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5 Ways to Network at the National Hardware Show®

The National Hardware Show® is quickly approaching and thousands of independent retailers will be flocking to Las Vegas to attend the annual event. While most attendees will be on the hunt for the latest products to add to their inventory, another great advantage of attending the show is the opportunity to connect with retailers from around the world.

The show takes place May 7-9 in conjunction with the North American Retail Hardware Association’s (NRHA) All-Industry Conference. Read this article to discover five ways you can network with industry leaders this year at the show. And if you won’t be in attendance this year, you can still network and feel like a part of the show from home by following along on social media!

Explore the featured areas.

One of the easiest ways to meet retailers at the National Hardware Show is to visit the featured areas, where you’re likely to start a conversation as you browse. Some of the most popular featured areas include New Product World, New Product Launch, the NHS Awards area, Made in USA, Emergency Preparedness & Disaster Recovery and Inventors Spotlight.

The Backyard Marketplace, which is located in Tailgate, Backyard & BBQ, is a new featured area all retailers will want to explore. You can find shade, drinks, a hydration station, food, music and entertainment. Or join your fellow retailers in the Interactive Smart Home, another new featured area that will highlight the developing trends in smart home technology.

Find your home away from home.

Attending an event like the National Hardware Show can be exhausting if you don’t plan for breaks during the day. So what is the best way to recharge your battery and still learn valuable information? Head to the NRHA Village, which is the hub for all independent retailers during the show and the area where all of the NRHA All-Industry Conference presentations will take place.

While there, you can listen to speakers and retail panelists on the NRHA Village Stage. If someone inspires you, introduce yourself to speakers after their presentation.

In the NRHA Village, you can also meet NRHA staffers to learn more about your association or be introduced to other independent retailers at the show.

Attend and network at retailer-exclusive events.

As an independent retailer, you have many opportunities to meet your peers at the National Hardware Show.

If you wrap up your show floor exploring early on Tuesday, May 7, make your way to Tailgate Backyard & BBQ in the silver lot to attend the Retailer Happy Hour. This event will take place from 3-5 p.m. and complimentary refreshments will be given to all attendees with retailer badges.

Then, make your way back inside to attend the NRHA Independent Retailer Reception, which will be held in the NRHA Village upon close of the show floor from 5-6:30 p.m. While at the reception, you’ll have the chance to mix and mingle with your industry peers and NRHA staff in a casual and welcoming setting. To RSVP for the event, email Katie McHone-Jones at kmchone-jones@nrha.org.

Hit the ground running.

Do you enjoy friendly competition? Are you looking to stay active while you’re away from home? Then lace up your running shoes and head out for the Raise the Roof Run, a 5K run or 1-mile walk, at Sunset Park in Las Vegas on Wednesday, May 8 from 7-9 a.m.

Proceeds from the run benefit The Fuller Center for Housing, a nonprofit group that provides housing for families around the world. To register or donate, visit the event website.

Flex your social media muscle.

Make sure to keep your employees and community looped in with everything you’re up to at the show so they can see what’s going on at the show. Snap photos and quick videos and share them to your Instagram or Facebook page to help your friends and family back home feel like a part of the event with you. To potentially connect you to others at the show, make sure to use the hashtags #NHShow and #NRHAconference on all of your social media posts.

To stay in the loop about what’s going on at the show and to discover areas you’ll have to check out, follow along with NRHA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

NRHA — @nrha_official
National Hardware Show —@nationalhardwareshow

NRHA — @NorthAmericanRetailHardwareAssociation
National Hardware Show — @nationalhardwareshow

NRHA — @NRHA_Official
National Hardware Show — @NHS_Show

About Renee Changnon

Renee Changnon is the retail outreach coordinator for NRHA. She meets with retailers in their stores and at industry events and introduces them to the services NRHA provides. Renee previously worked as a member of the NRHA communications team. She earned a degree in visual journalism from Illinois State University, where she served as the features editor for the school newspaper. After college, she implemented marketing and promotions initiatives at Jimmy John’s franchise locations across the country. She enjoys exploring books with her book club, Netflix marathons and hosting goat yoga at her apartment complex. Renee Changnon 317-275-9442 rchangnon@nrha.org

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