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FMI’s Walsh: ‘Back To The Future’ For Chicago Show In 2014

Last updated on September 7th, 2012 at 09:52 am

Though FMI 2012 The Food Retail Show just wrapped up in Dallas, Texas, Food Marketing Institute officials already are preparing for the big show in 2014.

Pat Walsh, SVP of industry relations, education and research for FMI, tells The Shelby Report that show will be held at McCormick Place in Chicago. It is scheduled for June 10-13.

“We’re going back to Chicago, which is really our home—and I think you could probably say it’s kind of ‘back to the future,’” Walsh says. “We’re going to obviously be in a very centralized and popular location in Chicago; we expect that to continue to build our attendance.”

In addition, FMI is currently is in negotiations with a number of potential association partners to co-locate their exhibits and education programs.

“While we’re going back to Chicago, I think we’ll be poised in putting on a very futuristic event in terms where the industry is going, where consumers are going,” Walsh says. “And obviously there’s going to be a lot of change in the technology arena over the next several years so we’re really looking forward to it.”

FMI 2012, held last week, saw approximately 15,000 attendees.

“(It) was a good improvement vs. our last show in Las Vegas in 2010,” Walsh says, “so we were very pleased with the numbers.

“The show, from my perspective, really achieved its objective in terms of building the awareness for retailers and their suppliers to focus on what the future is going to look like for the food industry,” he adds. “We touched on a myriad of issues, particularly in the areas of e-commerce and online shopping; we really tried to present a holistic program in terms of opportunities for industry growth and rethinking how we do business going forward.”

The show hosted approximately 950 exhibitors, co-locating with U.S. Food Showcase 2012; AMI International Meat, Poultry and Seafood Industry Convention and Exposition; and United Fresh 2012

“Clearly it was our goal to try and bring a more holistic view of the total store environment by including fresh foods, particularly produce and meat, into the show and give those attendees a broader perspective about what’s going on in the food industry,” Walsh says.

“I think the initial feedback we’ve received, from both the exhibit show experience as well as the education program, was that attendees were very pleased because it gave them a more forward-thinking view of the things they need to take into consideration in terms of how they want to grow their businesses going forward.”





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