In relation to COVID, the timing has been good for Nationwide PrimeTime. With Omicron on the wane, the buying group’s bi-annual expo, which kicks off this weekend and runs through Tuesday at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, is not likely to suffer the magnitude of in-person pull-outs that CES experienced just one month ago. But Nationwide Marketing Group (NMG) members have always been adept at persisting and growing in the face of challenges, COVID or otherwise. This dovetails nicely with the message that blind adventurist Erik Weihenmayer will share and reinforce, in the context of independent retail, when he gives a keynote address on the “No Barriers Life” on Sunday morning.
“I think this is the best time in history, the most precious time in history, to be a pioneer, to reach out, to seize hold of adversity and the challenges we face, to harness energy not only to transform our own lives but to elevate the world around us,” said Weihenmayer, who has scaled Mt. Everest, among other challenges, in a post on Nationwide’s Independent Thinking site, last month.
Inspirational speakers aside, a primary focus of the winter PrimeTime Expo, which is the group’s 58th, is the increasingly important and ever-evolving shopper journey. Picking right up from last August’s spotlight on the topic in Nashville, this week’s PrimeTime will feature several Nationwide Learning Academy (NLA) sessions, general presentations and keynotes, and member-facilitated roundtable discussions.
“While the independent channel experienced some amazing growth in 2020 and 2021, the landscape is changing. And we need to change with it,” said Nationwide President and Chief Member Advocate Tom Hickman in a press release. “Even if you’ve got more business than you know what to do with right now, Big Box is clawing back. They’re working hard to win back the shoppers that they lost. And so, it’s more critical than ever for independent dealers to activate on the strategies we know will help preserve that market share growth that they’ve experienced.”
For those looking to gain an edge, the NLA will offer a robust curriculum across 14 different topic areas, including business and financial services, digital marketing, in-store experience, leadership and human capital, product training, social media, and website management. Special activations such as the Luxury University, which will take place right on the PrimeTime exhibition floor, are of particular interest for anyone looking to optimize or expand into the growing luxury space.
Then, of course, there will also be a sizeable exhibition floor, with almost 200 vendors displaying and demo-ing their products and services. The space devoted to consumer electronics (CE) has expanded as well.
With both the weather and the outdoor appliance and electronics sector heating up, Nationwide has organized the PrimeTime BackYard showcase, which will be a fun festival of food and beverage sampling amidst outdoor vendor exhibits and learning sessions.
In addition, vendors such as Snap One, Magnolia Home, Snooze Mattress, Vision Grills, and ZLINE Kitchen will be running programs for the first time at PrimeTime.
Not to be missed, this year’s PrimeTime Palooza will feature a revamped companion app that will allow members to take advantage of special deals either remotely or in person over the course of the popular 90-minute buying event.
And lastly, let’s not forget the networking, which is one of the most fruitful components of PrimeTime, especially in person. As such, there will be plenty of opportunities to connect broadly or with specific groups including Service Leaders Network, Home Technology Specialists Nationwide (HTSN), Nationwide RentDirect, NextGen/I.D.E.A., and Women in Nationwide (WIN).
The Nationwide PrimeTime Expo runs from February 5-8. If you’re a Nationwide member, attendance is free, but registration, which can be done on-site, is strongly encouraged. For more information on the event, or to register, visit the Nationwide PrimeTime site at www.nationwideprimetime.com.