Solutions for Growth is the theme for the 2004 FMI Show, which is scheduled to take place from 2-4 May 2004 at the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago, USA. The show aims to offer all participants unprecedented service and customised benefits.
Retail-industry players of all sizes will learn about value, efficiency and productivity at the 2004 Food Marketing Institute (FMI) Show, which will see the gathering of industry leaders from all over the world.
New to the show is the Healthy Living Pavilion, which will run alongside the Electronic Product Code (EPC) Showcase and customised programming for retail/wholesale segments.
There will also be more than 40 educational sessions, all adhering to the 2004 FMI Show theme Solutions for Growth. A massive exhibit floor featuring thousands of new consumer products completes the show — the largest international food-trade event of its kind.
Also joining the FMI show for the first time will be three other products of the food industry: The United Produce Expo & Conference, sponsored by the United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association (UFFVA); All Things Organic, sponsored by the Organic Trade Association; and FMI’s own Supermarket Pharmacy Conference.
These are in addition to two other co-located programmes: The US Food Export Showcase, presented by the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA), and the Fancy Food Show, presented by the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT).
New pavilions and consumer products on the show floor:
Apart from the numerous new consumer products on the million-square-foot exhibit floor, the 2004 FMI Show will highlight special exhibit areas such as:
EPC Showcase. This offers a platform for technology innovators and suppliers of such technology to exhibit their ware and demonstrate their products’ capabilities in real time.
Healthy Living Pavilion. A new pavilion driven by the nation’s concerns about obesity and infatuation with low-carbohydrate diets, it will spotlight healthy lifestyles and unique approaches to educating consumers about proper eating habits and wellness.
New Product Showcase. Introduced last year, this showcase will feature the latest offerings by suppliers represented at the show. The offerings will be grouped by category, with their suppliers identified by special booth signage and notations in the official Show Guide. More products can be expected this year for the segment, which will also present the Retailer Choice Awards — retailer/wholesaler attendees will vote, by category, for the Best in Show.
One of the features that distinguishes the FMI show from other global trade fairs is its emphasis on ‘educational’ sessions. This year, delegates can look forward to a selection of ‘Super Sessions’ and ‘Learning Labs’. Nearly 30 close-up sessions will drive the dynamic education programme with solutions for growth and strategies for success.
The 2004 FMI Show’s education programme will kick off, under the Solutions for Growth theme, with its signature Supermarket Industry SPEAKS presentation. A regular feature in the annual trade show, it will deliver state-of-the-industry data and the latest research on consumption and food-retailing trends.
In addition to SPEAKS are nine other super sessions focusing on strategic and global industry issues. These sessions promise to be fast-moving, broad in scope, of global relevance and in tune with current market realities. They will study shopping behaviours, the repositioning of the centre store, the building of fresh sales, proven growth strategies, opportunity categories, store design and development, and the “20 hot industry trends for 2010”.
The super sessions will be complemented by ‘Close-Ups’ — a series of 30 fast-paced, to-the-point workshops that focus on contemporary food-retailing issues. Workshop facilitators include industry experts, authors and marketing executives. Among the wide selection of topics to be tackled are new product trends; private-label brands; in-store pharmacies; the 50-plus shopper; radio-frequency identification (RFID); Internet coupon; strategic store design; dealing with out-of-stocks; deli merchandising; and multicultural marketing.
There will also be five ‘Learning Labs’ delivering a more interactive and intensive approach to current industry issues. Limited to 150 persons, each lab will consist of a three-hour, multi-part presentation, with opportunities for peer networking. Subjects to be covered include growing sales through superior customer service; ethnic merchandising and the bottom line; obesity; product movement/ shelf management and strategies for competing; and succeeding in today’s retail marketplace.
Pre-registration will be required and some workshops may be restricted to certain business types. Learning Lab registration forms can be downloaded from the show website at www.fmi.org/events/may.
Customised programming for international retailers:
The 2004 FMI Show will provide customised programme approaches for three key segments: Large and regional retailers; wholesalers and independent operators; and international retailers.
National and regional food retailers and wholesalers attending the show in groups of 30, or more, will be afforded solutions to their specific needs and requests. Participating companies will enjoy a total experience, tailored exclusively for them using a ‘menu’ approach.
Features of customised programmes include private conference suites, enhanced supplier preparation, pre-show planning assistance, special networking opportunities, professional development opportunities, and motivational speakers or targeted subject matter for training.
New this year is the Wholesaler/Independent Operator (IO) Group Programme. It is designed to give its attendees better access to each other, as well as to exhibiting suppliers and other business partners at the show.
Wholesalers will be given the opportunity to create groups of their IO customers and provide them with a customised learning experience. Some of the programme features are private suites, pre-show organisational support, customised programming, private supplier meetings and on-site coordination for access to show activities.
[The international component of the 2004 FMI Show will be expanded to maximise the benefits for this segment. Pre-show planning assistance, such as coordination with exporters at the show, will be provided, and more material will be translated into six languages (Spanish, Portuguese, French, Japanese, Simple Chinese and Traditional Chinese). Showfloor tours will be conducted in various languages, with stops at specific exporting exhibitor booths, speciality pavilions and exhibit floors. On-site access to consolidators will also be facilitated.
Returning features at this year’s show include the International Trade Center and simultaneous interpretation for the super sessions.