Total Store Expo 2016 Promises Tremendous Opportunity

Pharmacy Times, April 2016 Respiratory Health, Volume 82, Issue 4

Advancing collaboration among pharmacy chains and supplier partners to deliver health and wellness solutions throughout the store is the main focus of the fourth annual National Association of Chain Drug Stores Total Store Expo.

Advancing collaboration among pharmacy chains and supplier partners to deliver health and wellness solutions throughout the store is the main focus of the fourth annual National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) Total Store Expo (TSE). Last year, more than 5600 chains and suppliers engaged in TSE in Denver, Colorado, from August 22-25, 2015, and the post-event survey results suggested that more than 90% of those participants would return for this year’s TSE in Boston, Massachusetts, from August 6-9, 2016, according to Jim Whitman, NACDS senior vice president of member programs and services.

Similar to last year’s event, TSE attendees can expect to see the customary “Meet the Market” program, which puts the latest products and services in front of a retail audience, as well as the familiar “Meet the Retailer” segment, where leading retail and health executives present their “total store.” Whitman also provided a sampling of this year’s “Insights Sessions” that will cover pertinent topics, such as predictive analytics in health information technology, controlled substances issues, telehealth, point-of-care testing, the pay-for-performance trend, digital marketing, supply chain issues, and the regulatory environment.

In addition to those popular programs, Whitman pointed out that there is “tremendous opportunity that lies in the receptions and networking opportunities.”

“One comment I have heard from the seasoned attendees is that they cannot understand when some newer attendees go back to their rooms frequently to do other work,” he told Pharmacy Times. “There are so many stories of major victories achieved just by bumping into the right person in a more relaxed setting. So, my recommendation is to make it a priority to break new ground during those aspects of the program.”

Aside from business transactions, TSE inspires what Whitman described as “the all-important transaction of ideas.”

“This conference was set up to facilitate cross-departmental, cross-team discussions among chains and supplier partners. That is exactly how it is playing out,” he said. “We are seeing, more and more, that companies are taking a big-picture approach to setting their meetings. They are tackling big issues with all of the right people involved. The execution is lining up with the vision.”

Speaking of vision, TSE attendees will be able to visit the Vision 2027 area of the exhibit hall that will showcase some of the concepts shaping the industry’s future. Given the 2016 elections, the event will also a focus on how the industry can make an impact in the political arena, Whitman noted.

Although the keynote speaker for this year’s TSE has not yet been announced, NACDS clearly takes the selection very seriously. Last year’s keynote address was delivered by distinguished television journalist and author, Tom Brokaw, and the inaugural TSE keynote speaker was Hillary Clinton, who lauded pharmacists for the important role they play in the US health care system.

Well ahead of this year’s event, registrants can get familiar with the floor plan and access other TSE preparation resources through the event app and tse .nacds.org, a website devoted to providing show updates and NACDS-TV videos with tips for successful exhibiting.

“NACDS is focused on creating the right fit and providing the right resources to help attendees prepare, because success begets success,” Whitman said. “[TSE] was created for and by the industry, and every aspect of the meeting is geared toward helping participants succeed during the conference and beyond.”