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The NRHA All-Industry Conference Brings the Industry Together

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By Melanie Moul, mmoul@nrha.org

Discover, Connect, Thrive

Every program and event the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) develops is specifically for independent retailers. The association is committed to providing tools and resources to help business owners grow their operations and adapt to a changing marketplace, regardless of wholesale affiliation.

The NRHA All-Industry Conference displays this mission on a large scale. NRHA is hosting its annual conference in conjunction with the National Hardware Show® in Las Vegas, May 8-10. The lineup of speakers, panelists and presentations at the free event are all focused on giving retailers information that they can apply to their businesses as soon as they return home.

Along with valuable presentations, the conference takes place in conjunction with one of the home improvement industry’s largest product showcases. The National Hardware Show features thousands of industry vendors that are all ready to introduce the latest products to boost your bottom line and increase your foot traffic.

The following guide to the NRHA All-Industry Conference is a preview of what you can expect to see in the NRHA Village, where the conference happens, right outside the show floor in the Main Hall. Plan to attend the three keynote sessions this year and hear from other valuable speakers and retailer panels in between.

For those who aren’t able to attend this year’s event, you can follow all the excitement on social media. Check out the social media guide and get ready to like, comment and share.

Find even more information about the conference, the speakers and how to attend (it’s not too late, and retailers attend for free!) at nrhaconference.com.

What’s the Benefit of Attending?

  • Ideas and Inspiration
    The diverse group of presenters at this year’s conference will provide key insights and actionable takeaways suitable for all retailers. Grab a front-row seat to learn something new from industry experts and retailer panelists. Be sure to be in the NRHA Village to celebrate this year’s all-female Top Gun honorees and attend their panel discussion.
  • Networking
    The association strives to create opportunities for retailers to make meaningful connections with each other. Retailers should plan to attend the Independent Retailer Reception for free on Tuesday, May 8 to meet other retailers in a casual environment. The event is exclusively for independent retailers. RSVP here.
  • Products
    In between retailer panels and expert speakers, take time to walk the floor of the National Hardware Show® to explore products, talk to vendors and discover something new for your operation.
    There are thousands of opportunities right on the other side of the convention center doors to find your business’ next top seller or innovative niche.

What’s New?

This year’s conference features three new components to feed your need for insightful content, actionable industry-specific research and a way to unite with retailers across wholesale affiliations.

  • Three keynote speakers. That’s right, this year we have three impactful keynote presentations on the NRHA Village stage. Karen E Laine and Mina Starsiak Hawk, stars of HGTV’s “Good Bones;” Jason Ballard, CEO of TreeHouse; and Jules Pieri, CEO of The Grommet will all tell their stories of entrepreneurship.
  • The latest data. Home Sweet Home: Amazon Edition focuses on the benefit to communities when consumers choose to shop online with independent retail outlets instead of on Amazon.
  • Social media. Ensure you don’t miss a beat, no matter where you are. Check out the details of where to follow us and how we’re highlighting the event of the year below.
  • Snap, share, see. New in the NRHA Village is SharingBox, a collaborative connected photo booth. Grab a friend or make a new one in front of the camera that has a digital frame designed to look like the cover of Hardware Retailing. You’ll get the photos in an email and can share them to social media with just one click. Strike a pose for a chance to be in a future issue of the magazine!

Speakers in the Spotlight

NRHA finds speakers who will deliver compelling insights and actionable feedback that you can take home to your business. The conference features three keynote speakers this year, bolstered by several other expert presenters. Check the conference schedule here so you’re on time for each speaker’s presentation and the retailer panels.


Stay in the Know

This year at the NRHA All-Industry Conference and the National Hardware Show®, NRHA is making it so nothing goes unshared. Whether you’re in the seat next to us or enjoying the excitement from your store, be sure you’re following along on social media to get the scoop in the moment.

