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The Domino Effect

Two more industry associations reschedule conferences

OAK BROOK, Ill. -- At least two more industry-related conferences have been rescheduled in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Following the National Association of Convenience Stores' decision to move its NACS Show from New Orleans to Las Vegas November 15-18, the New England Convenience Store Association (NECSA) and the International Carwash Association (ICA) have chosen new dates for respective upcoming conferences.

We had several exhibitors who were going to participate in our first-time online Internet event, said Mark Thorsby, executive director [image-nocss] of the ICA. We called them and said, We understand you're going to be exhibiting in person at NACS. Does that complicate your participation in the Car Care World e-Xpo online event?' Most said, Not really,' but we asked if it would help if we moved the online event a week earlier. They all said they'd love it.

As a result, the Internet expo, which was originally scheduled for Nov. 16-20, will now be held Nov. 9-13. We had not gotten so far into our marketing [of the event] that it was a problem [to move the event], Thorsby said. We made 29 very quick telephone calls and got some feedback that suggested to us that our customers would like us to move it.

The Car Care World e-Xpo is an online trade show that the ICA says will change the way you discover new solutions to help your car-care business succeed. The event will include access to vendors in a virtual marketplace, with the ability to see their product offerings, engage in real-time chats with sales personnel and view product demonstrations; live and on-demand educational sessions offering insight into the latest industry issues and the knowledge and tools needed to grow a business; and online chats with fellow car-care professionals providing opportunities to network and share best practices with others facing the same issues.

The situation was much the same for the NECSA, which has rescheduled its 23rd annual Meeting and Trade show from Nov. 13 & 14 to Nov. 30 & Dec. 1. The event will still be held at the Royal Plaza Trade Center in Marlboro, Mass.

Kathleen Flaherty, executive director of the association, said she started getting calls from exhibitors as soon as NACS announced its schedule change. I know NACS had to [move its show], and I wish that we had known sooner that they were going to be holding their trade show on the very same weekend as ours, she told CSP Daily News. Had we known about it, we could have saved thousands of dollars in printing costs because our retail brochure was at the printer that week.

The two-day event is expected to bring about 2,000 convenience store and gasoline retailers together from all over New England to meet with the industry's suppliers exhibiting in 240 booths. During the event retailers will have a chance to find new products and services, network with their colleagues, find out what is happening in the industry, visit with their current suppliers and meet new vendors.

Finally, NACS has announced that its rescheduled NACS Show, relocated and rescheduled following Hurricane Katrina's devastation of New Orleans, will include the same opening and closing speakers.

Ann Rhoades will keynote the Opening General Session, which will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 17, from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. As president of People Ink, Rhoades demonstrates her philosophy of investing in people and doing what is right to help organizations create workplace environments where people love to come to work.

And General Colin Powell (Ret.) will keynote the Closing General Session, which will take place on Friday, Nov. 18, from 1:45 to 3:00 p.m. Powell will talk about his involvement in some of the biggest events of our time, as well as comment on today's events. In serving as U.S. Secretary of State from 2001 to 2005, General Powell became the most powerful African American ever to hold office. His leadership, presence, grace and dignity allowed him to transcend nations, cultures and identities, making him one of the most easily identifiable and revered persons in the world.

One of the main objectives when the executive committee decided to move the NACS Show to Las Vegas this year was to ensure that we were able to provide attendees with a world-class event, NACS convention committee chairman Scott Hartman, president of CHR Corp., which operates Rutter's Farm Stores, told NACS Daily News. Despite their very filled schedules, both Ann Rhoades and Colin Powell will be able to continue as speakers and help us achieve that goal.

Also, the Petroleum Equipment Institute has announced several changes to the agenda of the2005 PEI Convention at the NACS Show, November 16-18.Day One (Wednesday, November 16) remains unchanged for education sessions. The inspirational breakfast speaker will be Charles Petty, speaking on Climb the Ladder of Success and Take Your Family with You. Christine Corelli will present the first General Session on How to Create a High Performance Culture. The three concurrent sessions for Wednesday are Regulatory Update, Inventory Measurements and Influencing Customers to Buy from You.

There are two changes in the educational sessions for Day Two (Thursday, November 17). The General Session speaker for Thursday will be John Di Frances, speaking on Reclaiming the Ethical High Ground: Building Organizations of Character. His presentation will focus on achieving company goals while maintaining your own integrity and that of your organization.

The concurrent session, Health Care Insurance Dilemma, has been cancelled. That session will not be replaced. The other two concurrent sessions on Thursday will remain the same. They are Fuel Composition 101 about the effect new fuels have on equipment, and Sales Process Engineering, which is a sales management method that focuses on best practices and measurements.

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