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    Associated Grocers of Baton Rouge, Tree of Life Moving Some Trade Shows Online

    CHICAGO -- Associated Grocers of Baton Rouge, La. and Tree of Life are the latest grocery distributors to sign partnerships with Chicago-based InXpo, a producer of online trade shows, as more companies supplement, enhance, or replace their bricks-and-mortar selling shows with online trade shows.

    CHICAGO -- Associated Grocers of Baton Rouge, La. and Tree of Life are the latest grocery distributors to sign partnerships with Chicago-based InXpo, a producer of online trade shows, as more companies supplement, enhance, or replace their bricks-and-mortar selling shows with online trade shows.

    The move follows that of C&S Wholesale Grocers, which said in February it would be producing an online selling event via InXpo.

    "InXpo is proud to be partnering with these leaders in grocery distribution to host and produce trade shows," said InXpo co-founder Rich Hawkinson in a statement. "InXpo has a proven track record of generating revenues and creating a successful and engaging show experience for the host distributors, their vendors/suppliers, and their grocery buyers/attendees alike."

    Grocery store buyers need only a computer and an Internet connection to view their distributor's online trade show floor, visit exhibitor booths, e-mail or instant-message manufacturer's representatives in real time, order products, attend educational seminars, network with peers, and win show prizes.

    After canceling its fall show for the past two years due to hurricanes, Associated Grocers of Baton Rouge, an organization of 240 independent retailers, has decided to replace its fall bricks-and-mortar show and its catalog show with InXpo online trade shows, according to InXpo. The grocery wholesaler will host its seasonal candy catalog show, "AGCandyXpo," as an online show in June 2006. In the fall Associated Grocers will also move its major annual show online.

    Tree of Life, a distributor of natural, organic, ethnic, and gourmet foods, will be holding an online "sneak preview" show in advance of its physical presence at the 19th Annual Tree of Life Show scheduled for June 8-10, according to InXpo. Tree of Life's retail customers will have the opportunity to preorder products up to three days before the show.

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