Las Vegas — Pre-show registration for the Nationwide Marketing Group’s summer PrimeTime! convention, to be held here Aug. 19-22 at the Venetian Hotel, is up 19 percent over last year’s confab and 42 percent over the 2005 event.
Ed Kelly, president of the $11 billion buying and marketing group for independent appliance, electronics and furniture dealers, said that 3,500 attendees are anticipated, including some 2,400 members and guests and more than 1,100 conventioneers from the vendor community representing 180 companies. Exhibitors include major manufacturers and service providers within the major appliance, consumer electronics and furniture industries.
This year’s record turnout compelled Nationwide to expand the vendor show floor 20,000 square feet beyond the group’s previous record for exhibition space. The show is also breaking previous Nationwide freight records, with more than 1 million pounds expected to be delivered to the Venetian. “Our vendor partners are bringing more products and more people, so they need more space,” Kelly said. “Our PrimeTime! convention is truly becoming a can’t-miss event.”
The show, held twice each year, draws thousands of independent dealers, major manufacturers and service providers. Members can attend educational seminars, hear nationally known keynote speakers, receive exclusive savings, and review the newest product introductions with manufacturers.
This year’s keynote is author and media personality John Kasich, a managing director of Lehman Brothers and former nine-term Congressman from Ohio, who is scheduled to kick off the convention on Aug. 19.
Final registration for PrimeTime! is currently underway for members and exhibitors. For more information, or to register for the show, visit www.nationwideprimetime.com or call Nationwide at (336) 722-4681.
The group, headquartered here, has approximately 2,800 member dealers throughout the United States, representing more than 7,500 storefronts, and operates such specialty divisions as RentDirect-Nationwide and Specialty Electronics-Nationwide, serving the rent-to-own and specialty A/V retail channels.
In other Nationwide news, LG Electronics, OmniMount, and TechCraft became the latest vendors to join the group’s Warehouse Direct program. The fulfillment and distribution program, comprised of 40 warehouses with inventory from over 40 manufacturers, allows member dealers to select and order product to ship as a single purchase order in 48 hours or less.
“The way our industry views distributors and buying groups has dramatically changed over the years,” said Robert Weisner, merchandising and member services executive VP. “We’re now all partners in the sourcing process. Our Warehouse Direct program gives manufacturers an easy, streamlined way to sell and deliver their products to the independent retail channel. The program also keeps today’s top brands accessible to independent retailers of all sizes.”
He added, “The industry now understands this relationship and is embracing it. This is evident with the addition of LG Electronics, TechCraft and OmniMount to our fulfillment program. We’re pleased to make these well-know names available to all our members.”
Nationwide plans to announce additional Warehouse Direct vendor partners at PrimeTime!