WASHINGTON, DC — January 9, 2003 — Intensive business discussions, collaboration with top industry decision makers and an intimate forum for building business relationships are the key elements of the 2003 Annual Business Conference (ABC). Sponsored by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), the event will bring together industry representatives for as many as 50 prearranged meetings per company, March 1-4 in Orlando, FL.   

Featuring multiple formats, ABC provides an excellent opportunity for food retail and wholesale companies and manufacturers to communicate tactical and operational strategies that build sales, increase profits and grow market share.

“FMI’s Annual Business Conference is one of the most significant annual meetings in the industry,” said Jeff Noddle, Chairman and CEO, SUPERVALU INC. and chair of FMI’s Wholesale Division Board. “Efficient, fast-paced and focused, it is an extremely effective environment to discuss means of increasing sales and streamlining operations between suppliers and distributors.”

The 2003 ABC will consist of meetings in three different formats:

Vendor Distributor Exchange (VENDEX) — Retail and wholesale executives responsible for procurement, marketing, merchandising or category management are provided a forum to discuss tactical issues affecting day-to-day operations such as sales, finance, logistics, personnel/retail coverage, and customer service directly with trading partners. The scheduled meetings are 25 minutes each and are determined by supplier/distributor team preferences, which are then matched up by computer. VENDEX is an exclusive service for FMI members and their trading partners.

Business Conference Suites (BCS) — Senior executives, including CEOs and their colleagues, responsible for corporate goal setting, business development and strategic alliances will find BCS an important opportunity for discussing long-term, strategic business issues. The scheduled meetings are 45 minutes each and are held in hotel suites hosted by supplier executive teams. The meetings are scheduled by both the suppliers and distributors once they receive a participant contact list.

Chairman’s Club — The relaxed setting of the Chairman’s Club provides attendees with the opportunity to conduct additional meetings, follow up on earlier discussions or take a break from the action. Full business amenities and light refreshments are available to Chairman’s Club members throughout ABC business hours.

“The variety of meeting formats is ideal for high-intensity, productive business discussions,” said J.H. “Jay” Campbell, Jr., president and CEO of Associated Grocers, Inc. and the ABC 2003 conference chair. “The fast-paced VENDEX format affords participants time with a wide range of partners with national and regional responsibilities, while the Business Conference Suites offer the opportunity for more in-depth, strategic discussions with top industry executives.”

For information on participating in FMI’s 2003 Annual Business Conference, please contact Lisa Gallagher (202-220-0812, lgallagher@fmi.org) or click below.