Let’s Get It Done in 21 Again

NABM Announces Jersey Mini BLAST

The pandemic will soon be in our rearview mirror and it is about time we get back out there and figure out new and creative ways to do business in a post pandemic world. The National Association of Blind Merchants is excited to announce its first in-person event in almost 18 months. President Nicky Gacos has announced that NABM is again partnering with Vistar to bring quality training and a great networking opportunity to the Randolph-Sheppard community. President Gacos and the Board of Directors have entered into this partnership to bring you the second ever Mini BLAST to be held September 28-30, 2021 at the Hard Rock Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

The training will be held in conjunction with Vistar’s large Northeast Buying and Trade Show. There will be over 150 exhibitors at that show. Since NABM will not be offering any training at the NAMA event in New Orleans, this will be the ONLY in-person Randolph-Sheppard training provided anywhere in 2021.

We will kick things off with training starting at approximately Noon on Tuesday, September 28th, and conclude by 6:00 PM. Training will be followed by a networking event. On Wednesday, training will be offered from 8:00 AM until 2:00 PM with both breakfast and lunch provided. You can expect a heavy dose on micromarkets. Participants will be able to visit the Exhibit Hall from 3:00 – 5:00 PM plus there will be a reception for Vistar customers only. The Exhibit Hall will re-open on Thursday and be open all day.

In order to attend the reception and enter the Exhibit Hall, you must be a Vistar customer. Some states have accounts set up with Vistar so SLA staff can register using that account. Vistar customers are allowed to have up to 3 people attend with them so a Blind Vendor who registers could list the SLA members a s a guest. Otherwise, we will make special arrangements for you to be allowed to attend the functions but you still need to register following the special instructions for registrants who do not have an account.

Unfortunately, you will have to register at 2 different sites. You have to register for the Vistar Buying and Trade Show by going to http://www.vistarneshow.com/ Registration is free. You will also have to register for the Mini BLAST training separately. The registration fee is $100 and you can register on-line at https://blindmerchants.org/mini-blast-2021-registration/.

A room block has been set aside for only $99 per night. To book your room, you can call 609-449-1000. The Group Name is Vistar Northeast Buying Show 2021. The Group Code is GVI0921. All callers will be asked for this code, but can also book by saying “Vistar 2021 Vendor Show.” You may also reserve your room on-line at https://book.passkey.com/go/2021vistar

We realize that for some Atlantic City is not the easiest place to fly to from some parts of the country. There are more direct flights than there were 2 years ago. Spirit Airlines and Air Canada fly in there from several major cities such as Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, and several cities in Florida. Philadelphia is the closest major airport which is about an hour away. We will provide information about ground transportation between Philadelphia and Atlantic City as we get closer to the event; however, many attendees in 2019 used Uber which cost around $100 at the time.

Mark your calendars and make plans to be with us for what promises to be a fantastic conference.

Our Sponsors:



Blackstone Consulting, Inc.


Southern Teaming Partners


RSA Management Group

Hadley Institute for the Blind & Visually Impaired


Brown, Goldstein, and Levy

365 Retail



Keurig Dr. Pepper

ECI Management

3 Square Markets

The National Association of Blind Merchants is a division of the National Federation of the Blind. The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day we raise the expectations of blind people, because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams. You can live the life you want; blindness is not what holds you back.