To quote Tony Curtis, “If you know how to live in Vegas, you can have the best of time.” Fortunately, Las Vegas is our home away from home and we know how to tear it up; literally. This year, the LAI Live team along with the other two divisions of Leading Authorities, Inc.—Leading Authorities speakers bureau and LAI Video—teamed up with the National Grocers Association (NGA) to rip apart the standard conference set-up, transforming the existing ballroom into a one-of-a-kind event.
NGA Show 2018
The grocery industry is constantly evolving, creating a financial challenge not only for independent stores, but also national and international chains. Today's customers have moved to online orders and meal kits, and store owners need to stay up-to-date on trends, maximize existing resources, and know when to lean on fellow associates. In this climate, the National Grocers Association (NGA) sought to put on an event that supported and educated attendees and facilitated open and honest discussions about today's realities. They also needed to find a keynote speaker who could talk about where policy is headed and the possible effects that new policy changes could have on the industry and each of their organizations.
In addition to needing strong programming to hit on timely industry issues, NGA had also previously dealt with a production company that wasn't great at keeping VIPs and talent in the know and on time, and were looking to remedy this.
The LAI team helped NGA develop programming schedules that addressed specific issues head on, from the entrepreneurs who talked about their individual trials to the event's keynote speaker, General Michael Hayden—the former director of the CIA and former director of the NSA who is exclusively represented by Leading Authorities speakers bureau—who talked about the effects of policy changes on business, attendees felt inspired and informed.
The most rewarding part? NGA told us their attendees and speakers felt that the LAI team's suggestions, direction, artistic vision, and scenics led to one of the best, most productive, and smoothest events that they have hosted in memory.
Tearing Up The Place
Making its Vegas debut was the diamond edge blend, a nearly 80’ custom-shaped projection screen. Paired with outboards, the 112-feet of projection surface showcased animated graphics traveling across the room, allowing the scenic to evolve throughout three days of general session and award ceremony programming. To support the keynotes, panelists, and award recipients, we pip’d presentations, IMAG, and videos simultaneously within the diamond, giving the audience a real ‘wow’ factor while still providing them the content they came to see.
Ready, Set, BAG!
Add some moving lights, banging music, and roving cameras, and you’ve got the Best Bagger Competition! In a one hour, high-energy, and high stakes competition hosted by Duff Goldman, grocery baggers from across the country demonstrated how to really pack a bag, racing against the clock and their opponents to avoid being eliminated. With lights flashing, music blasting, and $10,000 on the line, it definitely made it to LAI Live’s top five ‘life is amazing’ list!
Spotlighting The Consumer
Before our team landed in Las Vegas, we met with a few NGA members to highlight the incredible impact they are making in their local communities. The LAI Video team produced three heart-warming videos that profiled local independent grocery stores that are being innovative in the ways they provide food to their consumers. By taking viewers across the country, these episodes focused on a variety of topics, including store layout, home delivery, and sourcing local foods—the stuff that everyday people are hungry for. The three-part video series debuted at the 2018 NGA Show, prompting panels who discussed the future of the independent industry. These videos also served as a powerful tool to tell their member's stories well after the event.