NACS and Beyond: Your Ultimate Guide to the Top 6 Trade Shows in the Convenience Store Industry
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In an ocean of competition, professionals looking to attract customers, businesses, and consumers with valuable insights, supplier expertise, the latest products and innovative technology is both art and science. As an exhibit company with decades of experience navigating the bustling aisles of trade show events with industry experts, we’ve crafted a guide with actionable strategies infused with insights to help you not only participate but truly shine at these convenience store industry gatherings. Trade shows like the NACS Show offer a unique opportunity to make a lasting impression — let’s explore how you can harness this potential with a targeted list of the top 6 trade shows in the convenience store industry.

1. NACS Show (National Association of Convenience Stores)

Historical Context:

Established in 1961, the NACS Show has evolved into the premier arena for innovation and networking in the convenience and fuel retailing industry. It annually attracts over 23,000 industry professionals and 1,200 exhibitors.

Target Audience:

This event is a gathering ground for industry leaders ranging from startups introducing disruptive technologies to established companies setting market trends.

Strategic Advice:

Leverage this platform by deploying a booth that not only showcases your products but also demonstrates their impact through interactive experiences and live demonstrations. Given that 70% of attendees have purchasing authority, your focus should be on creating engaging, memorable interactions that translate into business opportunities.

Crafting Your Space:

The NACS Show is a coliseum of innovation and opportunity. To stand out, your booth design must be more than functional—it must tell a story. Think interactive displays that invite participation, or thematic elements that resonate with your brand’s narrative. Use bold visuals and clear messaging to draw attendees into your story.

Engagement is Key:

Beyond aesthetics, engagement is crucial. Incorporate live demos or interactive technology to capture attention. Remember, every passerby is a potential connection. Train your team to engage in meaningful conversations, not just sales pitches.

2. PEI Convention at the NACS Show

Focus on Specialization:

Since 1951, the PEI Convention has offered a concentrated look at petroleum equipment and services, providing a niche venue for technical innovations and industry advancements.

Exhibitor Insights:

The event attracts specialists in petroleum equipment, from manufacturers to service providers, offering a unique opportunity to engage with a technical audience.

Effective Engagement:

Consider hosting educational sessions or tech talks at your booth to highlight the efficacy and technological edge of your offerings. This approach not only draws a technically inclined audience but also positions your brand as a thought leader in the sector.

Focus on Technology:

As this convention zeroes in on petroleum equipment, your display should highlight your tech advancements. Use augmented reality to showcase how your equipment works in real-world scenarios without needing physical models.

Build Credibility:

Host mini-seminars or Q&A sessions within your booth space to address common industry challenges. Position your brand as a thought leader, ready to solve problems and innovate solutions.

3. SIGMA Annual Conference

Conference Overview:

Founded in 1958, SIGMA serves as an intellectual hub for senior-level discussions on fuel marketing and retail strategies, attracting industry leaders and policymakers.

Key Participants:

This conference is essential for connecting with executives who are shaping the future of fuel marketing. It’s a potent mix of strategy formulation and partnership building.

Consultative Tip - Network Intelligently:

In between sessions, maximize your participation by facilitating roundtable discussions or panels that address current industry challenges showcasing your industry knowledge. Offering solutions or insights can set you apart as a proactive leader in the industry. At SIGMA, where leaders converge, tailor your approach to facilitate high-level discussions starting at the show with the opportunity to connect off the show floor or back at your home office. Create private meeting areas within your booth where serious business discussions can occur away from the busy show floor.

Leverage Data:

Showcase data-driven results and case studies that highlight how your solutions have transformed other businesses. Visuals like infographics and interactive screens can make complex data accessible and engaging.

4. The Convenience U CARWACS Show

Canadian Market Focus:

This trade show is pivotal for anyone involved in the convenience, gas, and car wash sectors in Canada, emphasizing country-specific trends and regulatory issues.

Audience Engagement:

The show is well-attended by a mix of local business owners and international corporations looking to expand their footprint in Canada.

Strategic Positioning:

Adapt your exhibit to highlight products and solutions that meet the specific needs of the Canadian market. Customizing your approach to address local challenges will resonate more with attendees and can increase engagement and lead generation.

Interactive Experiences:

For a show covering convenience store, gas, and car wash sectors, offer an immersive experience with a new product focus. For example, a virtual reality setup that lets visitors experience the effectiveness or sustainability of your car wash equipment from a customer’s perspective.

Custom Solutions:

Demonstrate your ability to customize solutions specifically for the Canadian market, addressing unique regional needs and compliance issues.

5. Tobacco Plus Expo (TPE)

Innovative Environment:

Since its inception in 1999, TPE has been a hotspot for the latest in tobacco, vape, and alternative products, set against the vibrant backdrop of Las Vegas.

Who You’ll Meet:

The expo attracts a dynamic blend of traditional tobacco interests and new-age innovators, providing a unique platform for product launches and brand positioning.

Engagement Strategy:

Create a sensory-rich exhibit where products can be experienced firsthand. Utilize the allure of new product trials and interactive displays to draw attendees in and keep them engaged.


This expo is all about trends in tobacco and vape products. Use your exhibit to discuss trends, displaying new and upcoming products. Host talks on how these trends can be capitalized on in convenience stores.

Interactive Tasting Booths:

If applicable, set up a controlled tasting area where legally permissible. This not only draws attendees but also gives them a direct taste of your product offerings, creating a memorable sensory experience.

