Returning to Chicago after a few years of bouncing around from host cities ranging from Las Vegas, New Orleans, Dallas and San Diego, the United Fresh Produce Association expo will stay put for a few years.

Attendance numbers for Chicago reportedly are comparable to last year’s in San Diego, with the group joined in the Windy City by its on-again, off-again expo partner the Food Marketing Institute. 

That’s positive news for United Fresh, with turnout likely being helped in part by a strong roster of guest speakers — most notably Hillary Clinton

By itself, the United Fresh expo offered a lot for attendees to take in, and having the FMI Connect event competing for attendees’ time and attention upped the ante on the need to deliver value to attendees.

Given the time and expense exhibitors must invest to ship staff and product in and out for the convention, the promise of return on investment from quality contacts being made and current relationships being cemented must be fulfilled.

So, did United Fresh deliver?

A comment on the exposition floor made by the sales and marketing director for a major packing machinery manufacturer perhaps answered that question definitively: “For us, it’s not the cost of being at the show. It’s the cost of not being at the show.”

When United Fresh and FMI Connect return to Chicago next year, the International Floriculture Expo plans co-locate its show, and to do so again in 2016.

The move seems a good fit for all parties.

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