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FAIRFAX, Va. -- The board of directors of the American Wholesale Marketers Association (AWMA) approved a three-year plan for its annual convention and expo that includes a name change to The AWMA Show -- The Convenience Distributor Conference & EXPO, the association reported.
"Our top priority for the 2010 show and beyond will be building and delivering more value for everyone. That starts with creating an event that attracts a greater number of our distributor members," said Sherwin Herring, Southco Distributing Co., and the 2009 AWMA chairman of the board. "Our members have told us that they need to gain enough value from the show to send their management teams and this will start with us providing a strong educational program that will appeal to the varying needs and interests of category buyers, foodservice executives, top management, technology and operations staff."
Additional changes include expanding the scope of products and services in the exhibit hall beyond the traditional categories of candy, snacks, tobacco and merchandise. A new focus will be in the areas of foodservice, technology and operations -- areas that provide significant opportunities for distributors to build their business, deliver more solutions to their customers and improve operating efficiencies, the association reported.
"Our members have historically relied on several key categories for the majority of their business, and while those categories continue to play a critical role, as the convenience industry evolves distributors need to be at the forefront with new products, programs and merchandising ideas," added Scott Ramminger, AWMA president and CEO. "A category that has been growing for years is foodservice and our members are interested in having access to the latest in foodservice programs, products and equipment at the show. By aligning the educational program and the scope of products in the exhibit hall with the needs and interests of key decision-makers, the result will be a compelling business opportunity for distributors, brokers and retailers who attend."
Additionally, the association will shift the days of the week so the show runs from Tuesday through Thursday (exhibit hall open Wednesday and Thursday) and will refresh the exposition with new hours. They will also add an AWMA Café for lunch, and hold the industry reception on Wednesday evening in the exhibit hall.
"We are very excited about these changes, and while we are cautious in these difficult economic times, we are focused on building the value of the show and creating the premier conference and tradeshow for our members," added Herring. "I encourage every member of AWMA to attend."
The 2010 AWMA Show will be held March 9-11, 2010 ,(exhibit hall open March 10 and 11), at the Las Vegas Hilton.