The National Grocers Association (NGA) and Clarion Events Food & Beverage Group announced new dates for the annual conference and trade show and have added two unique industry events for 2021.
According to a press release from the association of independent grocers, The NGA Show, originally scheduled to take place March 7-9, 2021, at the new Caesars Forum Convention Center in Las Vegas, was rescheduled for May 16-18, 2021 at the same location.
The NGA Show Extension: Virtual Edition, a new event scheduled to provide access to unique educational content and facilitate product introductions and 1-to-1 meetings, will be held online on Tuesday, August 3, 2021.
Finally, the NGA Show Summit, an intimate hosted buyer/vendor gathering, will take place on December 1-3, 2021, in Orlando, Florida at the Hyatt Regency Orlando.
“We are grateful to our members and the entire food industry who have been on the frontlines and have remained open during the pandemic. These retailers, wholesalers, and vendors each play a critical role in serving consumers, as well as in making The NGA Show the most important gathering for independent grocers,” said Greg Ferrara, president and CEO of the National Grocers Association. “As such, after many conversations and meetings with the Show Planning Committee, based on their resounding feedback, we agree that it is in the best interest of all of our members to postpone the NGA Show to May.”
“The NGA Show consistently brings the independent grocers together to learn, share innovation, and conduct business that will chart the future of independent food retail,” added Courtney Muller, chief corporate development and strategy officer for Clarion Events. “We look forward to gathering in person and celebrating the supermarket heroes, and are excited to bring new experiences, education, and innovation to attendees and exhibitors from across the country in an exciting new venue at Caesars Forum.”
Industry leaders from across the U.S. are supporting the new dates in 2021, the NGA said in the statement.
“Postponing the show until May allows extra time to ensure we pull out all the stops in creating an event at which attendees can feel safe and secure,” said Wade Payne, director of retail operations for Alabama-based retailer Food Giant and Foodland. “Our front-line associates have been working hard for months to provide consumers with essential needs and continue to lead by example. I look forward to joining my colleagues to plan new ways to move our industry forward.”
Ray Sprinkle, president and CEO of Spokane, Wash.-based food distributor URM Stores, echoed those sentiments, adding, “Building and nourishing relationships is one of the greatest strengthens of the independent grocery industry. The combination of live and virtual events will meet the enrichment needs of all levels of management for independent grocery operators.”
Clarion Events and the National Grocers Association continue to work on new concepts to support the industry, both through original, world-class education that is practical and relevant for today’s food retailers and by bringing vendors together with retailers and wholesalers, said the organization.
That desire, and close contact with customers to uncover their needs, prompted the addition of two new concepts to support the industry: NGA Show Extension: Virtual Edition and The NGA Show Summit.
The new NGA Show Extension: Virtual Edition has been added to the event lineup to provide retailers and wholesalers with access to new and timely educational content, coupled with an online platform for attendees and exhibitors to continue their show floor conversations, and invite additional team members to be part of the product discovery journey.
And The NGA Show Summit will follow on December 1-3, 2021, in Orlando, Fla., as an invitation-only, hosted buyer event providing the opportunity to discover customer trends and connect with new vendors in a small group setting.