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Top Reasons The NATSO Show is a Great Idea for Independent Operators

Posted in: Great Ideas, Truckstop Business, Darren's Great Ideas for Independent Operators, The NATSO Show, Leadership & Strategy


Welcome to the newest post in our blog series, Darren’s Great Ideas! for Independent Operators

Top Reasons The NATSO Show is a Great Idea for Independent Operators

When you attend The NATSO Show, engage and take back and implement at least one idea, product or service back, the investment you made in travel, time and dollars, is returned in spades. That is true for any trade show, not just NATSO’s. Using what you’ve learned and implementing and executing it 100 percent properly will bring a long-lasting return on your initial investment.

Winston Churchill said, “Continuous effort, not strength or intelligence, is the key to unlocking our potential.” I agree, and as an operator within our industry, you need to attend The NATSO Show. When you attend you need to try, and when you try, you will unlock your potential.

Here are the top reasons why The NATSO Show is a great idea for independent operators:

  1. This year’s event, more than ever before, was created with ideas and feedback from the greatest cross section of members, non members, engaged and non-engaged members we have ever used. This is your show!

  2. Feedback from the surveys, e-mails, calls, and in-person meetings made it clear solutions that improve revenue, reduce cost and improve profitability was critical in developing the sessions all falling under five major tracks--food service, operations, shop, trends and leadership.

  3. We’ve created sessions that will help your managers become better overall operators, more effective managers and wiser leaders. Sessions that help you share and teach the role of the operator.

  4. Peer-to-peer learning is always ranked as one, of if not the top reason, members attend. The industry continues to change. Over-the-road drivers as well as traditional four-wheel customers shop and buy differently than they did just a short while ago. It is critical to listen, share and learn from others how they are coping with these ever-faster changes. The mottos “innovate or die” and “I do not know what I do not know” apply to everyone.

  5. Additionally, personal networking allows you to have conversations with your fellow industry attendees that have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars by executing and implementing their new ideas. Whether it is a face-to-face conversation with an operator who just reduced his monthly utility cost by $20,000, a new cost-saving measure or a shrink and fraud prevention measure, there is value in being at the show. Those in-person meetings present lessons that are difficult to learn sitting in your office.

  6. This year we’re offering snap learning events with vendors that allow you to quickly know what innovations, changes to regulations, trends are taking place currently and in the near future.

  7. NATSO’s Human Library events allow you to have personal one-on-one meetings with experts within fields that impact the profitability of your operation and your livelihood.

  8. Come and spend some time getting to know your government affairs team, learn what issues they work on for you, share what issues are important to you, learn why the PAC is important, and learn how to engage on a federal and state level.

  9. Vendors who are looking to do more than just sell you product IF you engage them. Vendors who want to educate and provide solutions to your specific challenges and needs; vendors who want to help you differentiate your product offerings, selections, services, vendors who want to pass on knowledge about global, national, regional and local trends impacting your operation’s profitability.  

Register for The NATSO Show today!

/// Read more Darren's Great Ideas for Independent Operators posts here.  



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About the Author

Darren Schulte

Darren Schulte

Darren Schulte serves as Vice President of Membership at NATSO. In this role, he directs recruitment, retention and customer service for truckstop and travel plaza members. He is also responsible for developing NATSO products and programs, particularly those relating to education, research and training for truckstop and travel plaza operators.

Schulte also leads NATSO's Profitable Retail Review program. A Profitable Retail Review is a custom assessment of your truckstop, including recommendations for every aspect of your facility, from actionable ideas to improve revenue to tactical ways to improve your net operating costs. Learn about NATSO's Profitable Retail Review program here.

Schulte joined NATSO with nearly three decades of experience in truckstop and travel plaza operations and merchandising. Schulte has worked for: 

  • Love's Travel Stops and Country Stores,
  • HESS Corporation, 
  • Petro Stopping Centers, and
  • TSC Global/Barjan LLC.