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FAIRFAX, Va. -- The American Wholesale Marketers Association's 2011 show, held last February in Las Vegas, Nev., attracted more attendees than any since the start of the recession, the association announced.
More than 1,500 people participated; buyers, both distributors and retailers, saw the largest increase in attendance at 29 percent over last year's show, according to the announcement, with overall attendance up 20 percent. Over 80 percent of exhibitors indicated that the show met or exceeded their business objectives.
"We are thrilled with the results and the level of participation and engagement of our members in the Show," said Keith Canning, 2011 AWMA Chairman and managing partner, Pine State Trading Company. "Two years ago our board approved a strategic plan to re‐invent our annual event so that it provides more value to both attendees and exhibitors. Since then, we completely revamped the educational program by adding more sessions on industry issues and best practices, invited leading retailers to speak and share their insights, and added new categories to the expo including a foodservice pavilion to showcase foodservice equipment, products and services -- a growth category we are all extremely interested in."
The expanded foodservice pavilion featured 35 companies, many of them first-time exhibitors. "The distributor is the key component between the foodservice supplier and the consumer and the AWMA Show provides a direct connection with these decision makers," stated Jerry Ryker, executive vice president of business development at Land Mark Products. "Distributors are our partners and we are listening to their business issues so that we can respond."
The AWMA's 2012 show will take place on February 15-17 at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas. The new Operations Pavilion will make its debut on the show floor, where it will feature technology products and services, warehouse management systems, transportation and other key services that support distributor operations, said the association. Pavilions for foodservice and candy and snacks are also planned.
"Our goal is to continuously improve the show each year and find more ways to add value to exhibitors and attendees," stated Scott Ramminger, AWMA president and CEO. "Our post‐show survey results indicate that we are going in the right direction with a majority of both exhibitors and distributors rating the 2011 show as providing more value than previous shows. This was a critical measurement for us along with other data that indicates greater value and satisfaction among all participants."
More information on the 2012 show can be found at www.awmashow.com.