M-PACT Asks, 'What's Next?'

Show sessions offer look at alternative fuels, e-cigs, more

M-PACT 2014 (CSP Daily News / Convenience Store)

INDIANAPOLIS -- The U.S. shale gas revolution is having a profound impact on the transportation energy marketplace. Interest in compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) continues to peak, and propane supply continues to grow rapidly.

Nearly 4,500 energy and convenience store professionals from across the Midwest attending M-PACT 2014 in Indianapolis in April gained insight about fueling what's next from a panel of natural gas and propane experts, as well as gaining insights on other industry-relevant topics.

Dan Gilligan, president of the Petroleum Marketers Association of America (PMAA), explored the outlook on supply and infrastructure in the New Fuels Frontier session. Cynergy's Dan Johnson and Propane Education & Research Council's Michael Taylor examined the impact of partnering with clean energy suppliers--as allies, not adversaries--to grow business and profits.

Leading retail expert John Matthews of Gray Cat Enterprises shared his insight with attendees in the interactive session, "Stop Guessing, Start Measuring." Retailers can't manage what they don't measure, he said. Matthews coached retailers on how take the guesswork out of business strategy, how to identify, and take advantage of, every opportunity to grow. With Matthews' tips, retailers went home empowered to leave backward reviewing behind, and to transform into an innovative, forward-thinking, successful business.

Electronic cigarette sales are "exploding," and so is the debate over regulation. E-vapor could outpace combustible cigarettes over the next decade. Some experts estimate annual growth to be approximately 15%. E-cigarettes are profitable and quickly growing in volume and shelf space at retail. In The "Future of E-Cigarettes" session, retailers discovered the revolutionary world of e-cigarettes, emerging brand preferences and what the future holds on the regulatory front.

And baseball legend Pete Rose shared his keen insight on what it takes to win during the sold-out industry luncheon. Attendees experienced Major League Baseball's all-time hits leader as he shared an entertaining look into his baseball career, the turbulent years of exile and the outstanding questions that have kept him firmly in the public eye.

M-PACT 2014 featured more than 500 exhibits displaying the newest technology, services and products for the energy and convenience industry, including car washes, food and beverage items, novelties, storage tanks, pumps and more.

One of the industry's major regional tradeshow, M-PACT 2014 combined educational sessions with networking opportunities so attendees left for home with ideas to improve their bottom line.

The idea-swapping event encouraged retailers to rethink their business structure and discover new ways to stay competitive in today's dynamic business environment. From the future of fuels to key performance indicators, there's no doubt attendees got the expertise to fuel their minds from the most successful and talked-about educational sessions.

Hosted by energy and convenience trade groups from Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio, M-PACT's scorecard suggests this show's on the fast-track for continued success. The groups will hold M-PACT 2015 March 24 to 26 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis.