Viva Fresh Produce Expo creating hybrid event for 2021
The Viva Fresh Produce Expo will proceed as a hybrid event to include both in-person and virtual components, the Texas International Produce Association announced Oct. 2.
The Viva Fresh steering committee spent extensive time and effort this summer and early fall conducting exhibitor, retail and foodservice attendee research to learn and understand opinions and company regulations surrounding travel and trade show participation.
While there is still uncertainty in policies and positions regarding the coming months, the overall perception from those polled was that while business travel might not be ideal today, there is a strong desire to resume important interactions in quarters one and two of 2021.
The Viva Fresh hybrid model will provide in-person elements similar to the traditional Viva Fresh Produce Expo such as the trade show, golf tournament and reception. It will also provide virtual elements that both those attending and those joining from home will be able to participate in — like the Clean Eating Challenge, which kicked off Oct. 1 — as well as In Bloom and Aggies-for-Fresh, among others.
The face-to-face portion of the show will take place as scheduled on March 26-27 at the Gaylord Texan Resort in Grapevine, Texas — just 5.5 miles from Dallas Forth Worth International Airport. In order to provide a safe experience for those interested in attending, the show will also become more exclusive than previous years as they limit the number of attendees per company as part of the new safety protocols.
“We did not take the decision to move forward with a hybrid model lightly” remarked Dante Galeazzi, President & CEO of TIPA. “We recognize and respect the choices and challenges before our attendees. One thing was clear as we polled our exhibitors and retail/foodservice attendees: there is not only the ability but also a strong preference to move forward with certain in person experiences. We will put the utmost emphasis on safety as we balance the concern of today’s world by providing content and engagement opportunities in the virtual space as well.”
Just a few of the additional safety protocols already worked into the show plans include:
- Masks required in all trade show areas
- Temperature checks prior to entry into expo areas
- Sanitation intervals during show
- Contactless payment and registration
As planning continues, TIPA will share more information and details to aid attendees, exhibitors and sponsors in the very near future, including lists of events happening on-line and in-person, sponsorship opportunities, safety features and protocols, exhibitor information, registration, hotel bookings and more.
Visit www.vivafreshexpo.com often for updates and be on the lookout for future email notices.