Guest blog post by Jamie Hillegas, Director of Tradeshows, Produce Marketing Association
Fresh Summit is officially less than a month away, and we could not be more excited about what’s in store! Whether you’re a first-timer or you make the trip every year, here’s what to know for this year’s show:
Fresh Summit Quick Facts
This year’s expo is a record-setter! Expect more than 1,200 exhibiting companies to be displaying throughout more 330,000+ square feet. Highlights:
- The Fresh Ideas Showcase, located just outside the expo, will give a preview of what you can find on the show floor, with sections highlighting kid-friendly, on-the-go, organic, and floral products and services.
- With more than 125 first-time exhibitors, many of which are in the First-Time Exhibitors Pavilion, there will be plenty of new and exciting ideas on the show floor this year.
- See a preview of the new ideas and products exhibitors will be bringing to the show by visiting the digital press room.
- Floral buyers and sellers will gather in the expanded Floral Marketplace designed to meet the growing needs of mass-market floral buyers and sellers.
Fresh Summit Veterans, Here’s What’s New:
Fresh Summit is going to look and feel different this year, from the convention format to the expo floor.
In response to attendees’ feedback, in 2017 PMA adopted the new Thursday through Saturday schedule to ensure attendees and exhibitors could get home to their families sooner and be back at their desks on Monday. This year, the expo will run Friday, Oct. 19-Saturday, Oct. 20, and will include an extra hour on Friday.
Industry Networking Events
This year’s refresh on networking should make it easier for attendees to connect with each other outside of official Fresh Summit events.
- Welcoming Reception: Global Street Festival—Most of PMA’s community-based networking functions are being concentrated into one global street festival-themed event on Thursday, Oct. 18, from 5:00-6:30 p.m.
- Floral Flamingle: An all-new floral community reception will be held Friday, Oct. 19, 6:15-7:45 p.m.
- Young Professionals Reception: Thursday, Oct. 18, 4:00-5:00 p.m.
In addition, extra time has been allotted in between each forum for attendees to connect with peers, share perspectives, and discuss hot topics with industry leaders.
Fresh Summit “Forums for the Future”
This year, the convention will feature four forums that aim to provide the fresh produce and floral community from across the supply chain with engaging and inspiring experiences. Here’s what to know:
- The forums will feature big voices within and outside fresh produce, each of which will delve into big topics in our industry.
- Forums will be grouped at the beginning of the convention, with three planned on Thursday, Oct. 18, and the final session on Friday, Oct. 19.
- Thursday morning: “State of the Industry”—PMA CEO Cathy Burns’ State of the Industry will focus on coming trends in talent, technology, and demand creation, and how our industry can adapt to them.
- Thursday lunch: “Today’s Disruptions, Tomorrow’s Opportunities”—Wired magazine editor-in-chief Greg Williams will moderate a conversation centered around trends and opportunities that are expected to bring big change to our industry. Attendees will be challenged to rethink their own businesses and how they can capitalize on those changes—and come out stronger as a result.
- Thursday afternoon snack—to be announced
- Friday morning: “Lessons in Leadership Both On and Off the Field”—Renowned U.S. quarterback Peyton Manning will share his experience leading through adversity.
For the updated forum schedule, refer to the Fresh Summit schedule of events. Be sure to plan travel accordingly!
Other Helpful Fresh Summit Resources
- 2018 Exhibitor Checklist
- Your 90-Day Fresh Summit Checklist
- 3 Useful Website Updates to Make Before Fresh Summit
- Critical Questions You Need to Ask Before Fresh Summit
- Your Guide To PR & Media Coverage for Fresh Summit
- How to Maximize Your Booth’s Visibility at Fresh Summit
- 5 Ways to Make Fresh Summit Planning Easier Right Now