ORLANDO, Fla. — The Produce Marketing Association's annual Fresh Summit International Convention & Exposition, held here Oct. 15-18, set a new East Coast record for the show, attracting 18,284 attendees from 58 countries.
“We measure success not by attendance numbers, but by the quality of the experience our participants tell us they had,” John Oxford, president & CEO of L&M Companies and vice-chair of the Fresh Summit Committee, said in a release. “We are hearing that this year's Fresh Summit delivered real business value on many levels, from the networking opportunities connecting buyers and sellers, to the educational sessions designed to help attendees to innovate and to build the new relationships they will need to grow their businesses for the future.”
Highlights of this year's show included educational sessions on traceability and food safety, local sourcing, emerging market opportunities in China and the ever-increasing incidence of water shortages, among other topics. The show expo also featured a dedicated Food Safety Solutions Center for the first time, where attendees could check out additional educational programming, along with demonstrations and exhibits from leading food safety solution providers. PMA also made extensive use of social media, with a new smartphone app, and show news on Facebook and Twitter.
Next year's Fresh Summit will be held Oct. 14-17, 2011, in Atlanta.