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Back to the Future Connect

As we have all heard, the H1N1 virus can be a killer… or it can just lay you low for a while.

Thanks to some quick action on the part of Food Marketing Institute, its newly created educational conference that was sidelined by the flu in May is making a full recovery this month. With just a few tweaks in the roster of speakers, the postponed version of FMI Future Connect is scheduled to begin on Monday in Dallas with a clean bill of health and a full roster of interesting speakers.

When FMI announced the cancelation of the original event – after two years of planning – SN conducted a quick poll of supermarket executives and the overwhelming response was that it would be an exceedingly difficult job to reschedule it. In fact, SN ran a page one news story the week after the conference was to have taken place in which several of those executives were quoted raising doubts about the possibility of holding Future Connect at all in 2009.

So, kudos to FMI for pulling it off.

Although some in the industry questioned the association for canceling it in the first place – the flu was still a bit of a mystery at that point and it wasn’t clear what we were up against – FMI clearly did the right thing in heeding the advice of local and national health authorities.

Next week we can all shake hands without worrying too much about the repercussions, and we know we don’t have to dive for cover if someone sneezes.

SN Editor-in-Chief David Orgel and I will be there Monday through Wednesday bringing you updates throughout the day, so check in here to get our take on Future Connect, Take Two – and if you are there, come shake hands!