For many independent grocers, the NGA Show is a beacon. It’s a signal that spring is almost here, after an exhausting holiday selling season and many dreary weeks of winter.
The show is a chance to work on your business, and it’s also an opportunity to recharge and get inspired by the many expert-driven educational opportunities offered during the three-day industry gathering in Las Vegas.
To be sure, the education sessions at The NGA Show are part of a diverse industry curriculum ranging from marketing and merchandising to operations and technology to human resources and finance. And we couldn’t offer such a rich learning experience without the support of our member companies whose innovative thinkers dominate the show’s agenda.
Additionally, we’re proud of our members for supporting the development of our industry’s future leaders through initiatives like the Student Case Study Competition, in which teams of college students develop creative solutions for real-life challenges facing grocers today, in pursuit of a cash prize and bragging rights.
That’s why we appreciate the three-year commitment that UNFI has made to sponsor the competition, in which student teams this year will take on the topic, “Maintaining a Competitive Edge,” analyzing what currently sets independent grocery retailers apart and if that will be enough in the future, or if a shift will be needed. Niemann Foods Inc. will be the participating retailer in this year’s student competition, working directly with students on their proposals.
You’ll find more information about this year’s competition, hosted annually by the NGA Foundation, at https://www.nationalgrocers.org/news/niemann-foods-to-participate-in-nga-foundations-student-case-study-competition/.
This is just the latest instance of support for industry education by UNFI, whose leaders have appeared on the agendas of many NGA shows and conferences for the benefit of their peers.
In fact, there will be plenty of names and numerous NGA member companies you’ll likely recognize on the lineup this year as they present on a host of topics in key subject matter tracks. The NGA Show education lineup, combined with content offered by the co-located IGA Rally and Indoor Ag-Con, makes for a formidable agenda.
Here’s just a glimpse of the wealth of knowledge in store for attendees of the 2024 NGA Show …
Technology: The Technology Summit returns with an all-new lineup of innovators illustrating how tech can streamline retail operations and take friction out of the customer experience. The summit will offer a broad look at topics like personalizing shopper connections, tech’s impact on marketing and merchandising, plus the release of a new exclusive consumer survey by Acosta Group and MorningNewsBeat. That’s in addition to breakout sessions focusing on multiple aspects of artificial intelligence, in-store tech and e-commerce, including Online SNAP.
Finance: FMS Solutions returns with its Financial Symposium, looking at the impact of supply shortages, diminished labor force, margin tightening and inflation. Sessions will look at profit improvement, exit strategies and environmental programs for your business.
Retail Strategy: Todd Hale, a shopper insights consultant whose decades of experience include 30 years at Nielsen, will deliver “U.S. Retail Hot Buttons: Driving Change and Growth in Retail.” Todd’s presentation will include real-life examples of how companies are driving growth.
Operations: Sessions in this track will focus on navigating the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act, strategic succession planning, coping with traceability regulations, reducing theft at the front end, training for retention and strategies for competing effectively with quick-serve restaurants. Additionally, NGA’s government relations team will provide a regulatory and policy update. Plus, we’ll convene a gathering of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) grocery entrepreneurs who’ll share their insights on how to leverage cultural diversity as a competitive advantage.
Omnichannel Marketing: These sessions will delve into retail media networks, crafting cohesive marketing strategies, leveraging TikTok and Instagram to influence shopper behavior, boosting baskets with digital promotions and harnessing the power of AI.
Merchandising: This wide-ranging track will explore international food sales, the fundamentals of driving units and value, electronic shelf labels, trends in deli and dairy, the power of store brands and leveraging sustainability.
Fresh Foods: These sessions will focus on topics including prepared foods and specialty deli, meat and produce.
People Development: Our human resources topics include trends in health insurance and retirement funds, as well as the impact of AI on talent management.
The 2024 NGA Show, hosted by NGA and Clarion Events, is March 10-12 at Caesars Forum Convention Center in Las Vegas. To register and for more information, visit https://www.thengashow.com/.
Read more association news from The Shelby Report.