SOURCE: We are not going to be paying the highest prices in the country, from union hourly wages to Chicago extremely high " downtown entertainment tax" to have our people attacked or robbed!
In announcing its decision to cancel FMI Connect, scheduled for June 2017, FMI President and CEO Leslie Sarasin said the group needed to refocus its event strategy after the trade show "has fallen short of achieving the precise formula necessary for meeting today's industry needs."
This year's show brought 6,500 attendees and 490 exhibitors to Chicago, but attendance was down from past years, said David Fikes, vice president of communications at Arlington, Va.-based FMI.
"It was reflective of the food retail industry going through some massive changes in the last 10 years," Fikes said.
The number of places where food is being sold has expanded in recent years, from supermarkets to megamarkets such as Target and Wal-Mart, pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreens, and online.
"The trade show that was so important to the industry in previous years didn't seem to be as vibrant a place for (our members) to come and conduct business," he said.
Chicago hosted the trade show 24 times from the early 1980s to 2007 before it moved elsewhere. The 2008 show was in Las Vegas. In 2012, organizers announced the show would return to Chicago in 2014. Fikes said the hope was that coming back to Chicago might be the "magic" it needed to draw more attendees. However, it was not to be, Fikes said, although he could not provide figures on how much attendance has declined in recent years.
CLICK FOR MORE