United Fresh Takes Its New Virtual Platform Year-Round
Following the success of the United Fresh 2020 LIVE! virtual trade show and conference in June, United Fresh Produce Association is transitioning its new online platform into a year-round digital marketplace for the global produce industry.
United Fresh LIVE! 365 will allow buyers to source new products and technology and access hundreds of vendors, as well as offer exhibitors year-round opportunities to highlight their companies while connecting with buyers and attendees. Association members will also have access to ongoing offerings including webinars, conference programming and networking opportunities on the new platform.
“United Fresh took a leap of faith by making the pivot to a virtual event this June, and it paid off,” said Michael Muzyk, president of Baldor Specialty Foods and chairman of the United Fresh Board of Directors. “We all benefited from gathering our global community online. It’s only natural that we continue to rebuild our industry through this platform.”
United Fresh 2020 LIVE!, which took place June 15-19, had more than 7,500 attendees and 210 exhibitors and offered more than 50 educational sessions. The association’s first-ever virtual expo received a host of positive feedback from exhibitors and attendees alike, including from Helena Fernandez Irastorza, marketing coordinator at Seald-Sweet.
“We are utterly amazed at how United Fresh developed this ground-breaking virtual event for the industry; it was a creative and innovative way to gather, interact and show everyone what we do,” Fernandez said. “We are extremely satisfied with the outcome and the dynamics of the show: The content of the educational sessions was insightful and diverse, and the exhibitor booths were very well put together, showing once more how adaptive our industry is.”
Access to on-demand recordings of the show’s general sessions and workshops will remain complimentary to all 365 users during July and August.
“Everything that we do is a building block to drive our industry and membership forward,” said John Toner, vice president of convention and industry collaboration at UFPA. “By developing a year-round platform, we are connecting members and the companies that choose to support the membership on a year-round basis. By allowing members to connect in advance of industry events, it extends the longevity of the investment.”
United Fresh LIVE! 365 will also host the association’s annual Washington Conference, set to take place virtually Sept. 21-25. Like the in-person gatherings of years past, the online version will include Congressional visits, keynote sessions, workshops, networking receptions and volunteer leadership meetings, as well as an “election night” party culminating in a vote by all attendees to forecast November’s Presidential election results.
Additionally, the 365 platform will host educational and networking programs throughout the year, including the United Fresh Start Foundation’s FreshStart Conference and United Fresh’s BrandStorm Conference. According to, offering these signature events online will allow greater participation from member companies and attendees from across the globe.
“By driving attendance to multiple educational and networking opportunities throughout the year, we’ll continue to bring a fresh audience to exhibitors on the platform, making this a year-round marketing opportunity,” said Tom Stenzel, United Fresh president and CEO.
Stenzel added that United Fresh 2021 Convention & Expo, set for April 21-23 at Los Angeles Convention Center, will mark the association’s first in-person gathering of the United Fresh community since the pandemic struck. In order to broaden the show’s reach to those unable to participate in person, a portion of the in-person programming will be made available online through the 365 platform, he said.
Starting in September, United Fresh LIVE! 365 will continue to be free for all employees of association member companies, with a one-time $100 annual registration fee for non-members. Exhibiting companies will also have access to sponsorship branding, hosted events and advertising opportunities available on the platform.
To learn more about United Fresh LIVE! 365, go here.