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Are you ready for The Convenience U CARWACS Show?

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0323_Gray_CNUE 2014_Sessions The 12th annual Convenience U CARWACS Show is coming up March 10 and 11 in Toronto, which means if you haven’t already registered, you’ve only got a couple months to get on it.

Here are 5 reasons why you should rearrange your busy schedule and make sure you’re at the International Centre with the rest of the convenience industry:

1. You can learn new tips and strategies, and refresh what you already know.

Education is a top priority at The Convenience U CARWACS Show, with more than 10 sessions intended to help give your business a boost. Whether you want to learn more about digital marketing, upselling, or how to meet customer needs, this year’s curriculum has you covered.

Stephen Gower, retail coordinator for Edward Fuels Limited in Goderich, ON, says he’s attended the show every single year, because it never fails to create ideas he can take back to his seven retail sites.

“Very often, I’ll attend security seminars. I’ve been able to take the robbery prevention program back to my stores and implement it. We’ve also taken the seminars on tobacco and tobacco training, particularly through the Ontario Convenience Stores Association, and we’ve implemented that, too,” says Gower.

2. You get to spend time with other operators.

You’re a busy operator, which means any time you don’t spend in store, you’re likely sharing with your family and community. Interacting with other industry members may not be a priority 363 days of the year, but during this two-day show, you can learn as much as you can about what’s working for others who are facing the exact same challenges.

Mike Luciani, manager of Palm Springs Car Wash in Bradford, ON, says even in the more traditionally competitive car wash industry, collaboration is key.

“You get different ideas, and you get other people’s opinions,” explains Luciani. “You can say, ‘I spoke to you last time’ and build a friendship. You can start asking questions about suppliers and products, and then you can get into questions about how business is going, whether the winter was good, and that kind of stuff.”

3. You can see all the latest products and equipment on the trade show floor.

Hundreds of leading suppliers will be exhibiting their latest wares on the trade show floor, which means you can be among the first to know about the newest innovation in the channel.

“My site managers usually join me on the second day for the trade show, because I think it’s very important they get a first-hand look at what product is here and what product is coming, and for them to have ideas for what they would like to carry in their stores,” says Gower.

4. You can ask your suppliers those important questions.

With more ways to communicate than time to actually put them to use, face-to-face interactions with suppliers are worth their weight in gold. Your suppliers will be manning the booths on the trade show floor, so pay them a visit and ask them those questions you’ve been storing away.

Simply engaging in conversation and asking for more general advice is okay, too – you never know what will spark that next great idea.

5. You’ll get inspired!

If educational sessions, other operators, new products, and discussion with suppliers can’t get you pumped about what’s happening in the convenience, gas and wash industry, the opening session should have you rushing back to your site to communicate with your employees.

Hani Kafoury, an experienced speaker with Tranzition Consulting Services, will present his “Fire up your staff, and your bottom line!” session bright and early on March 10, to kickstart the festivities and your desire to improve your retailing experience.