NACAS Perspectives

Written By:
Kennedy Turner
Senior Director of Business Development

A Clean Line of Sight for the Future of NACAS Business Partners

In early March as the pandemic began to forever shift our industry, I vividly remember walking the space of the Anaheim Convention Center and Hilton imaging how this year’s C3X would be the best one yet. The Expo hall we had reserved for this year was huge! Plenty of space to reimagine how we continue to foster engagement, networking, and a welcoming culture that invites institution members and business partners to collaborate… oh, and ensure that there is a “clear line of sight down the aisle” as many of our exhibitors have probably heard me say.

Well, here we are in August and we are still focused on reimaging how we continue to foster engagement, networking, and a welcoming culture that invites institution members and business partners to collaborate… just not in the Anaheim Convention Center. Although that is certainly disappointing for quite a few of us who love traveling, socializing, and developing business in that old-fashioned face-to-face way; we couldn’t be more thrilled about the opportunity to extend our Expo beyond time, place, and…well…budget.

You see, back in the spring when so much of the industry had questions and was searching for solutions, the C3X Expo was still 8-months away. It was during this time it became abundantly clear NACAS could better assist colleges and universities in knowing about services and solutions year-round. As one of our volunteers always reminds me, when looking for a service or solution, “I first check NACAS for Business Partners, and then I search Google.”

Now just three months away from the C3X Expo, I wanted to share programs and strategies that you’ve seen or will see to help equip us all as an industry to move forward together.

C3X Virtual Expo – Although the Expo floor will be shifting from Anaheim Convention Center to a computer monitor near you, we are truly excited to bring about a new way of pioneering campus solutions. There will continue to be “live” Virtual Expo hours that take place during C3X where folks can still connect 1-on-1 by video or text chat, but our goal is to springboard the C3X Virtual Expo into a 365-day show, allowing institutions to quickly navigate to find partners and solutions year-round. Learn more

BrandEd – BrandEd is designed specifically to provide our colleges and universities with brand education. Geared towards services and products, our first BrandEd in July allowed business partners a 10-minute opportunity to share their brand and how they could help your campus be ready to open and operate this fall. With our next one scheduled on September 22, we’ll be able to not only offer a platform for schools to view presentations live, but we’re also housing the recorded sessions to allow folks to watch on their own schedule. Learn more

Business Partner Forum – Historically, all professional development was focused on colleges and universities, but what if NACAS provided that same type of education and content to businesses who are oftentimes sitting at that same table on campus? The second Business Partner Forum on October 7 will give NACAS Business Partners an opportunity to ask questions to an institutional panel of auxiliary service professionals, hear from students about their needs on campus, and ultimately gain insights to help them show up to the campus table with future-forward ideas and a stronger campus relationship that is ready to put student success at the forefront. Learn more

Accelerating Solutions. Together. – Over the coming months, NACAS will begin to survey the membership to help identify those individuals and campuses that want to work with NACAS Business Partners to help improve their operations. Our goal is to create an environment to better foster partnership, fuel innovation, and continue to be a place where auxiliary services thrive.

I can confidently speak for so many when I say “thank you” to our Business Partners who continue to support the association and industry through these times. Without you, so much of our benefits, technologies, and even content would not exist. I’d also like to offer a very personal “thank you” to all the Business Partners who have pulled me aside to offer guidance, feedback, and ways that NACAS could continue to evolve. Your desire and passion to see NACAS and our industry succeed is contagious.

Looking forward to seeing so many of you in our Virtual Expo this November!

Kennedy Turner is the Business Development Lead at NACAS. He holds an undergraduate degree from James Madison University as well as a Masters of Business Administration and a Masters of Sports Administration from Ohio University. Kennedy has worked in the athletic department of five different universities and brings a myriad of sales and marketing experience from retail dining brands. He currently resides in Scottsdale, AZ.