Exciting Outlook for 2012

By  Paul Reuter, Chairman emeritus and contributing editor

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Last year, we celebrated our most successful Outlook Leadership conference.

We proudly featured great leaders representing the wide spectrum of what makes this country so great. We welcomed Herman Cain, who shared the story of his compelling childhood and the importance of having strong parental figures. We delved into the nation’s economics at the governmental level with Erskine Bowles, Arianna Huffington and Richard Karlgaard. And we got a closer look at the state of our industry thanks to past NACS president Jeff Miller.

As compelling and insightful as 2011’s conference was, we are equally—if not more—excited about 2012. At The Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City, we will have on stage not one but two past U.S. presidents. Bill Clinton and George W. Bush will share the stage in a moderated session to talk about leadership. (For more, see our Outlook Leadership ad on p. 48.)

Why am I devoting my February column to an event that is more than six months away? Several reasons, actually: Setting the Stage: Months of work and extraordinary thought and consideration go into what represents your stage to the customer: your store. Having the right products in the right place at the right time will go far in determining your success for the year. Likewise, Outlook Leadership is a stage where the most relevant people can share the most relevant ideas at the right time.

  • Thinking Ahead: We don’t need to put our birthday or our anniversary on the calendar. We know them intuitively and look forward to these annual touchstones. From an industry view, we look at Outlook Leadership in the same light. Thanks to your support and feedback, this has become one of the industry’s mustattend events. Leaders from the supply and retail community continue to talk not only about last year’s event but also the one from 2009, when we featured T. Boone Pickens and Ted Turner, two of this generation’s most important business icons. They also talk about 2010, when Fox News host Bill O’Reilly gave the keynote address.
  • Excitement: This event is personally my favorite and the one I get most excited about. But aside from that, I believe this is going to be an exciting year for you and the industry we love and care about. So, between now and Outlook, what are you hoping to accomplish? What will be success for you? Also, what are you hoping for from the country we cherish?

We look forward to seeing you at Outlook. In the meantime, here’s hoping your 2012 is off to a great start. 

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