To thrive as an independent business, individuals and the teams around them have to have a certain amount of grit, resiliency and hustle. Those defining characteristics have shined especially bright during 2020, which has been one of the most challenging years ever to be an independent business owner.
In that same spirit of constantly battling seemingly impossible odds, Nationwide Marketing Group opened its first-ever Virtual PrimeTime show. The industry’s largest semi-annual business and educational opportunity runs October 27-29 and is expected to draw thousands of Nationwide members, vendors, service providers and staff from all corners of the United States and Canada. In fact, a week ahead of the show officially opening, total registration for Virtual PrimeTime was already more than double the size of Nationwide’s highest-attended in-person event.
And despite the virtual format, PrimeTime will still consist of many of the same hallmarks that Nationwide’s network of independent retailers have come to expect, including countless Nationwide Learning Academy educational opportunities, tailored merchandising sessions, vendor product training, Palooza deals, the PrimeTime Expo and more.
“The last eight months have been a whirlwind of disruption,” says Tom Hickman, Nationwide’s president and chief member advocate. “COVID has changed the way we do everything — including PrimeTime. But even though we won’t be together in person for this show like we had hoped, the spirit of PrimeTime remains unaltered. The opportunities exist in this digital platform and beyond for our members and vendors to come together and make meaningful connections and continue doing business with one another.”
Virtual PrimeTime will also include the largest individual giveaway opportunity in the history of the show and possibly the largest giveaway in the history of the independent retail channel — a $100,000 store makeover. Sponsored by Nationwide Marketing Group and 12 of its largest vendor partners, the giveaway will enable one Nationwide member to completely reimagine their physical store or their digital presence, or both.
Over the course of Virtual PrimeTime, members will earn points as they attend Nationwide Learning Academy sessions, visit vendors’ booths, virtually check into networking social hours, and more. Once a member passes the designated point threshold, they’ll automatically be entered into the drawing for the $100,000 giveaway. The winner will be announced on November 5.
The giveaways don’t end there, though. Nationwide’s furniture and bedding dealers will have the chance to claim their share of $50,000 to spend of 2021 digital campaigns. Five lucky retailers will each receive $10,000 from the furniture and bedding team that can be used on digital marketing campaigns through AdRocket or Site on Time — all they have to do to qualify is visit at least 10 furniture and bedding vendor booths during Virtual PrimeTime and engage in chat with those vendors.
Further, the Appliance and Outdoor merchandising teams collaborated with a dozen vendors to secure nearly $12,000 in prizes and giveaways for members. Among the giveaways, retailers will have a chance to win an upright freezer from Beko, grills from Tytus and Louisiana Grills, lawn gear from Troy-Bilt and Senix, cash prizes from Sunheat International and more.
Nationwide will also continue its tradition of finding ways to give back during Virtual PrimeTime. The group has worked closely with No Child Hungry to develop a way for members to contribute while being socially distant. While meal packing won’t be possible during Virtual PrimeTime, members will still have an opportunity to make a contribution to the organization. Nationwide has pledged to donate one meal for every booth visit made by a member during the second day of the Expo (Thursday, Oct. 29).
Other highlights of Virtual PrimeTime include:
- Hundreds of vendors in the appliances, consumer electronics, furniture and bedding, and outdoor categories in custom-tailored, easy-to-navigate virtual booth experiences.
- Cash Back rewards and show specials on purchases made during Virtual PrimeTime.
- PrimeTime Palooza in a virtual format, with select vendors offering limited-time and limited-quantity specials right in their virtual booths.
- Live and on-demand keynotes and educational content featured on the Main Stage and delivered through the Nationwide Learning Academy.
- Member 2 Member networking and idea-sharing sessions.
- Two WIN: Women in Nationwide sessions that will focus on beating burnout and owning your voice.
- Specialized training sessions for appliance servicers that will focus on recruiting talent, servicing during COVID, field team management and more.
- Keynote presentations from Mark Kinsley and Mark Quinn of the Dos Marcos Podcast, Wells Fargo and Kris Keuster.
- Vendor-led product training sessions from key vendor partners including Whirlpool, Tempur+Sealy, Serta Simmons Bedding, GE Appliances, Corsicana, Electrolux, Malouf, Samsung, LG, SHARP, Bosch, Beko, AT&T and Traeger.
About Nationwide Marketing Group: Nationwide Marketing Group works on behalf of thousands of independent appliance, furniture, bedding, electronics, specialty electronics, custom installation and rent-to-own dealers helping them grow their businesses and thrive on their own terms. With more than 5,000 members operating some 14,000 storefronts, Nationwide Marketing Group is the largest buying, marketing and business support organization of its kind, representing billions in combined annual sales across the membership. For nearly 50 years, the organization has remained committed to the independent channel, empowering members with the scale, sophistication and efficiencies they need to compete while delivering the unmatched business intelligence, tools and resources required to win in an ever-changing business environment.