Strategic Exchange

Connect with your trading partners to further your collaboration and grow your business.

Strategic Exchange Appointments

The NACDS Board of Directors has affirmed that Strategic Exchange Appointments will be a fundamental focus of this year’s virtual Annual Meeting.  NACDS encourages companies wishing to meet with their trading partners to contact those companies/individuals that they would like to meet with during the Annual Meeting and schedule an appointment.

Once an individual, whose company has paid their 2021 NACDS Membership Dues, registers for the Annual Meeting, they will receive an active password allowing them access to the password-protected Participants page to obtain contact information for the companies/individuals that they would like to meet.

As with past Annual Meetings, the scheduling of appointments is traditionally made well in advance of the meeting dates and allows for agendas to be agreed upon prior to the meeting and supporting materials prepared. This advance preparation, sets the stage for profitable business initiatives developed and progress measured at future meetings such as at the NACDS Total Store Expo.

This year, NACDS asks that all companies that participate in the virtual Annual Meeting designate an individual appointment contact. This will be the person that trading partners initially contact expressing interest in meeting during the Strategic Exchange Appointments. Traditional methods of establishing meetings through email and phone calls is still the recommended approach. By request, NACDS will provide Appointment Contacts with an appointment scheduling application called Calendly, which may streamline your appointment planning.  To get the Calendly application, please complete this Request Form.

Watch Calendly Video

New this year, participating companies may provide NACDS with a Company Video to be featured on your Annual Meeting profile page.  To add a video link to your company listing, please complete this Request Form.

Please contact Andrew Klapmust, Director, Membership Services at if you have any questions.

Elements of a High-Quality Virtual Top-to-Top Meeting

Pre-Event Top-to-Top Meeting Preparation
  • Develop a collaborative agenda – topics should encourage a two-way dialogue.
  • Agenda should be strategically focused.
  • Invite the right executives from both sides to participate.
  • Alignment on key objectives is essential going into the meeting.
  • Execute Pre-reads if applicable.
  • Identify and focus on the one or two big issues that have the most mutual benefit and limit other topics.
  • Obtain bios of new leaders and share internally. Be prepared to provide bios of your executives. There are a lot of new people in leadership positions.
  • Confirm the meeting time and who will be participating. Remember, all participants may not be in the same time zone.


Event Execution Preparation
  • Familiarize everyone involved from your team with the various virtual platform(s) that will be used.
  • Designate a presentation “driver” who can run all the digital media that will be used during meetings.
  • Make sure everyone has a good camera, proper lighting, and clear audio.
  • If remote, have redundant internet connectivity.
  • Provide your team with a background banner that represents your company/brands.


During the Meeting
  • Limit visuals – note size of screens. Use visual stimuli – not detail. Aim to see each other’s faces, not just PowerPoint, for better engagement.
  • Designate a Timekeeper to keep meeting on time.
  • Keep all cell phones on silent and out of sight during meeting.


Post Meeting
  • Provide follow-up notes with assignments, time frames, and measures.