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Q&A: TSE - Trade shows’ next gen


The next generation of trade shows is nearly upon us. Enter NACDS Total Store Expo, which debuts Aug. 10 to 13, 2013. Jim Whitman, SVP member programs and services, and Steve Perlowski, VP industry affairs and member relations, talked with Drug Store News about this new concept, which will combine the Marketplace, Pharmacy and Technology, and Supply Chain and Logistics conferences.

DSN: TSE has been described as a “true laboratory of innovation.” Can you elaborate?

Jim Whitman: [The innovation] will come about in a couple of areas. It is coming out in the expansion, most likely in the [Digital Learning Center]. That is why we are introducing [the center] at the 2012 Marketplace, but you will see it in a different form and format in 2013. … No. 2, if you went online and looked at the floor plan, it shows what we are calling, as a working title right now, … “Centers for Excellence.”

Steve Perlowski: The other thing we are working [on] with a couple of manufacturers is, instead of coming to TSE selling [only] a product or a line, they are coming to sell an idea or a concept. [For example], if a food company has a vision of what health and wellness is, they should come to TSE to share their vision with their customers.

Whitman: Obviously, a company, to a certain extent, has a product [they are selling] and that should be part of TSE. But, what Steve and I are eluding to is, let’s say you are working on obesity, or health and wellness, or nutrition, just to take an area, … we believe it would be ideal for one of these Centers for Excellence or an innovation laboratory or a learning center or a freestanding approach. ... Remember, TSE, by the definition itself, is encompassing the total store.

DSN: How can suppliers and retailers prepare for TSE?

Whitman: At Marketplace we are going to have a TSE booth, and we will have a series of meetings going on with people to get them prepared for the ideas and possibilities that can happen at TSE. You’ll see resources on the website. … We want to give everyone as many tools as possible to be successful.

DSN: Anything else you would like to share about TSE?

Whitman: There will be [business] sessions that are somewhat front-end focused, pharmacy and technology focused, and supply chain focused. You’ll be able to pick and choose which ones you want to go to. … There is going to be a very lively, interactive kind of calendar that will be created.

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