When Produce Marketing Association’s annual Fresh Summit Convention & Expo convenes October 19–21 in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, it will be a global affair with more than 1,000 fresh produce and floral exhibitors from nearly 30 countries, and attendees expected from more than 60 countries.
Fresh Summit draws diverse attendees from around the world who are looking for new products, suppliers and innovations. Participants include multinational retailers looking to source from suppliers, companies wishing to provide products to commercial growers, and solution providers with products to make the supply chain more efficient. No other event tops the networking, education and insights like Fresh Summit.
Reflecting today’s increasingly global produce and floral marketplace, this year’s convention theme is “Let’s Grow Together.” PMA’s Fresh Summit will be held at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in the Crescent City of New Orleans, known for Cajun, Creole and French-inspired cuisine, centuries-old architecture, and a unique culture focused in part on food and entertainment.
Typically, around 20 percent of Fresh Summit attendees are from countries outside the United States. A strong contingent from Mexico and Canada attend each year, as well as participants from Chile, Brazil, Central America, New Zealand and Australia. This year, registrations are up significantly from Argentina, Israel, Korea, the Netherlands, Panama, Peru and Spain, among others.
On average each year, 25 percent of exhibitors on the Fresh Summit show floor are from outside the United States. They include produce and floral growers and shippers, and service providers that offer everything from growing material to packaging, technology, transportation, merchandising, warehousing, logistics, trade development, equipment and supplies and more.
Produce and floral exhibitors together in 2017 hail from: Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, France, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Participants can customize their Fresh Summit experience based on their business interests: global connections, science and technology, talent, and floral.
The Global Connections programming includes workshops on topics such as changing governments and trade, innovation in an uncertain retail marketplace, blending of e-commerce with storefronts, dealing with consumer demands for transparency and using influencer marketing to grow business.
In addition, there will be a Global Connections Reception, designed to foster business relationships that transcend borders. The reception is scheduled Friday, Oct. 20 from 5:15 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The expo Oct. 20-21 will feature 1,000-plus companies, including more than 70 first-time exhibitors. The Fresh Ideas Showcase includes more than 200 innovative products and services in five categories: kid-friendly, on-the-go, organic, floral and general.
The floral agenda includes education workshops, a networking reception, announcement of the 2017 Floral Marketer of the Year award recipient, Floral Buyer Roundtables, and the Floral Pavilion, a destination for the floral industry on the Fresh Summit trade show. Separate registration required for the Floral Buyer Roundtables; supplier application deadline is Sept. 7.
International visitors should act now if not already registered. The best value is Fresh Summit’s All Access Pass, which includes admission to all general sessions and workshops, the Welcoming Reception and Fresh Ideas in Action Reception, and both days of the expo. Expo-only passes are also available.