Attendance was up at this year’s show, which is embracing the c-store side of the industry more than ever.

San Diego, California has a lot going for it. It sits on the water, has a world-class zoo, and since Petco Park was built, features a vibrant downtown centered around the Gaslamp Quarter. There’s a large, modern convention center, too, which plays host to the premier comic book industry event of the year, among other high-profile events.

This year’s Pacific Fuels and Convenience Summit (PFCS), which SSCS attended, took place in San Diego, but far away from the bustle of downtown, out in the historic Hotel del Coronado, a target destination in its own right. The PFCS is the direct descendant of the POC, which stood for Pacific Oil Conference. The change in name is indicative of what those in attendance saw this year: a show traditionally dedicated to the oil manufacturing side of the industry providing a high profile for its c-store side.

“It’s a Southern California show so I got to talk face-to-face with customers in the local area which was a nice opportunity,” said our sales team member in attendance. “The other big positive was that attendance appeared to be about double what it was in 2021, indicating the steady return of the in-person show.”

The PFCS continues to retain its flavor as an oil manufacturer’s show, as evidenced by the presence of shining petroleum carriers, events such as “Tankers and Tacos,” and some rather heavy equipment.

But the show is more of a hybrid than ever reflecting the evolution of the industry it represents. Educational topics like “Disappearing Gallon Cause and Effect,” where the issue being discussed is the impact of the electric vehicle, affects the oil manufacturer differently than the store operator. Since that is the case, attendees benefit from hearing both perspectives.

Another resonating topic is mergers and acquisitions (M&A’s), which have proliferated in recent years among c-store chains. “Recent Trends in Mergers and Acquisitions,” sought to provide information for independents who might be looking toward such a move. “It was a pretty unique look at the realities an operator has to weigh when making such a decision,” added our representative. “It’s the kind of information that makes these shows so valuable.”

SSCS appreciated the chance to attend the PFCS—and not just because of the location! As a software provider we understand the importance of getting out in front of industry trends, and these shows provide a great opportunity with the information they provide.