Two hundred twenty exhibiting vendors — including 39 new vendor partners — that occupied more than 250,000 square feet of exhibit space showed their 2020 wares to more than 3,700 attendees from 950 Nationwide Marketing Group companies at last month’s PrimeTime conference and exhibition in Houston.
Held under the thematic banner “All Systems Go,” this PrimeTime presented Nationwide members with buying and educational opportunities in a number of areas. Members took advantage of more than 1,700 exclusive show deals and Cash Back offers, realizing more than $6 million in Cash Backs distributed on the spot.
“I believe 2020 has the potential to be even more successful for Independent retailers than 2019 was,” Nationwide Chief Member Advocate Tom Hickman told the dealer audience at the keynote. “The American economy, despite all the turmoil of the last year or so, is actually pretty strong. Interest rates are still at historic lows, as is unemployment, and while housing starts have slowed somewhat, they’re still performing well overall – all of which are positive indicators for our industry.”
At the show, attendees were introduced to new partnerships and programs in the connected home and outdoor spaces.
Nationwide is tapping deeply into the $490 billion connected home market, making a number of resources available to members in the form of the Google Nest Prime Retail program for access to product; the Tech Smart USA partnership that brings a tech support offering to the table; and Gorrie’s expertise in the in-store merchandising space to help retailers effectively showcase the connected home in their showrooms.
Outdoor, as well, is a category that has experienced tremendous growth for Nationwide members, expanding from 10 vendors and roughly 135 participating members when the vertical was launched in 2017 to 27 lines and more than 600 members selling outdoor-related products today. Attendees were educated on opportunities in the grill category, which has grown 55 percent year over year, learning that that product space is an ideal stimulus for frequent and repeat customer traffic because of the wealth of profitable accessories available — from spices and rubs to charcoal pellets and more.
Educational opportunities afforded to members during the four-day conference program included more than 140 Nationwide Learning Academy sessions that drew 4,679 session attendees. PrimeTime also featured 228 member-led roundtable sessions, along with countless networking opportunities.
“This was the greatest PrimeTime ever for my team,” said Nationwide member Paul Sherman, vice president of Sherman’s. “It felt awesome contributing more in Nationwide Learning Academy sessions and panels; vendor meetings were the strongest ever; and what was decided at the Service Leaders Network and Linked Leaders meetings will push those groups to new levels of productivity. We have a remarkable group, and I’m proud to be part of it.”
Additionally, members, vendors and the Nationwide team alike used their collective power in numbers to make a difference. The partnership with No Child Hungry saw another 148,623 meals packed, bringing the two-year group-wide total up to 1.19 million meals. The program expanded in Houston to include the sale of Skye Bows. One Skye Bow sold helps create five packed meals — and nearly 300 were sold at PrimeTime, helping pack an additional 1,500 meals.
The next PrimeTime, the 57th edition, will be held at the Venetian/Palazzo & Sands Expo Convention Center in Las Vegas August 2-5. For more information, and to register, visit www.nationwidegroup.org or www.nationwideprimetime.com