NRHA and Hardware Retailing will keep you in the loop on all the action at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. From behind-the-scenes sneak peeks to front-row seats to the event’s biggest moments, we’ve got you covered.

Tune in for opportunities to win NRHA swag!

  • Ideas and Inspiration
    We have a solid lineup this year of expert speakers and retailer panelists who are eager to share their perspectives on the industry to help you better your operation. We’ll capture the highlights, but check the schedule on Page 90 to make sure you don’t miss a moment.

  • Networking
    The NRHA Village is where you are sure to find a retailer peer to swap stories and best practices. Stay tuned to NRHA’s Instagram Stories to see inside the Village, including highlights from the Independent Retailer Reception on Tuesday, May 8 at 5 p.m.

    • Social Cue When you’re in the NRHA Village, grab a friend and check out the SharingBox photo booth. Your selfie could end up in a future issue of Hardware Retailing!
  • Products
    We are always on the lookout for the latest items to hit the market that could help your business. Our social media team will be making its way around the National Hardware Show floor to check out the activity and see what’s new, what’s cool and what’s about to break through.

    • Social Cue Tune in daily for our coverage of the coolest products we find on the show floor. Use and follow #productpicks to share what you find and see what retailers on the floor love.

Follow Us
Follow us now so you can count down to the main event!

Be sure to follow #NRHAConference and #NHShow to see all the highlights.

The Show Is On

With a new logo and new tagline—the tool that powers your business—the National Hardware Show® is bringing a variety of updates this year. We’ve compiled a preview here of the new elements that you can’t miss. Check out #EvolvingNHS or visit nationalhardwareshow.com for more information.

Exciting Experiences
The National Hardware Show knows the trends that are impacting your business, and this year, you will find new ways to explore everything your customers are asking for.

  • Get smart. Featured Areas of the show floor are always at the top of the list for attendees. This year, the Smart Home Virtual Reality Experience will show users how smart home products integrate throughout a home in each different room.
  • Go outside. After you’ve experienced a virtual home, it’s probably time for some sunshine. The new Ultimate Backyard, sponsored by Adams USA, shows attendees what a real backyard can look like with the ultimate setup.
  • Think tiny. Operation Tiny Home is hosting a daylong workshop on Tuesday, May 8 at the National Hardware Show. The workshop will end with a complete tiny home on-site. You must register to participate. Military veterans can participate for free.
  • Dream big. Prior to the show floor opening, on Monday, May 7, the Home Shopping Network is hosting the American Dreams Academy for people who are looking for ways to grow their businesses. The free event features one-hour sessions throughout the day on lessons such as licensing requirements, marketing and quality assurance. You must preregister for each session you wish to attend.

Reimagine Retail 2.0
The Reimagine Retail program is back, with a technological twist. All entries for this year’s program were from independent home improvement retailers who would use the award toward technology improvements for their business.

“We are thrilled to once again present $100,000 to a small business owner through Reimagine Retail,” says Rich Russo, vice president of the National Hardware Show. “Our goal is to empower retailers to decide the best way forward for their business and to support them every step of the way as they make their retail vision a reality.”

Submissions could include improvements to a variety of business areas, including inventory management systems; checkout process; e-commerce platforms; training software; customer relationship management systems; marketing, advertising and public relations; or the in-store experience.

Five finalists will take the NRHA Village stage to talk about their projects on Tuesday, May 8 at 1 p.m., and the winner will be announced on Wednesday, May 9 at 2 p.m.

Last year, Robert Lau, owner of Caribou Jack’s Trading Co. in Soda Springs, Idaho, won $100,000 to invest in business improvements. Read his story here.

Stay tuned to a future issue of Hardware Retailing to find out more about this year’s award recipient and their plans.

About Melanie Moul

Melanie is the communications and content manager for the North American Hardware and Paint Association. She joined the NHPA team in 2016 as an editor for Hardware Retailing and now helps lead the communications team to deliver relevant, timely content to the industry.

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