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Chief Optimist of 'Life is good' to Kick Off NACS Show

With less than $80 in the bank, Bert Jacobs helped launch what is today a $100 million privately held business � one that sports a brand resonating with consumers around the world: Life is good.
April 11, 2011

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - "Life is good" cofounder Bert Jacobs will headline the NACS Show Opening General Session on October 2 at this year��s NACS Show in Chicago.

Registration for the NACS Show, which takes place October 1 to 4 at McCormick Place, is open at nacsshow.com.

Jacobs is the co-founder and CEO (chief executive optimist) of The Life is good Co., a $100 million privately held business based in Boston. In 1994, with a combined $78 in the bank, Bert and his brother, John, launched Life is good to spread positive vibes with its colorful collection of apparel and accessories. Unlike traditional brands, Life is good replies solely upon consumer word of mouth to communicate its brand; the company has never had an advertising budget.

"The overwhelming success of Life is good demonstrates that optimism can take you anywhere," said NACS Convention Chairman Steve Loehr, vice president of operations support at La Crosse, Wisc.-based Kwik Trip Inc. "Bert��s inspiring message is a perfect way to open our industry��s signature event and help attendees think big picture."

NACS Show full registration, which includes admission to the general sessions, workshops, expo and the Welcome Reception, is $295 for NACS retailer members and $495 for other retailer attendees. One-day registration also is available ($195 for NACS retailer members and $295 for other retailers). These super-saver rates are available through July 22. Other rates apply for non-exhibiting manufacturers, service providers, brokers and consultants.

Attendees also can request hotel preferences online at nacsshow.com. NACS has negotiated room rates for more than 20 hotels in proximity to McCormick Place. Early submission of housing requests will increase the likelihood that attendees will be able to stay at the hotel of their choice within the NACS Show housing block. Equally important, these hotels have access to the shuttles for transport to and from McCormick Place.

Overall, 21,983 attendees were at the NACS Show in 2010, including 1,328 international attendees. The NACS Show featured a 370,000-plus net-square-foot exposition with 1,300 exhibiting companies �" including 330 companies new to the NACS Show.

Earlier this year, the NACS Show was again named the top trade show in the United States for "buying power" and second overall for buying plans according to the annual report on U.S. trade shows developed by Exhibit Surveys Inc. The report found that 97 percent of NACS Show retailer attendees have the power to recommend or make final purchasing decisions �" outpacing the overall retail show average of 85 percent. In addition, 75 percent of NACS Show retailer attendees intend to buy within 12 months, which is significantly higher than the retail show average of 50 percent.

This year��s NACS Show will also be the association��s 50th annual meeting. NACS has held an annual meeting every year since its founding in 1961, but it wasn��t until 1976 that the meeting included an expo, which was held every two or three years. From 1986 on, the annual meeting included an expo, although those early years featured a greatly scaled-down expo every other year until the early 1990s.

The Petroleum Marketers Association of America (PMAA) has held its Fall Meeting as part of the NACS Show since in 1995 and this year��s NACS Show will again feature PMAA-branded workshops. The Petroleum Equipment Institute (PEI) and NACS will also continue their strategic alliance for a combined Show, which was introduced in 2002.

In addition to online registration, the NACS Show website (nacsshow.com) features the latest information about exhibitors, speakers, workshops and networking events.