This is the time of year when I use this column to thank all the attendees, sponsors and exhibitors who help make our annual convention and exhibition, SNAXPO, a success. After reviewing our SNAXPO evaluations and talking to attendees, exhibitors and sponsors at the show, I am proud to say that SNAXPO 2004 was another success. We had more than 2,000 attendees and attracted 243 manufacturing companies from around the world to Philadelphia. My many thanks go out to all of you who came to SNAXPO 2004 and contributed your time, resources and efforts to making this show one to remember.
Despite the recent tragedy in Spain and new security measures for international travelers, SNAXPO 2004 was again a truly international show. Our annual International reception was well attended and a good indicator of the international flavor of today’s SNAXPO. Additionally, our Latin American session, all in Spanish, continues to cover important topics for the Latin American snack producer. Also, the generous tour of the Herr’s manufacturing facility, which is always popular with our international guests, was very well attended as well and an indicator of the kind of value our guests receive from SNAXPO.
As with any event, there were a few disappointments that were brought to our attention at the Associate member meeting and through the evaluation forms. We sincerely appreciate the feedback and vow to do our best to fix similar problems next year. We also encourage our Associate members to voice their views at our annual Associate Summit on April 29th in Washington, D.C. Recognizing how much we value our Associate members and their participation in SNAXPO, I initiated these sessions five years ago in order to get the important feedback we need to succeed. So, please participate in this session or send us your thoughts on the show.
Adding value at SNAXPO 2004 were the Educational Sessions on the floor of the show Sunday and Monday and the general session featuring Kim Feil on industry sales trends on Monday morning. These sessions were very well attended, in fact, some were standing room only for the first time in a number of years. A new feature on the floor was the very popular Internet Café, which provided free internet access through computer terminals at one of two lounges. Of course, the Snack Tasting area on the show floor provided attendees and the media to sample the latest and greatest in snack food innovations.
Looking back on all the people that worked so very hard to make SNAXPO 2004 a success, from the SNAXPO Planning Committee to our exhibitors, sponsors and attendees, I want to again say THANK YOU. We look forward to making SNAXPO 2005 in the beautiful, new, Diplomat Hotel in Hollywood, Florida an even better show.
James A McCarthy President & CEO Snack Food Association