ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The 2020 NACS Show has been cancelled as an in-person event and instead will be a virtual experience, the association has announced. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA)has informed NACS that this year's event, scheduled for Oct. 11-14, cannot be held due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is with heavy heart that we make this announcement,” said NACS President and CEO Henry Armour. “We had worked closely with the health department with jurisdiction, the LVCVA, our official partners, vendors and other stakeholders to develop a world-class ‘city within a city’ that prioritized safety for our attendees and staff. At the same time, there are issues beyond our control that led to this decision.”
He added, “We know that this decision is disappointing to our entire community of retailer and supplier attendees, as well as our NACS Show supporting partner organizations [Petroleum Equipment Institute (PEI), Petroleum Marketers Association of America (PMAA)] and Conexxus.”
He said that NACS will be directly communicating to registered attendees and exhibitors no later than August 7 to facilitate full refunds for the event.
“Given all the disruption we have faced in 2020, it’s also essential to keep our industry moving forward,” said Armour in announcing the new virtual experience.
“We invested in new platforms that we intended to roll out in 2021 to supplement our robust education and networking offer. We have fast-tracked implementation of this comprehensive series of virtual offerings to support our industry’s pressing need to stay connected and to bring our community together until we are able to resume in-person events,” said Armour.
The NACS virtual experience will take the three most important elements of the in-person event—education, access to new products and retailer/supplier connections—and incorporate them into innovative tools for users to meaningfully engage and improve their businesses.
“The NACS Show is where we come together to share ideas, make each other better and plan for the coming year. We know that we can’t simply transfer the live, in-person experience of the NACS Show to a virtual offer. Instead, we are replicating the elements that can deliver the most value in a digital environment,” said Armour.
The virtual experience, available this fall, will include on-demand education with real-time interactions, a virtual product showcase and direct appointment settings. NACS will announce details about the comprehensive experience and registration information in August.
“More than anything this year, our industry demonstrated that it is an essential business for what we sell and how we serve our communities,” said Armour. “We’ve been inspired by positive stories about how our industry has innovated to adapt to quickly changing times. We look forward to continuing this momentum with our virtual experience so we can do even more together, sharing ideas and finding new solutions to our current environment that requires constant new pivots.”
Founded in 1961 as the National Association of Convenience Stores, Alexandria, Va.-based NACS is a global trade association dedicated to advancing convenience and fuel retailing. It serves as an advisor to more than 1,500 retailer and 1,600 supplier members from more than 50 countries.