Mac Riggan Discusses Chelan Fresh's Success at United Fresh LIVE!
UNITED STATES - Imagine it is June 2019. You’re surrounded by fresh produce faces both new and well-known. The Chicago air is filled with the smell of fruits and vegetables, and you’ve just bitten into a delicious SugarBee® apple. Can you picture us attending the first virtual trade show in history only a short year later? I doubt any of us can answer yes to that question, but here we are nonetheless.
United Fresh LIVE! was a total success, and nearly everyone I’ve talked to sings high praises of the association’s unprecedented innovation. Though we may not have imagined this future, teams like that of Chelan Fresh took the opportunity in stride.
“Our marketing staff tackled this challenge and did a phenomenal job of building content that was useful in the show and will be useful down the road,” said Mac Riggan, Director of Marketing. “We created compelling content that will drive both retailers and consumers to want to do business with Chelan Fresh. This whole exercise pushed us ahead, just like COVID pushed everybody into Zoom meetings. We're way ahead of where we used to be because oftentimes you don't do things until you have to.”
Though living through a pandemic is never ideal, we have managed to conquer the challenges as an industry and, in turn, accelerate our ability to innovate. As Mac put it, we may not have accomplished all we have in the first half of 2020 for another couple of years had we not encountered COVID-19.
No, we cannot ignore the lack of sensory experiences that our industry’s trade shows are famous for. Chelan Fresh, however, turned this idea on its head, elevating its marketing strategy to tap into an experience all its own.
“United did a great job of outlining how to access and explore the show beforehand so come Monday, it was easy to log in and access the show floor,” Mac added. “I am sure a lot of folks wish we could go back to a physical show. I can't imagine that that experience will go away entirely. Regardless, it is hats off to the United team for getting it done like they did.”
Now imagine it is June 2021. It’s the week before United Fresh’s annual show and your team has a bevy of new opportunities to present. That time-tested love for the industry is as strong as ever. Tell me, what does the show floor look like to you?