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Attendance Record Shattered at Nationwide Marketing Group’s Second Virtual PrimeTime

From massive supply chain issues to the worldwide effects of a pandemic on the economy, it’s nice to hear that retailers are searching for knowledge and committing to their businesses while looking toward the future. 

And that’s a large part of why Nationwide Marketing Group’s second Virtual PrimeTime event broke attendance records this month. 

“This isn’t the time to go dark,” Nationwide Chief Member Advocate Tom Hickman told members during the State of Nationwide address. “This is the time to make sure your website is the best and most engaging in your market. This is the time to make sure your brand is competing for awareness and a place in the consumer’s conscience. What you invest today isn’t just about driving traffic this weekend. Today’s investment pays off weeks and months down the road—or even a year from now.”

Following Hickman’s advice, retailers responded en masse, with more than 2,500 attendees logged into the Virtual PrimeTime platform, including more than 1,400 representatives from over 1,100 member companies.

The event featured more than 100 free-to-attend Nationwide Learning Academy sessions and keynote presentations, which retailers invested thousands of hours in over the course of the show. 

In total, members attended more than 34,000 sessions, an increase of 112% from the record-setting engagement levels seen during the October Virtual PrimeTime show. On average, attendees viewed 110 minutes of education and attended roughly 12.5 sessions each during the show.

And if you missed Primetime, have no fear. Nationwide will again leave the virtual platform open for attendees to catch up on any education sessions they might have missed. 

In fact, they’ve reported that already in the first week after the official closing of the show, members have already attended nearly 1,000 additional sessions.

Throughout Virtual PrimeTime, attendees heard from Nationwide’s business leaders on how their investments in education and the group’s digital resources paid off for them over the previous 12 months. 

Some examples include:

  • Nationwide dealers who partnered with Retailer Web Services and Site on Time saw, on average, 27 percent higher sales than retailers on other platforms. 
  • Google WebFronts users who utilize always-on digital advertising experienced year-over-year sell-in performance growth that was three times higher than retailers who didn’t. 
  • Nationwide’s Smart Shopping digital marketing campaigns helped dealers achieve 300% higher conversion rates than traditional shopping campaigns.
  • For vendors, total booth visits at the show rose nearly 20% to over 43,500 visits. And members came ready to spend. As of this reporting, the March Virtual PrimeTime was on track to surpass spending levels during the October event, which saw members accumulate more than $3 million in CashBack rewards.

PrimeTime Palooza also returned during Virtual PrimeTime and presented members with a brand-new app-based Palooza experience.

At the end of the event, 20 members split a grand prize cash pot of $100,000, among many other giveaways. Nationwide also announced that The Bed Store was the winner of the video submission charity competition, securing a donation of $10,000 in the store’s name to a cause of their choice.

“Virtual PrimeTime has enabled us to remain connected with our members during the pandemic and offer them the best possible education, networking, and buying opportunities while staying socially distanced,” says Nationwide’s Vice President of Member Experience Melissa Stenson. “That said, while PrimeTime will continue to have some virtual aspect moving forward, we can’t wait to meet with our members again in person and are eagerly looking forward to our next PrimeTime show in Nashville in August.”

The 59th edition of Nationwide’s bi-annual show is scheduled for August 15-18, 2021, at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in the Music City.

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