Sold Out 2012 AWMA Show Underway in Las Vegas
Before heading out for the evening, attendees and exhibitors had the chance to catch up and relax at the AWMA Welcome Reception.
© 2012 Exposuresltd.com
Convenience distributors from across the nation descended on the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas yesterday, February 15th, for the 2012 AWMA Show, where a sold out exhibit floor opens today providing a marketplace of products and services from leading suppliers in the industry.
The mood is decidedly upbeat, with many attendees talking about improved business performance over the past year, despite the national economic downturn, and expectations of still even better times in 2012.
“We had our best year in the history of our company in 2011 and we’re improving on that this year,” said Dick Dunham, vice president of operations at Stephenson Wholesale Co., Durant, OK, and former AWMA chairman.
“We’re here to see the many innovations in this industry,” added Corey Cooper, the company’s president. “There are a lot of new things happening, and this Show is a great opportunity for us to stay on top of them – including new developments in government regulations and what’s going on in the tobacco industry.”
Jeff Allen, president of Allen Bros. Wholesale Dist., Inc., Philadelphia, PA, echoed the thoughts of several distributors who said they came to the Show to network with other industry professionals, share insights and common concerns and seek solutions to common problems.
At the same time, suppliers are in Las Vegas exhibiting at the Show with the goal of connecting with wholesalers. “We have a lot of competencies that we feel translate well into helping distributors serve their customers,” said Greg Gates, vice president of image merchandising solutions at Gladson, a Lisle, IL-based company that provides shelf merchandising and space management tools for the industry.
Gates was attending the reception for first time AWMA Show attendees, exhibitors, and new members. Members of AWMA’s Board of Directors and past chairmen, all wearing their green “chairman’s jackets,” were on hand to welcome them to the Show.
Likewise, Keith Risch, president of Mallard Manufacturing Corp., Streetsboro, OH, and Scott Liechty, a business development representative at the firm, also are exhibiting at the Show for the first time, demonstrating the company’s Dyna Flow and Cart Track systems that can help improve distributor warehouse productivity and reduce costs per pick.
“We’re excited to be here,” Risch said at the Show’s Welcome Reception last evening. Judging by the enthusiasm evident during that packed event, sponsored by Altria Group Distribution Co., that sentiment clearly is shared by most in attendance here.
Mike Wise, industry principle at SAP Business Solutions, pausing during the opening reception, noted that his company provides technology services to Eby-Brown Co., Naperville, IL, and so he decided to attend the Show to consider sponsoring an event next year.
“I thought I would see if this is a good fit for us to host,” Wise said, as the Welcome Reception filled with distributors from across the nation, who were ready for the exposition’s opening today.