6. Western Petroleum Marketers Association National Convention & Convenience Store Expo

Regional Relevance:

The WPMA Expo, established in 1953, has become an indispensable resource for understanding the petroleum market in the Western United States. The region presents unique challenges and opportunities, from evolving environmental regulations to diverse market dynamics influenced by both urban and rural demands. The expo provides a deep dive into these regional specifics, offering attendees tailored insights that go beyond general industry knowledge.

Key Issues and Opportunities:

The Western U.S. is characterized by stringent environmental policies that impact how petroleum products are marketed and sold. This includes state-specific regulations that can affect everything from fuel formulations to the operation of service stations. Understanding these regulations is crucial for any company operating in or entering this market. Furthermore, the expo highlights opportunities in emerging technologies and renewable energy integrations that are particularly pertinent to this environmentally conscious region.

Strategic Advice:

Tailor your presentation to emphasize solutions that cater to regional needs, such as environmental compliance and logistical innovations. Demonstrating an understanding of local issues can significantly enhance your brand’s credibility and appeal.

Full-Service Solutions:

Highlight how your offerings integrate seamlessly into existing setups. Use models or digital displays to show the integration process and the before-and-after effects on efficiency and sales. To enhance engagement, your booth can offer interactive experiences that allow attendees to see firsthand how your solutions work within the regulatory confines of their specific states. 

For example, simulations or interactive maps that showcase the logistical benefits of your services across vast and varied terrains can be particularly compelling. Also, providing actionable insights through thought leadership presentations or panel discussions can position your brand as a knowledgeable and reliable partner attuned to the needs of the Western market.

Educational Contributions:

To make the most of WPMA, it is advisable for exhibitors to come prepared with strategies that are adaptable to the unique aspects of the Western market. This includes showcasing products or services that align with the regional focus on sustainability and efficiency. Demonstrating a clear understanding of local regulatory frameworks and presenting case studies or data that reflect success in similar markets can also be highly effective. Additionally, consider hosting workshops or roundtable discussions that address specific regional issues, such as water conservation in fuel production or innovations in logistic efficiencies suited for the expansive geographic areas typical of the Western U.S.


To truly excel at trade shows within the dynamic and competitive landscape of the convenience and gas station industry, it’s essential to master a delicate balance between showmanship and substantive value. Think of your booth as more than just a physical space—it is the embodiment of your brand’s narrative and a pivotal touchpoint for potential business relationships. A well-designed booth attracts attention, but what retains that attention is the depth of knowledge and the suite of solutions you present.

Crafting an engaging and informative booth experience is not just about visual appeal; it involves understanding the needs and challenges of your audience and presenting your offerings as the optimal solution. Your exhibit should serve as a compelling, interactive platform where demonstrations aren’t just demonstrations, but eye-opening revelations that highlight the unique advantages of your products or services.

As you prepare for these trade shows, remember that your goal is to make your presence not just seen but felt. This requires a strategic blend of marketing acumen and technical insight. Equip your team with the facts, figures, and success stories that resonate with your booth visitors. Training your staff to engage in meaningful conversations about industry trends, technological advancements, and customer success stories can transform casual interactions into promising business opportunities.

In this competitive arena, the boldest and the most informed do not merely participate—they set the pace. They are the trendsetters and conversation starters, the brands that leave a lasting impression long after the trade show curtains close. To stand out, be prepared to educate, inspire, and solve problems. Show that you’re not only part of the industry but that you’re driving it forward.

Leverage every trade show as an opportunity to showcase your expertise and assert your thought leadership. Invite engagement by posing challenges and providing thought-provoking insights that spark discussions. Offer interactive sessions that invite attendees to experience the practical application of your solutions firsthand, thereby fostering an environment of learning and discovery.

Ultimately, succeeding at trade shows demands more than just showing up; it requires a proactive approach to capturing and sustaining the interest of your audience. Design your booth to enchant and engage, fill it with knowledgeable staff and compelling content, and you will not only participate in the industry’s key events—you will dominate them. This is how leaders are made, and how lasting impressions are forged in the bustling marketplace of trade shows.

Call to Action:

Are you ready to dive into the latest industry trends, or perhaps you’re contemplating when to make your grand entrance in a 20×40 at the Las Vegas Convention Center? Maybe you’re eager to unlock the secrets that the industry leaders are already leveraging to their advantage.

At Brave Exhibits, we offer tailored exhibit solutions that do more than just attract attention—they captivate and inspire. Our team of creative and dedicated professionals is committed to designing an experience that is as bold and innovative as your brand. Don’t just show up at your next trade show—dominate it. Contact us today to start your journey toward trade show excellence.

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About the Author
Picture of Jenn Guidry

Jenn Guidry

Jenn Guidry, a transformational marketing strategist and leader, excels in digital marketing, trade shows, event marketing, SaaS, and property management. As founder of JGV Marketing and co-founder of MKTG Mates Digital, Jenn leads innovative campaigns across various industries, blending her Director-level expertise with insightful strategies. Her writings offer valuable lessons and reflect her passion for marketing. Connect with this industry influencer at
Picture of Jenn Guidry

Jenn Guidry

Jenn Guidry, a transformational marketing strategist and leader, excels in digital marketing, trade shows, event marketing, SaaS, and property management. As founder of JGV Marketing and co-founder of MKTG Mates Digital, Jenn leads innovative campaigns across various industries, blending her Director-level expertise with insightful strategies. Her writings offer valuable lessons and reflect her passion for marketing. Connect with this industry influencer at

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