“Ninety percent of attendees and exhibitors asked for a shortened schedule,” she said. “A number said ‘Thanks for listening,’ and were thrilled to find they’d lost so little show-floor time.”
The complete Fresh Summit schedule is online at www.freshsummit.com/program/schedule.
The three-day schedule was reached in part by concentrating workshops and educational events on Friday — dubbed Future-Focused Friday.
While topics like food safety and the global supply chain are addressed there, the focus is on business implications.
“We have sessions on leadership, managing in an innovative business environment, looking at our talent issues and at what marketing and sales look like in this new world,” Christie said.
More than 40 university students from the U.S. and five other nations will be introduced to career opportunities at Fresh Summit through the PMA Foundation for Industry Talent.
PMA has also promises greater member involvement in offering education this year.
“For the first time, we made a much more coordinated effort to engage our members in asking them to prepare proposals for speaking at Fresh Summit,” Christie said. “We want to bring in their views and case studies to help attendees. This year the members helped us design the education environment.”
Eighteen companies will participate in the Just 4 Kids showcase. A section of the new product showcase is set aside for children’s products. A sensory experience contest on the show floor Oct. 28 will have children serve as judges.
Recognition events include a new one for Fresh Summit, the Bob Carey Leadership Award, in honor of the past PMA president.
As the expo closes, exhibitors will offer their fresh produce donations for food banks. In the last five years, they’ve contributed nearly 1.4 million pounds of fruits and vegetables. The closing party will have a tropical theme — perhaps with Jimmy Buffett music.