TFFA’s 2013 Southwest Fuel & Convenience Expo
TAIT enjoyed attending the second annual Southwest Fuel & Convenience Expo last week at the Fort Worth Convention Center. Representatives from Tait Environmental Services and Tait & Associates were on hand to meet with attendees and exhibitors. There were ample opportunities to network, discuss upcoming trends and catch up with both suppliers and customers on the trade show floor.
We go to different trade shows, conferences, and expos for different reasons throughout the year. TFFA’s show is great for exploring the convenience industry’s latest products, services and equipment and have one on one discussions with leading manufacturers, our clients, and potential clients like c-store chains that are expanding or have fuel system/tank needs.
Our booth was right across from TFFA so we could jointly share the project we have been working with them to develop: The Virtual C-Store! One of the major features of TFFA’s new website is a 3d rendering of a convenience store, which includes links to the many regulatory agencies TFFA members interact with. The crowd responded very enthusiastically to the demonstration viewed at the 2013 Southwest Fuel & Convenience Expo, and now the website: www.txfoodandfuel.org has been launched.
TFFA’s education sessions focused specifically on marketer and retailer needs and interests. “I enjoyed spending time with John, Carl and Andy before introducing them, and it was great to learn from these industry experts innovators.” said Melanie Nelson, who volunteered as a Wrangler, supporting TFFA’s membership.
Melanie welcomed John Eichberger, vice president of government relations for the National Association of Convenience Stores and executive director of the newly created Fuels Institute. John will direct its research projects and oversee day-to-day operations. “Eichberger gave a very informed presentation, and the crowd was very responsive. I enjoyed spending some time with him in person after emailing all this time. He was great to be around and impressive in his depth of knowledge and ability to explain at a high level that was also easy to understand,” Melanie remembered.
John noted, “The fuels and vehicles markets are changing at a much faster pace than ever, primarily due to federal policy. What is clear is that the fuels you sell tomorrow will be very different from what you sell today.” and addressed “How will government policies, market dynamics, consumer preferences and technology innovation affect the future of your fuels business?”
I also introduced the Tapping Your Company for Growth and Valuing Your Acquisition Speakers Carl Ray Polk, Jr., and Andy Weber of Corner Capital Advisors
TFFA invited members to learn about opportunities within the current lending space, while preparing for growth options in the marketplace through restructure and refinance. Gain insight and understanding of current market conditions pertaining to mergers/acquisitions, creative refinance options and new opportunities in qualified MLP platforms. Build and prepare your balance sheet for an acquisition, divestment or global refinance
Brian Liquin came from Tait & Associate’s Boise office and brought potato-looking candy with him. It was a hit at the show! Everyone wanted to know what it tasted like – and it was more like a moon-pie than a potato, only shaped like a potato. His office of architects prepared the 3D rendering displayed at the show and making it’s debut on TFFA’s new website.
Here are some great images from the show where we connected with colleagues, built new business relationships and discussed new developments, regulations and issues that impact our business. The event photographer’s photos are available for review at RC Photographic Productions’ website . Support RC Photographic Productions of Dallas and get a copy of yours, including the many personal photos taken with Inspirational Breakfast speaker, Herschel Walker. The gallery expires August 15, 2013
2013 Southwest Fuel & Convenience Expo App
- Texas is the #1 in terms of store count with nearly 15,000 stores – 10% of total number of stores in the country
- Annual industry sales in Texas are more than $50B-$15.8B in-store and $35B fuel sales
- Fuel is a traffic driver: Texas reported the most stores selling motor fuels, 12,189 stores, or 84% of all convenience stores in the state—above the national average of 79.2% of convenience stores selling motor fuels
The association did a great job picking the venue for the event to be in historic Fort Worth, one of the largest tourist attraction locations in the country. Accomodations were convenient, and gorgeous. It was so easy to walk across the street to the Omni, that events were held in both buildings and people milled around and did not leave the vicinity often.
“The TFFA Show is a lot of fun. To keep the momentum going on the last day, the association stayed active with announcements and I particularly enjoyed participating in the Drawings totaling 5,000.00 in cash on Friday. The prizes were drawn every hour and half hour, and I was pleased to draw winners, announce winners, and take pictures of the winners with their prizes.” said Melanie
The 2014 Expo is scheduled for May 13 – 15 (Wednesday & Thursday show), at the beautiful Gaylord Texan Resort in Grapevine, Texas. Our booth is already reserved; I hope you will join us there!