The Viva Fresh Expo held in Grapevine, Texas provides a window on what in-person trade shows will feel and look like in the future. The March 26, 27 event featured growers from the Mex-Tex corridor and attracted 1,300 attendees.
Two Canadian-based exhibitors, Red Sun Farms and Oppy, dipped their toes in the water.
Event organizers provided green, yellow and red name tags to communicate each exhibitor’s comfort level in terms of contact. The visual cue was combined with respectful social distancing and face masks. Extra spacing between booths and wider aisles added another level of safety. Every attendee took a temperature check before entering the venue.
While exhibitors did not offer any food samples, more emphasis was placed on visuals in the displays and in marketing materials.
Not unexpectedly, turnout was lower than usual amongst retailers. However, attendees were up from the foodservice sector. Attendees originated from a much smaller local radius, within easy driving distance from the show.
Because the produce business is based on relationships, it’s expected that trade shows and conventions will evolve as pandemic restrictions ease.
Source: FreshPlaza March 29, 2021