learn what the future of retail media is and how some industry leaders are pioneering new ways to grow revenue and achieve advertising goals on brand-safe digital media platforms.

How Brands and Operators of All Sizes Are Winning on the C-Store Shelf

Wednesday, October 04 8:00 - 9:00 a.m.

With a very small budget, Stuckey’s has managed to garner national attention for its comeback brand and increase sales 40X in just 30 months. In this session, Stuckey’s executives will share the secrets on how they got The Today Show, The New York Times and Southern Living to cover their brand story. Attendees will hear tips to get consumers to become advocates for their brand and to drive the peer-to-peer conversation (word of mouth) that is incredibly crucial to bottom-line success. Most importantly, they will tell you how they accomplished this on a marketing budget so tiny that participants will either laugh or cry.

Maximizing Share of Wallet: The New Frontier in Customer Loyalty

Wednesday, October 04 9:15 - 10:15 a.m.

According to Stuzo’s proprietary data, less than 5% of retailers understand the specific and total amount of a product or product category their customers buy across all the places they shop, let alone the opportunity to target those customers’ wallets on a one-to-one basis. The lack of visibility into how much share of wallet a retailer has compared to its competitors leads to ineffective promotions and cannibalizing existing revenue/margins. This means that more than 95% of retailers are likely incentivizing (funding) customers to make purchases that the customers would already be making without any incentive. Hear from industry veterans and leaders as to why they see maximizing share of wallet as the new frontier in customer loyalty and how this leads to growth in store operating profits.

Promotions That Deliver Results

Thursday, October 05 9:15 - 10:15 a.m.

What makes a promotion successful? This session explores the essential elements that contribute to successful promotions. Industry experts will delve into the crucial Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), performance benchmarks and execution requirements that drive truly effective promotions as they share insights and strategies and answer your burning questions on promotion success.

Social Media on a Shoestring Budget

Thursday, October 05 8:00 - 9:00 a.m.

With over four billion users across multiple platforms, social media provides a vast audience to promote your brand to. This session focuses on empowering businesses of all sizes, with varying budgets and expertise, to effectively build awareness and enhance their presence on social media platforms. Discover cost-effective strategies and practical tips to make the most out of limited resources and achieve impactful results on social media.


Leveraging Digital Transformation for an Enhanced Customer Experience

Tuesday, October 03 1:15 - 2:15 p.m.

Our industry is changing. To cater to shifting consumer demands and tackle profitability challenges influenced by macro-trends, convenience retailers are looking to digital transformation, recently supercharged by AI, to amplify agility and foster innovation in both store operations and consumer offerings. This session will look at how digital transformation and AI is impacting our industry and how convenience stores can respond.

Designing the Next Generation of Convenience Store Formats

Thursday, October 05 8:00 - 9:00 a.m.

Today’s convenience store model traces its roots back to the merging of fuel and convenience retailing in the 1980s and 1990s. As retailers look to a future where convenience is less defined by fuel, what new models are beginning to emerge? In this session, we’ll speak to retailers and experts who are forging this new path.

From Fuel Station to Hospitality Provider: Operational Impact

Tuesday, October 03 1:15 - 2:15 p.m.

Our industry constantly changes, and adapting to new realities is nothing new. But with alternative fuels on the rise and with a heightened consumer focus on the sustainability impact of mobility choices, it has become clear that as an industry we need to find new footfall drivers and think about a more diverse offer. Our answer to this so far, and relatively successfully, has been foodservice. But selling gas is one thing while offering hospitality is an entirely different one.

In this session, we will talk to operationally responsible representatives from leading retailers around the globe that switched from selling gas to offering hospitality. They will share what issues they faced, how they adapted their day-to-day operations and their key learning from this massive operational change.

Google’s Insights on a Culture of Innovation

Wednesday, October 04 8:00 - 9:00 a.m.

This is an in-depth session that delves into the essential skills, commitments and culture necessary for successfully driving and sustaining innovation across an organization. Vish Ganapathy, director of customer engineering, retail, will use his experience at Google to explore what differentiates successful, innovative organizations from those that struggle to evolve. He will share approaches used by leading organizations to foster a culture of innovation. Culture plays a crucial role in fostering innovation, and this session will highlight the characteristics of an innovative culture.

Protecting Your Employees, Your Customers & Your Data with TruAge

Wednesday, October 04 8:00 - 9:00 a.m.

Convenience stores sell more age-restricted products than any other retail channel. A complex regulatory environment and the advancement of fake IDs make traditional carding too high risk—for you, for your customers and especially for your employees. Available now, TruAge is a new, revolutionary age-verification solution built with the needs of you, the retailer, and your customers in mind. Learn more about what TruAge is, how it works and how it can help protect your business today.

Securing the Retail Landscape: A Roundtable on Crime Prevention and Loss Mitigation

Thursday, October 05 9:15 - 10:15 a.m.

In this interactive roundtable discussion, industry experts, loss prevention professionals and retail leaders will come together to share their insights, experiences and best practices. Through a collaborative exchange of ideas, we will explore the latest trends in retail crime, emerging threats and effective prevention measures.

State of the Industry Update: Leveraging the Latest Financial Benchmarks

Tuesday, October 03 1:15 - 2:15 p.m.

