ORLANDO, Fla. -- The American Wholesale Marketers Association, based in Washington, has set its 40th annual winter convention for Feb. 24 to 27, 1999, at the Orange County Convention Center here.
This will be the only AWMA expo in 1999, according to the convention and exposition manager, Susan Bergen, and Audra Keith, exposition manager.
The meeting's focal point is the annual Candy Exposition, the country's oldest and largest confectionery and snack show. The 150,000-square-foot hall features more than 4 miles of expo aisles.
In addition to the sweet stuff, buyers come to see the latest snacks, fast food, beverages, general merchandise, tobacco and health care products, it was said. The show floor also includes the AWMA's Technology Pavilion and exhibitors of distribution software, hardware, equipment and business services.
By product category, 1998 exhibitors were 40% confectionery, 20% snacks, 20% general merchandise, 8% tobacco, 7% business products and 5% groceries, the AWMA said.
As for who comes to buy, in 1998, wholesale and retail buyer attendees by title showed that 33% were purchasing or buying executives, 27% chief executive officer or owner; 17% buyer; 9% sales executive/manager; 8% general/branch manager; 5% other executive/manager; and 1% other.
Average AWMA winter-convention attendance over the past five years has been 2,216 buyers, representing 1,001 wholesale and retail firms. Total attendance has been an average of 7,982.
The association offers marketing services to help exhibitors sell, and promises no distractions while the show floor is open -- no workshops or seminars will be scheduled during those hours, which are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25, and Friday, Feb. 26, and until 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27.