Exhibitor placement at the Produce Marketing Association’s 2013 Fresh Summit show will be based on a new points system that places value on years of exhibition and how much companies spend on PMA activities.

“We wanted to take into account all the things people do with PMA beyond just exhibiting,” said Glenn Boyet, senior director of public relations for the Newark, Del.-based association.

Another change limits exhibitors to a maximum of 50 feet of exhibit space along the central “broadway” and/or exhibit entrances. That’s regardless of the number of sub-exhibitors within the space — which appears to limit the prime real estate for larger pavilions with multiple companies such as Mex-Best or Texas Town.

“I am concerned about the new formula and am eager to find out what the implication really is for those of us who have been substantial participants in that show for many many years,” said John McClung, president of the Texas Produce Association, Mission.

McClung said the Texas Town exhibit at PMA generally has about 28 companies. In 2009, The Packer reported Mex-Best listed 114 companies participating, up from just 12 participants in 2002. Boyet said Mex-Best had more than 100 participating companies in 2011 as well. A spokesman for Mex Best, a trade promotion effort run by the Mexican Department of Agriculture, could not be reached for comment Jan. 31.

Boyet said companies who combine to form a pavilion won’t be able to add their points together under the new system but he said PMA is reviewing that provision.

According to the new scoring system:

  • Companies receive two points for each year of exhibition:
  • Additional points are awarded when a company reaches milestones: 25 years, (5); 50 years, (10); and 75 years, (15);
  • Loyalty is rewarded, with 1 point for each consecutive year of membership;
  • Companies that participate in PMA and PMA Foundation for Industry Talent events receive 1 priority point for every $3,000 received. Participation include sponsorship or advertising with PMA, participation in PMA events, contributions to PMA’s Gold Circle program, PMA Foundation campaign contributions and other miscellaneous participation opportunities

The priority points system used for the 2013 Fresh Summit will be calculated on an annual term starting Aug. 1 of 2011 and ending July 31 of 2012, Boyet said.

Boyet said that the priority points for exhibiting are given a high weighting in the new system.

Previously, booth assignments were made on a points system based on one point for each year participating in Fresh Summit, one point for each booth unit used (10 feet by 10 feet for each unit) and points for consecutive participation in the show.