FMI Committed to Its Show

Group will continue as sole proprietor

WASHINGTON -- The Food Marketing Institute's (FMI) board of directors last week reaffirmed the association's role as the sole proprietor of FMI's Annual May Convention and MARKETECHNICS Show.

We are excited about the opportunity to continue to work with our retail and wholesale members, our exhibitors and our co-location partners to maintain these two shows as signature events for the industry, said Tim Hammonds, FMI president and CEO.

The announcement comes in the wake of reports that due to declining attendance in recent years, [image-nocss] FMI would sell all or part of its exhibition business to a professional show management company, according to a Progressive Grocer report.

Attempts by CSP Daily News to contact FMI for additional information were unsuccessful.

Meanwhile, FMI and the International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA) announced that the jointly hosted annual Productivity Conference will become two separate events in 2006.

FMI will launch Productivity Plus: Logistics Solutions Conference, Oct. 8-10, 2006, in Charlotte, N.C. IFDA will launch The Foodservice Distribution Conference & Expo, Oct. 15-17, 2006, in Atlanta.

The forces of rapid transformation within the industry and the world of trade events have led both associations to explore uniquely beneficial conferences that offer a more specific focus for their respective memberships, FMI said. This decision by both organizations is reflective of the continuing and compelling need to provide targeted, high-quality education in specialized creative forums that more closely match the business requirements of the respective members, it added. Similarly, suppliers on the exhibit floor will be afforded new and creative forums for meeting with current and prospective customers.

It is the natural and logical evolution of this important event to customize our conferences to meet the specific needs of our members, said Jack Block, executive vice president of FMI's Wholesale Division.

We are pleased to pursue new opportunities designed to focus on those issues that are most relevant to our members with programs tailored to their requirements, said IFDA President Mark Allen.

The current co-hosting relationship between IFDA and FMI is a carryover event from when foodservice distributors were part of Food Distributors International (FDI). When FDI merged with FMI, IFDA established itself as an independent organization poised to better serve its foodservice members, said FMI.