The “VID” strikes again.
United Fresh Produce Association announced on April 21 it has canceled its live 2021 event that was scheduled for June 24-26 at the Los Angeles Convention Center and will conduct smaller in-person events on a regional basis.
The announcement was posted on United’s website and said, “With California’s continued limitation on conventions and expos of our size, United Fresh is launching Reimagine Connections, a new program bringing members together in-person at smaller regional events, and online for education, networking and innovation events.”
It continued, “Reimagine Connections will deliver: A series of smaller in-person regional events where members can gather and build those relationships we all so value; an online education and networking portfolio that truly serves the business needs of our industry; and,
a new opportunity for companies to host their own Innovation Spotlight Broadcasts to connect with clients and colleagues about new products, business solutions and services.”
United Fresh Chairman Michael Muzyk, President of Baldor Specialty Foods, said, “We’re very disappointed California requirements will not allow us to host our trade show in Los Angeles this June. We had looked forward to partnering this year with the Fresh Produce and Floral Council, and appreciate their collaboration and hard work in building what might have been our largest show ever,” said United Fresh Chairman Michael Muzyk, President of Baldor Specialty Foods, Inc.
“But once again United Fresh is re-inventing the member experience to connect in new ways. Combining a new portfolio of top education, networking and innovation sessions with a series of in-person regional events allows us to Reimagine Connections across our industry,” he said.
The in-person regional events will be hosted as local conditions permit, United said, and will include “safe education and networking events in several cities this summer.”
United Fresh President/CEO Tom Stenzel said, “We know that members are anxious to see each other, so we’re bringing that opportunity to them. A schedule of dates and locations for the regional events will be released soon, along with registration and sponsorship details.
Online education and networking are ongoing, and registration will open May 1 for a series of online sessions that are designed to complement the in-person events.
Online education and networking will take a deep dive into five unique tracks throughout the spring and summer, including: Produce 101 – Orientation to the Fresh Produce Supply Chain Key Issues in Produce Safety; BrandStorm™ Continued – Marketing as Key to Increasing Sales; Overcoming Supply Chain Challenges to Profitability; and Top-to-Top Retail-Foodservice Dialogues for Success.
For more information on the individual tracks and their costs, go to https://www.unitedfresh.org/united-fresh-to-launch-reimagine-connections-with-regional-in-person-gatherings-and-online-content/.
Stenzel also said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has been a nightmare to individuals and families around the world. And, it has disrupted businesses and challenged employees throughout the produce industry. While we’re disappointed that we can’t have thousands of people at our trade show this June, we can still connect our industry to learn together, to build relationships with our colleagues, and to grow our businesses through new products and innovations. That’s an essential job of a trade association, and we’re excited to bring these new opportunities to our members.”