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The National Grocers Association (NGA) yesterday said that it will expand its annual trade show, moving it from Las Vegas to San Diego for the 2019 and 2020 editions. NGA said that "this move in location is directly in response to the need for a larger convention space to meet the growth in exhibitor and participant attendance and reflects the continued growth of NGA, which has doubled its membership in the past five years."

“We are very enthusiastic about the future of The NGA Show as well as the independent supermarket industry, and San Diego an exciting destination to match that sentiment. As we continue to expand we look forward to working with our Show partners to deliver value to attendees and make this a memorable conference,” said NGA president/CEO Peter J. Larkin.

The 2019 NGA Show will be held in San Diego, California on February 24 – 27, 2019 and February 23 - 26, 2020. The 2017 and 2018 NGA shows will remain in Las Vegas.

Full disclosure: NGA is a longtime MNB sponsor.
KC's View:
The sound you hear is a grunt coming from Food Marketing Institute (FMI) headquarters, where a large knife has just been inserted somewhere between its ribs and twisted, just a little bit. After all, it was just last week that FMI announced that it is cancelling its signature 2017 FMI Connect show, saying that it had concluded in the months since the 2016 event that it is "not the right formula" with which to go forward. Which translated into lack of retailer support, which made it harder to charge manufacturers to exhibit on the convention floor.

The NGA plans had to be in motion long before the FMI announcement; these things don't come together overnight. And, to be fair, the FMI and NGA shows are different animals, with different constituencies. Though I suspect that NGA now will be on the radar screen for companies that might not have exhibited there before, since FMI no longer is an option.

I continue to believe that FMI ought to bring back two events that it used to do - MarkeTechnics, a technology show, and Meal Solutions, a foodservice-oriented event - that were folded into the main show years ago, but that would demonstrate more direct ROI for attendees.

And I think that NGA has to right now begin thinking about 2021 ... and whether there are trends at work here that it needs to consider going forward if it wants to be relevant. In this case, better to be ahead of the wave than behind it.