Skip navigation
FMI Eyes Broader Attendance at 2012 Show

FMI Eyes Broader Attendance at 2012 Show

SN Reports From FMI2012 • Show Daily Magazine: May 1, 2, 3 • SN Website: Latest news here • Social Media: Updates on Twitter (@SN_news) and Facebook (Supermarket News) • SN Total Access Video: Top executive video interviews air May 2 on SN website • SN Daily e-Newsletter: Free signup here • SN Mobile App: Free download of  “Supermarket News” smartphone app for latest news • SN Weekly Magazine: Coverage of FMI2012 in May 7 and May 14 editions

ARLINGTON, Va. — Officials at Food Marketing Institute here are hopeful that an effort to drive more broad-based attendance at the association’s big trade show in Dallas will pay dividends this year.

Neil Golub, chairman of Schenectady, N.Y.-based Price Chopper Supermarkets and chairman of FMI2012, as this year’s show is called, said the association issued a call for retailers to send not only their top executives but also more of their buyers, to make the show more successful for exhibitors.

“I think we’ve done of good job of enticing the retailers to bring the right people to the show floor, and that’s important, I think, for the show’s integrity,” he told SN. “I think there’s a general attitude among the board members that the trade show is very important to us.”

Neil GolubAfter meeting with representatives from several large exhibitors at last year’s Future Connect educational conference in Dallas, Golub (right) said he contacted the FMI Board of Directors and sent letters to the chief executive officers of industry retailers asking them to bring people who have buying authority over all of the categories covered on the show floor this year. Those categories include not only CPG products that comprise much of the show floor, but also technology and equipment, as well as perishables, with equipment, as well as perishables, with the United Fresh Produce Association and American Meat Institute co-locating shows on the exhibit floor.

“We got a wonderful response from people,” Golub said. “Just to give you an idea of the size and number of people who responded, we had people all the way to up to Kroger respond and tell us they were going to do that.”

He said Price Chopper, which normally brings about eight or 10 employees to the conference, plans to send 22 people this year.

Leslie Sarasin, president and CEO of FMI, told SN that overall attendance had been trending below past levels in early registration, but that FMI expected a surge in registrants in the final weeks before the show. In the last week of March alone about 1,500 attendees registered, she said.

Leslie Sarasin“I anticipate registration is going to be very, very strong,” she said.

In addition, exhibit space was “almost sold out” as of early April, noted Sarasin (left).

She said FMI has worked hard to shore up exhibitor interest in the show after switching to an alternate-year event in 2008.

“Because we recognized that this was a potential challenge, we’ve worked very hard to make sure we are doing new and innovative things that would make the show attractive and meaningful, not only to those who attend the show, but also to the exhibitors,” she said. “And I think we have been fairly successful in that because at this point we are almost sold out on the show floor.”

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.