John Pandol, director of special projects for Delano, Calif.-based Pandol Bros., chats with Earl McGrath, director of produce operations for Freshfields Farm, Orlando, Fla., during Southern Exposure 2018 in Tampa, Fla. ( File photo )

The Southeast Produce Council’s annual conference and expo, Southern Exposure, no longer is a startup regional event.
Southern Exposure turns 20 this year, and nearly 300 exhibitors and other attendees from across North America and beyond will come together March. 7-9 at the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort in Orlando, Fla. 

“Our reinvented show floor will strive to encompass two of our founding pillars — community and innovation,” SEPC expo organizers said in announcing the event.  

“This expo experience will provide our members with the intimacy that they’ve come to expect and appreciate at our events while immersing themselves within this multi-sensory showcase of the most innovative products on the market today.”

Along with the Tom Page Golf Classic, plenty of dining, dancing and networking opportunities, the program includes numerous educational sessions. 

Panels of experts will discuss “The Healing Benefits of Produce,” focusing on the benefits of a plant-based diet; and “The Power of Produce,” in which the Food Marketing Institute discusses its latest research on produce through consumers’ eyes March 8. Sessions later that day will focus on food safety and marketing.

Dr. Travis Stork, an Emmy-nominated host of the award-winning talk show “The Doctors” and a board-certified emergency medicine physician, will deliver the keynote address at a luncheon scheduled for 10 a.m. to noon March 9. 

Past Southern Exposure events have attracted upward of 3,000 people, according to previous reports.