Wednesday, February 20, 2008

From the AWMA Show, Las Vegas

"The Real Deal Expo" is a buying show aimed at putting distributors, retailers, brokers and suppliers together. AWMA (American Wholesale Manufacturer's Association) hosted this expo and conference annually in rotating cities.

With a show floor comprised of over 180 exhibitors selling candy, tobacco, health and beauty aids, general merchandise, technology and equipment, the main target appears to be convenience operators. Booth sizes range from 10x10 (the largest proportion) to 20x40 with a few 30x30s and 20x20s scattered in the mix. The largest exhibitors include Hershey, Cadbury Adams, Santa Fe Natural Tobacco, Altadis and Commonwealth Brands. Several technology companies are also included in the mix, including our client, Retalix, a provider of point-of-sale products and back office systems. Retalix has a 10x20 exhibit at this show.

Freeman is the general contractor and the event is being held in the largest ballroom/exhibit hall at the Las Vegas Hilton.

From the show guide and the organized activity going on pre-show, this appears to be a well-run and managed show. The show floor is sold out and has a waiting list for new exhibitors. Selling is done on the floor and prize giveaways are encouraged. Security from the hotel is good and freight moves well. Electrical service is well staffed and seems to be running on time for installation.

Today is the second set up day and the show opens tomorrow. Details on attendance and floor activity in a later report.


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