Strategic Exchange

The Annual Meeting provides numerous opportunities to meet and discuss strategic issues with key trading partners.

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. NACDS will provide Appointment Contacts with a scheduling tool to make managing the scheduling process easier and more organized.

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

Advance Tips

  • Start your planning early – now! Become familiar with the Schedule and start setting your appointments.
  • When you reach out to the Appointment Contact, be specific about who you want to meet, what the business opportunity is for the meeting, appropriate functions to be included i.e., top management, merchandising, supply chain, digital capability, marketing, operations, advertising and what a potential agenda would look like. Time is limited and companies want to maximize their business opportunities.
  • Familiarize yourself with the attendee and their company and make sure you are meeting with the right person.
  • When you invite someone to meet with you, have a concise proposition and tell them up front what the potential opportunity could mean to their business.
  • If you are unknown to the attendee, call for the appointment yourself; it’s much more productive than having an assistant do it. Be prepared to answer the hard question, “How will we benefit from meeting with you?”
  • If you have a broker, or an independent sales and marketing firm relationship, ask them to help you set appointments.
  • If you are a smaller, less well-established company and don’t know the company, consider engaging with a broker. We can assist you with a list of current Sales & Marketing Companies and Manufacturer Representatives.

Attend Annual Meeting

It is the opportunities. It is the results. It is the relationships. It is the member service. All Chain and Associate Members in good standing with NACDS are invited to register and attend the Annual Meeting.