The 2021 Southeast Produce Council's Southern Exposure Event Rallies Industry Members
ORLANDO, FL - To be able to physically share a space with other industry members is an experience that I will always revel in and cherish, especially after its incredibly ineffable absence. It took me a week to remember how to pack a suitcase, yes, but the rewards were great at the 2021 Southeast Produce Council's (SEPC) Southern Exposure: The Rise of Produce. While I may still be searching for and inscribing the words that express how much the trade show experience meant to me in many ways, I tapped a few industry members who were more than elated to share their own reflections.
Check out what they had to say here in this AndNowUKnow feature...
Megan Zweig, Vice President, DMA Solutions
"There was absolutely nothing about Southern Exposure that was a surprise to me other than the absolutely beautiful weather in Orlando! As one of the first hybrid events of 2021, I'd give the team at SEPC an A+ for navigating a completely unpredictable situation in the best possible way. Do I think we all learned a few things we could do better in the future? Sure! And I am grateful to the team and industry volunteers at SEPC for being pioneers in guiding our industry to optimize tradeshows while we navigate the realities of 2021 together."
Harold Paivarinta, Senior Director of Sales and Business Development, Red Sun Farms, and SEPC Chairman of the Board
"Although circumstances prevented Southern Exposure from breaking attendance records set last year, based on the overwhelmingly positive feedback we've received over the course of the show, the Council delivered yet another impactful event for our members who attended both in-person and virtually. Southern Exposure 2020 concluded as the pandemic was in its earliest days, so it was only fitting that the 2021 event was safely and successfully executed as we begin to move forward toward brighter days ahead. We will take a day or two to celebrate this successful event and get right back into preparing for Southern Innovations in September in beautiful Savannah, Georgia. We are confident a few records will be broken in September!"
Dan Canales, Senior Vice President of Sales, Marketing, and Processing, Ippolito International
"The SEPC show was [Ippolito's] first step back into the live trade show arena after a year away. Although we're all not back at 100 percent, it is nice to be able to catch up with old friends and business partners and establish new relationships. Call me a bit old school, but I still appreciate the opportunity to talk to people in person and discuss our product lines and new opportunities with them. There's a certain connection that cannot be replicated with a Zoom call."
Kim Andreason, Produce Program Coordinator, Jason's Deli
"The resiliency of this industry over this past year was definitely seen at Southern Exposure. It was wonderful to see everyone again in person and hear stories of how companies were able to come together and pivot through all of the many challenges we have experienced during this pandemic. The excitement of everyone being here and signs of getting back to some sort of normalcy were definitely felt at the event, and SEPC did a great job of bringing us all back together."
Kristin Yerecic Scott, Marketing Director, Yerecic Label
"SEPC Southern Exposure: The Rise of Produce was so phenomenal. It was wonderful to have the produce industry together again, and our team was so pleased with the safety measures the council took to ensure that everyone could get together again for some great education sessions, networking, and camaraderie."
For more details, stats, and reflections on the 2021 Southeast Produce Council's Southern Exposure: The Rise of Produce, check out the recap here and read what David Sherrod, Teri Miller, and Mike Roberts had to say as well.
A huge thank you to SEPC for the wonderful opportunity, and it was great to see all of our industry friends in Florida!