In this data-driven session, delivered using the NACS State of the Industry Summit format, attendees will delve into an extensive analysis of key performance metrics gleaned from the proprietary NACS C-Store Exchange (CSX) database. Through compelling charts and graphs, a comparative assessment of financial health, operational efficiency and overall effectiveness will be presented, highlighting areas of strength and identifying opportunities for improvement.

By leveraging this benchmarking data, attendees will gain a deeper understanding of their competitive position, enabling them to make informed strategic decisions, optimize financial performance, enhance operational processes and propel their companies toward greater success.

Strategic Planning and M&A in a Slow- or No-Growth Environment

Tuesday, October 03 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

How do you strategically plan for M&A in the current economic environment? How can you integrate your operations from an acquisition in this rapidly changing environment? Join our panel of retail experts as they reveal essential insights into planning for mergers and acquisitions amidst the rapidly changing economic landscape. Discover how to seamlessly integrate acquired operations and adapt to market shifts in this informative session.

Small Operator

Bundling Better: More Profitable Promotions

Thursday, October 05 8:00 - 10:15 a.m.

It is time to take control of your own promotions in addition to your vendor promotions. If your competitors are offering the same product on promotion as you, how is it YOUR promotion? In this session, retailers will learn the skills to create bundles and break evens to determine if the promotions they offer are profitable. Retailers will learn how to use their vendor relationships to their advantage and how to build and track a better, more profitable promotion. Retailers will also develop a promotional calendar for their sites.

Creating a Safe Store Environment

Wednesday, October 04 8:00 - 10:15 a.m.

Keeping your site, staff and customers safe is a priority. Whether it is robbery deterrence, food safety or even instructions on how to lift heavy items correctly, it all falls under the category of site safety. Retailers must understand their role in developing a site safety plan and incorporating it as part of employee training. This seminar will start you on the development process and give tips on training staff about the importance of following the safety plan for their own advantage. Attendees will learn steps to avoid trouble as well as develop an incident procedure if the unforeseen happens.

How to Hire in a Tough Labor Market

Thursday, October 05 8:00 - 10:15 a.m.

The post-Covid years have continued to put stress on the available labor market in our sector. Potential employees are coming in with higher wage requirements and with more employment demands, such as flexible hours. The cost of employee turnover increases with each new hire. We will teach pre-interview, interview and post-interview processes that will help your ultimate decisions. The key is to create a consistent process from application to training. We will look at how we can keep employees happy and efficient after they are trained and retain them for the long-term. We will also examine how social media can make our talent searches more effective.

Teambuilding, Coaching, Mentoring and Developing Managers

Wednesday, October 04 8:00 - 10:15 a.m.

The key to leading a best-in-class team is having an ongoing process. The end objective is for the staff to perceive the manager as the ship’s captain, while keeping the store dynamic on an even keel. Build better managers with coaching techniques that are easy and effective in everyday operations, that managers in turn can use to train their teams. We will work on improving implementation of store policy and procedure manuals by your managers. We will learn skills to mentor managers to establish the foundations of an effective five-day employee training program. Because every person learns differently, attendees will also see how different methods of teaching will still create consistent results.


NACS Show Convenience Connections

Wednesday, October 04 8:30 - 10:00 a.m.

NACS Show Convenience Connections is an opportunity for our newest supplier members to meet and learn from our most influential retailers in a relaxed, congenial environment ahead of the industry’s flagship event.

During this hour-long gathering, our most influential retailers representing a range of store sizes will host small groups of new suppliers to discuss industry topics relevant to their stores. Small groups will rotate once after 20 minutes to hear the perspective of another retailer. At the end of the second rotation, all participants will gather to continue informal conversations over light refreshments.

Do not miss this chance to learn what’s top-of-mind for your customers and how you can help them improve their businesses.


The 2023 NACS/Conexxus Technology Roadmap

Thursday, October 05 8:00 - 10:15 a.m.

This roadmap will provide a picture of what relevant technologies will achieve in reality, by when, and provide clarity to support a systems strategy. This roadmap is a compilation of research from outside the industry, specifically designed to see 10 years ahead to suggest technology and cultural evolutions that will prepare you for the new landscape.

Unleashing the Potential of Visual AI in Convenience Retail

Tuesday, October 03 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

With the advent of advanced computer vision technologies, retailers now have the opportunity to leverage a vast amount of visual data to drive operational efficiencies, enhance customer experiences and gain valuable insights. From inventory management to loss prevention and customer engagement, this session will showcase real-world examples and case studies highlighting successful implementations of visual AI in convenience retail.

Super Sessions

The NACS Show Super Sessions, taking place this year in the Sidney Marcus Ballroom, provide industry leaders the chance to gather together and benefit from insights from thought leaders from both inside and outside of the convenience industry. Flip forward a few pages in this issue for profiles of Super Session speakers Sterling Hawkins and Bridget Brennan.

Building a Culture of Diversity and Inclusion Among Customers and the Workforce
Kent Montgomery, PepsiCo; Larry Hughes, 7-Eleven Inc; Kristin Kelly, HudsonLake
Tuesday, October 03, 2:30 - 3:30 p.m.

Hunting Discomfort: Becoming Resilience Ready and Built for Breakthrough Growth
Sterling Hawkins
Wednesday, October 04, 9:15 - 10:15 a.m.

Winning Her Business: Grow Sales and Market Share with the World’s Most Powerful Consumers
Bridget Brennan
Thursday, October 05, 9:15 - 10:15 a.m.