AWMA 2011 Attendance Up

“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,” says AWMA CEO.

The  American  Wholesale  Marketers  Association  (AWMA)   2011  Show  attracted  more  attendees  than  any  show  they  have  held  since  the  recession  began.

More  than  1,500  people  participated  in  the  event  held  in  Las  Vegas  with  the  largest  increase  among  buyers—distributors  and  retailers—with  attendance  up  more  than  29%  over  the  previous  year.   The  number  of  exhibitors  and  amount  of  square  feet  of  exhibit  space  also  outpaced  the  past  five  years  due  to  the  addition  of  the  new  foodservice  pavilion  and  more  exhibitors  participating  for  the  first  time.

Specific  improvements  compared  with  the  previous  year  include:

• Overall  attendance  was  up  by  20%

• The  vast  majority  of  exhibitors—over  80%—indicated  that  show  met  or  exceeded  their  business  objectives

• Unprecedented  buying  power —70%  of  attendees  make  final  decisions  for  products/services  compared  with  just  40%  across  the  trade  show  industry

“We  are  thrilled  with  the  results  and  the  level  of  participation  and  engagement  of  our  members  in  the  Show,”  said Keith  Canning,  managing  partner,  Pine  State  Trading  Company  and  2011  AWMA  Chairman.   “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  foodservice  pavilion  featured  35  companies;  most  exhibiting  at  the  AWMA  Show  for  the  first  time.    “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,”  noted  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”,  he  emphasized.

AWMA’s  2012  Show,  to  be  held  February  15–17  at  the  Paris  Hotel  in  Las  Vegas,  continues  to  evolve  to  meet  the  needs  of  distributors  and  retailers.  New  for  2012  is  an  Operations  Pavilion  on  the  show  floor  that  features  technology  products  and  services,  warehouse  management  systems,  transportation  and  other  key  services  that  support  distributor  operations. Other  pavilions  include  Foodservice  and  Candy  &  Snacks  with  the  balance  of  the  expo  featuring  the  latest  in  tobacco,  OTP,  novelty  and  other  core  categories.

“Our  goal  is  to  continuously  improve  the  show  each  year  and  find  more  ways  to  add  value  to  exhibitors  and  attendees,” said to  Scott  Ramminger,  president  &  CEO  of  AWMA.   “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.”

The  AWMA  Show  attracts  c‐store  retailers,  brokers  and  all  of  the  top  wholesale  distribution  companies  in  the  U.S.,  as  well  as  hundreds  of  local  and  regional  distributors.   “Every  one  of  the  top  50  distributors  registered  their  team  for  the  2011  Show  and  in  some  cases  they  brought  10  or  more  people”,  added  Ramminger.    “Additionally,  the  buying  power  and  concentration  of  decision‐makers  attending  the  AWMA  Show  is  significantly  above  other  industry  events.   In  fact,  the  average  distributor  who  attends  is  making  product  decisions  for  more  than  2,800  retail  outlets  and  nearly  20%  of  attendees  provide  products  and  services  to  as  many  as  10,000  stores.”

The changes  that  AWMA  has  implemented  over  the  past  few  years  have  been  driven  by  extensive  member  feedback.   “This customer‐centric  approach  has  been  the  key  to  our  ability  to  turn  the  show  around”,  added  Canning.   “What  excites  me  the  most  is  not  just  having  more  people  show  up,  but  they  are  fully  engaging  in  the  show.   In  fact,  nearly  every  education  session  was  full  to  capacity  each  day—even  at  7:30  in  the  morning  in  Las  Vegas!”

More  information  about  the  2012  AWMA  Show  can  be  found  at:   www.AWMASHOW.com.

 

 

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