New York City -- Optimism was in the air at Chain Store Age’s 47th annual SPECS conference, in Grapevine, Texas. Spirits were up, and so was attendance, dramatically so, among both the show’s attendees and exhibitors.
As the premier event for store development and facilities professionals, SPECS brought together the top retail and restaurant chains and suppliers in the industry for three and a half days of learning, business partnering and networking. Attendees said they were seeking new solutions and innovative ideas, and suppliers responded by showcasing the latest in planning and design, construction and facilities management product and services on the exhibit floor. The second annual Face-to-Face Information Exchange, a rotating series of one-on-one meetings between retailers and suppliers, proved a big hit.
The educational program addressed the challenges of the day, from disaster preparedness and recovery to recently-enacted revisions to the ADA to green construction. The comprehensive program also included sessions on such justifying renovation projects, real world applications of BIM, and LEDs, to name just a few.
SPECS is designed to foster cooperation, and that’s sprit was very much in evidence at this year’ show. Planning is already underway for SPECS 2012, which will be held at Gaylord Palms Resort, Kissimmee, Fla.