( Produce Marketing Association )

The Produce Marketing Association is providing a sneak peek of the virtual Fresh Summit 2020.

The Oct. 13-15 event, which typically draws 20,000 attendees, will be virtual this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

An Aug. 13 web seminar explained the event’s aim for “a tailored and personalized experience” with and ample opportunities for buyer and supplier connections, according to a news release.

“The industry has been coming together for Fresh Summit for more than 70 years, and while it will be disappointing to not see each other in person this year, I’m inspired by the vision from our volunteers and team,” PMA CEO Cathy Burns said in the release.

The industry has faced new and unpredictable challenges this year, but has seen the consumer recognition of the “absolute importance of our industry,” she said.

“We look forward to the opportunities this year to amplify the message that fresh produce and floral is relevant and essential to new global audiences,” she said in the release.

The event’s co-chairs are Shawn Peery, vice president of produce and floral for the Albertsons Cos. and Angela Fraser, director of trade affairs at California Avocado Commission.

“Going virtual means we have an unlimited audience that we can connect with, market to and communicate with,” Peery said in the release. “That means potential new partners in new parts of the world, but it also means we can reach out to people who don’t often get the opportunity to see this side of the work we do.”

PMA said the themes of Fresh Summit are content, community and connection.

The virtual platform will prioritize connections between buyers and sellers and feature ways to engage with and learn about the newest products, services and solutions, according to the release. The technology will use artificial intelligence to give attendees recommendations of relevant people, products, services and content.

The show will resemble a personalized shopping or entertaining platform like Amazon or Netflix, according to the release.

The platform allows users to build schedules and set up virtual meetings, from one-on-one to large groups.

In addition, the platform will give buyers uninterrupted time before the official event to seek new products and services, guaranteed meet-and-greets with buyers and more, according to the release.

The platform has a lead tracking system that allows company representatives to add notes and tags to contact lists in order to export for easy and immediate follow-up, according to the release.

“While w have had our challenges, I am excited that this will be a Fresh Summit where we come together to connect, welcome new audiences, discover new partnerships and ideas, and celebrate our work to grow a healthier world,” Burns said in the release. 

For updates on Fresh Summit 2020, sign up online.

Exhibitors can contact the association with questions at [email protected] 


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