The National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) will host its annual trade show as well as the association’s 50th annual meeting, at McCormick Place in Chicago from Oct. 1 to 4.

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

Bert Jacobs, co-founder and chief executive optimist of The Life is Good Co., will speak during the NACS Show Opening General Session on Oct. 2.

“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, Wis.-based Kwik Trip Inc. in a statement. “Bert’s inspiring message is a perfect way to open our industry’s signature event and help attendees think big picture.”

The show also will feature newsman Tom Brokaw as a Closing General Session speaker. Brokaw will provide an in-depth analysis of today’s important economic, political and social issues in the headlines, as well as the people behind them, during the NACS Show Closing General Session on Oct. 4.

“Tom Brokaw is a journalistic icon whose trusted insights have shaped the way we think about the world,” Loehr said. “It is fitting that as NACS celebrates its rich history and accomplishments during its 50th anniversary that we will hear insights from one of the pre-eminent chroniclers of our time.”

Speedway LLC President Tony Kenney and Gary Arthur, senior vice president of retail marketing at Valero Energy Corp., have been announced as panelists for the NACS Show General Session panel “A Tale of Two Retailers.” The panel discussion will be moderated by Joe Petrowski, chief executive officer of Cumberland Farm Group of Companies.  

The Oct. 3 session, presented by NACS Magazine, is part of the annual industry-focused Business Strategy Day at the NACS Show. The day’s General Session presentations also will include Ideas 2 Go, a fast-paced 45-minute video tour of some of the most interesting, creative and potentially profitable ideas in the convenience and fuels retailing industry.