WASHINGTON, DC — November 21, 2002 — Presentations from global futurists, an exhibit floor featuring a broad array of retail technology solutions, and educational sessions covering RFID, retail optimization, the future of Linux systems at retail and other hot trends will highlight MARKETECHNICS 2003, an information marketplace showcasing the latest methods of integrating state-of-the-art technology with merchandising and operations. The 11th annual convention will be held February 23-25 at the Dallas Convention Center in Dallas, TX.

Sponsored by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), MARKETECHNICS 2003 will bring together thousands of retail industry professionals and hundreds of exhibitors to this hotbed of technology know as Silicon Prairie. With 15 tech-oriented educational workshops, along with a 200,000 square foot exhibit floor, the convention provides an invaluable opportunity to learn about the latest trends, issues and applications in retail-oriented technology.

"MARKETECHNICS 2003 will be FMI's most dynamic tech show ever, blending the newest technologies and their strategic applications with hot consumer and industry trends," notes Brian Tully, FMI senior vice president, conventions. "It is a must-see event for decision-makers across the retail industry."

New features this year include:

Technology Lane — FMI invites attendees to a walk into the future with this hands-on showcase packed with the most exciting collection of the latest retail technologies.

Interactive Electronic Show Guide and Onsite Map — Up-to-date information, available online before the show, lets attendees plan their visit in advance and eliminates the bulky onsite show guide.

Opening Night Reception on the Show Floor — For the first time ever, attendees are invited to an opening night reception right on the exhibit floor, where they will be able to preview exhibits, get acquainted with manufacturer representatives and network with peers from across the world.

Group Advantage Program — Groups of 10 or more enjoy discounted registration and room rates, andVIP treatment, at the convention and at participating hotels.

Genomics, Sunrise 2005, the Future of Linux and 7-11 Exec Highlight Education Program

"Today's retail operators need to keep up to speed on new technology-driven strategic solutions in order to effectively compete, particularly in a tough economic environment," says Michael Sansolo, FMI senior vice president of education, research and industry relations. "Providing insight into the industry's hottest tech trends, the MARKETECHNICS 2003 educational program features a menu full of ideas, breakthrough technology, innovation and opportunity."

Presentations featuring noted speakers lead the education program. Highlights include:

As the Future Catches You — What happens when technology meets genetics? Genomics. Harvard University's Juan Enriquez will explore the impact of genomics on the retail industry -- and the entire global economy -- and how it could be the single most important issue of the century. Enriquez will address the potential opportunities and perils associated with this explosive new concept.

Tech-on-the-Go — Consumers in the U.S. and around the world have become more obsessed with convenience than ever before. What does this mean for the future of retailing? Jim Keyes, president and CEO of 7-11, Inc., will discuss his company's growth strategy and its focus on strategic technology implementation, the addition of more fresh food offerings to its product mix and the simplification of store operations. Keyes will expand his presentation to include the concept of retailer initiative, the convenience industry and customer-centric marketing in this new business era.

The Future of Linux At Retail — Is it now possible to run all the technology in a store using Linux? Systems experts explore the rapidly increasing penetration of Linux at retail. How can it enhance system reliability and reduce total cost of ownership? What are retailers actually doing with Linux and what will we see in the next two years?

Sunrise 2005: Advancing Global Supply Chain Efficiencies — Retailers whose company database is built on anything less than 14 digits must be aware of important changes ahead. The Uniform Code Council (UCC)has announced that all North American retailers and trading partners who presently scan the 12-digit UPC symbol should be capable of scanning a minimum 14 digit symbol by January 1, 2005. Retail technology experts explain why North American retailers should update and expand their databases, systems and applications to accept data structures up to this length.

Other sessions will cover topics such as self-checkout, data warehousing, demand-based management (DBM) and technology solution strategies for independent retailers.

New Research Highlights Tech and Consumer Trends

FMI will release Check It Out - Global Innovation for the Front End and Technology Highlights at MARKETECHNICS 2003. The reports contain new data on trends such as online shopping, B2B e-commerce, self-checkout, POS systems, loyalty programs and loss prevention technology.

DemoNet Expands Exhibit Floor Activity

All MARKETECHNICS exhibitors are invited to step out of their booths and out-of-the-box to participate in DemoNet on the show floor. DemoNet is a theatre for multimedia presentations that allows exhibiting companies to explain and promote their technology-oriented solutions for the food distribution industry. The DemoNet area will also have computer terminals that attendees can use to gain access to the Internet.

Electronic Exhibit Returns

Visitors to the MARKETECHNICS 2003 Web site can experience the show's electronic exhibit, a cyber trade show that allows buyers and visitors to view an exhibit and its featured products before the show. The electronic exhibit offers many opportunities for exhibitors:

  • Comprehensive list of exhibitors
  • Posting of exhibitor press releases
  • Product visuals and descriptions
  • Direct e-mail access to exhibitor
  • Exhibitor invitations to retailers
  • Booth location information
  • Presence on the MARKETECHNICS Web site before and after show

Co-Location With Key Industry Events

MARKETECHNICS 2003 will be co-locating with three key industry events: FMI's annual Electronic Payment Systems Conference (February 21-23); the EPC Retailer Adoption Forum (Saturday, February 23); and the Automatic Data Capture 1 Technical Advisory Group (FMI-ADC1 TAG) annual meeting (Monday, February 24). Attendees to these events receive complimentary admission to the show.

Online Registration and Information

Consistent with the show concept, FMI is encouraging retailers and exhibitors to use the FMI Web site to register and obtain program information. An electronic brochure is posted at the site, allowing retailers and exhibitors to obtain current program information online. Site visitors are also invited to subscribe to the free MARKETECHNICS 2003 e-newsletter, which provides frequent updates on the show.

For more information, visit the show site http://www.marketechnics.com or contact FMI's convention department (tel: 800-974-9769 or -2155; e-mail: marketechnics@fmi.org; or fax-on-demand: 1-800-521-6017 or 847-940-2386).