Third Time's a Charm: Total Store Expo 2015

Pharmacy Times, June 2015 Women's Health, Volume 81, Issue 6

If a projected 92% past participant return rate is any indication of an event's value, then success is once again in store for the third annual NACDS Total Store Expo.

If a projected 92% past participant return rate is any indication of an event’s value, then success is once again in store for the third annual National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) Total Store Expo (TSE).

“We can’t take that number to the bank, but we’re probably doing more right than wrong,” Jim Whitman, NACDS senior vice president of member programs and services, told Pharmacy Times. “[Attendees are] expecting us to push the envelope for them, and we accept the challenge.”

At this year’s TSE trade show, which will be held in Denver, Colorado, from August 22 - 25, 2015, attendees will be greeted in the exhibit hall by an innovative Vision 2026 feature that will “showcase what the future of retail and health care may look like in the next decade,” said NACDS President and CEO Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE, in a press release. This interactive exhibit will provide insights on the “primary care store” of the future and explain how consumers will interact with wearable devices and new store environments.

Updated to address new trends and challenges in 2015, a series of concurrent “Insights Sessions” will explore business opportunities for pharmacies beyond Medicare, immunization updates for the current flu season, and the impact the pivotal King v Burwell case will potentially have on pharmacies, among other relevant topics.

At last year’s event, leading cybercrime experts divulged insider security tips to attendees. Hillary Clinton gave a keynote address to the inaugural crowd the year before. This year’s TSE participants can expect to see the customary “Meet the Market” program, which introduces the retail audience to the latest products and services, as well as the familiar “Meet the Retailer” segment, where leading retail and health executives present their “total store.”

“TSE is about the total store, from the front door, to the back door, to wholesale merchandising, to technology, to the consumer,” Whitman said. “Once people understand the opportunities of approaching this event in that light, they understand it is much richer than a trade show.”

In fact, through the returning “Pharmacist Connect” program, attendees can receive immunizations from NACDS chain member companies’ pharmacists. Whitman said some exhibitors are even considering offering these pharmacy services inside their booths. Either way, he said, “If you want an immunization [at TSE], you’ll be able to get one.”

The TSE show floor may look different from last year’s layout in Boston, but registrants can get familiar with it well in advance through an interactive Webbased floor plan. Other conference planning tools include a website, tse.nacds .org, devoted to providing show updates and NACDS-TV videos with tips for successful exhibiting at TSE.

“The true measure of success is the amount of advance preparation, and we give attendees the tools for advance preparation,” Whitman said.

NACDS is also leveraging Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to “make connections happen” before the TSE and attract new participants to the event.

“The content that we are featuring in this social media campaign adds value because it showcases the tremendous resources available to help participants engage in the meeting with maximum effectiveness,” Anderson said in a press release. “It also will present opportunities to continue to bring in new companies and to give returning and new companies an opportunity to achieve added visibility as they engage online as well as onsite.”

In a separate press release, NACDS Chairman John Standley, who is also chairman and CEO of Rite Aid, noted that TSE fosters collaboration among NACDS members and other industry segments. “It brings the right people together, and helps them collaborate, innovate, and succeed,” Standley said.

Once they arrive, attendees can download a mobile app that will provide resources for navigating the entire event and getting to their appointments easily.

“We continue to build, refine, and develop a formula for a conference that will best reflect its attendees,” Whitman said. “The foundation is there, so we’re just adding to it. The participation is really what makes it new every year.”