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LAS VEGAS -- The 2009 NACS Show, being held here from Oct. 20-23, is turning out to be the place to be to see high-profile stars both in the convenience industry and outside it.
For example, many show attendees turned out for the "A Tale of Two Retailers" general session held yesterday, where two "stars" of the convenience store industry -- Tulsa, Okla.-based QuikTrip and Whitehouse Station, N.J.-based Quick Chek -- gave behind-the-scenes looks inside their operations.
And earlier this week at the show's Welcome Reception, more leading retailers came together to network and mingle in the XS nightclub in the Wynn hotel. Convenience Store News captured some of the stars at this event, whose pictures are featured on the home page of CSNewsattheShow.com, a microsite covering the 2009 NACS Show.
Also earlier this week, the NACS 500, an event held at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway and sponsored by Mars Snackfood US and Dr Pepper Snapple, featured IndyCar drivers Marco Andretti and Davey Hamilton. View images from this event at CSNewsattheShow.com.
Meanwhile, the expo show floor was the place to be for celebrity spotting. Former professional boxer Mike Tyson was seen promoting the energy microshot DynaPep, while actor Stephen Baldwin was spotted promoting his poker-themed energy shot, Hit Me. (See a photo of Baldwin and CSNews editor Mehgan Belanger taken at the Drank relaxation beverage booth No. 136, on CSNews Online's Twitter profile.)
Other big names on the show floor include former NASCAR driver Richard Petty, who appeared at the Hunt Brothers Pizza booth, and UFC fighters and spokespeople Wanderlei "The Axe Murderer" Silva, Matt "The Terror" Serra, Jacob "Stitch" Duran and Amber Nichole.
And the NACS Show was also home to a few popular personas including Elvis and Marylin Monroe, who were seen walking the halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center and the show floor. Also see a picture of Elvis at the show on Twitter.
But the 2009 NACS Show was about more than just high-profile names. Educational sessions centered on a variety of topics, including online marketing and price optimization.
During the session "Weaving the Web: Using Electronic Media to Connect With Your Customers," Christianna Frizzell, head of customer relationships for Speedway SuperAmerica (SSA), explained how the Enon, Ohio-based retailer is exploring the use of social networking and online campaigns to enhance the customer experience.
In the session entitled "Price Check: How Can You Deliver More Consumer Value During Tough Times," on Thursday morning, moderator Bonnie Riggs, restaurant industry analyst for The NPD Group, pointed out how the shaken U.S. economy resulted in significant declines in consumer spending across all retail channels, yet retailers sending value messages to consumers encourages spending.