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Nationwide ‘PrimeTime!’ In Orlando Next Week

2/08/2007 11:07:00 AM Eastern

Orlando, Fla.  — Nationwide Marketing Group will kick off the industry’s series of buying group meetings next week drawing more than 3,000 independent dealers and vendors to its semi-annual buying convention, PrimeTime! at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel, here.

Nationwide reports a 15 percent increase in registration over their last show in Orlando, positioning this PrimeTime! to be its largest East Coast meeting to date.

PrimeTime!, which debuted in 1992 with about 600 attendees, has evolved into a four-day convention attended by thousands, overflowing with educational seminars; professional service workshops; and the latest in consumer electronic, appliance and furniture products.

The highlight of the group’s convention, the PrimeTime! vendor show, a buying event for independent major appliance, consumer electronics and furniture dealers. Approximately 180 exhibitors use 126,000 square feet of PrimeTime! show floor space, to offer dealers the opportunity to check out the latest product offerings from today’s leading manufacturers, speak one-on-one with representatives, and take advantage of exclusive specials and savings –including the group’s Cash Back Now rebate program, the group said.

This PrimeTime!, Nationwide will celebrate the strength and unity of group members with the theme “The Power of One.”

Ed Kelly, president of Nationwide Marketing Group, said in a prepared statement, “Together, we are the largest buying and marketing organization for appliances, electronics and furniture dealers in the country. We represent over 7,500 storefronts and $11 Billion in combined annual sales and together, as a group, we are ‘The Power of One.’”

Kelly added, “At Nationwide, it’s our mission to go one step further, past size and buying power, and be the ultimate resource for independent dealers. We want to be their company’s Power of One. We put all of our energy into our members’ success. We want to ensure they have everything they need to not only compete, but win, in today’s aggressive marketplace.”

Nationwide executives say that part of their members success “lies in the strength of their own brand identity.” Robert Weisner, executive VP of Nationwide Marketing Group, added, “Our members have put significant amounts of time, energy, and money into their own brand identities. Our mission is to ensure that their hard work is rewarded and their images are sufficiently supported through Nationwide’s services.”

Representatives from Nationwide’s member service teams will be on hand during PrimeTime! ready to answer questions and guide dealers through Nationwide’s unique portfolio of programs and services —including experts in hiring and background checks, floor planning, representatives from the group’s call center and retail specialists with more than 50 years of experience.

Nationwide’s financial arm, including MBA professionals, will also be available to review dealers’ business plans and offer advice on raising capital for buyouts, ESOP programs and expansions, group extended warranty plans and to help develop new opportunities to increase profitability.

The team at Nationwide’s PrimeMedia Studios has plans for several announcements at the event, “including additional offerings and the expansion of the production facility itself,” said Steve Bryant, executive director of Nationwide’s PrimeMedia Studios. Les Kirk, executive VP of Nationwide Marketing Group, said, “We continue to increase our investment in Nationwide’s PrimeMedia initiative.”

Additionally, Nationwide members attending PrimeTime! will have the opportunity to see eleven new HD television commercials produced specifically for them, as well as new tabloid, direct-mail and point-of-sale advertising materials.

Nationwide’s PrimeTime! University, a series of business seminars and strategy sessions, will feature some of the nation’s top authorities on sales and marketing, the group said. They will offer insight and education targeted towards the needs of today’s independent dealers.

Keynoting the convention will be Vince Papale, the inspiration behind the movie “Invincible.” Papale plans to share his inspirational journey from humble working-class beginnings to professional athlete and successful businessman with thousands expected to attend.

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