United Fresh Expo Goes Virtual, IDDBA Cancels 2020 Show Due to Coronavirus Concerns

The continuous progression of the coronavirus (COVID-19) throughout the US, forced the IDDBA trade show to cancel its show, and in the case of the United Fresh Expo, they decided to transform their event into a virtual one called United Fresh Live!, according to its organizers.

Regarding the cancellations, the International Dairy Deli Bakery Association (IDDBA) announced that its IDDBA 2020 show, scheduled for May 31-June 2 in Indianapolis, IN, will not be held due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement, the association, which represents more than 1,500 companies in the dairy and bakery industry, explained that earlier this month, the association’s leadership remained optimistic the industry’s leading show for over 50 years would still go on as planned. But with the continued progression of coronavirus, countless conversations with show exhibitors, attendees, and government and industry leaders, canceling the show is in the best interest of the health and safety of the thousands of people who were scheduled to attend.

“Our hearts go out to all those with family and friends battling this virus”, said Mike Eardley, IDDBA CEO and President. Eardley added, “global impacts and hardships that our members, community, and industry continue to face while carrying the daunting responsibility to keep food on our tables during these difficult times, has been unlike anything I have seen in my lifetime of being in this business.”

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Registration and exhibitor fees will be fully reimbursed, said the association. Exhibitors at the IDDBA 2020 will have two options: Full credit toward IDDBA 2021, or full reimbursement of fees paid to the association for the IDDBA 2020.

Exhibitors are asked to notify IDDBA by May 1 with their decision by emailing [email protected].

In the meantime, the United Fresh Produce Association announced that it will proceed with its Expo, but no longer in person, as scheduled in San Diego June 16-19. The event will take place on a virtual platform.

United Fresh LIVE! is the new, free virtual event that will connect customers, suppliers and colleagues across the industry.

“During these past few weeks, we’ve all learned something about connections,” said United Fresh President & CEO Tom Stenzel. “While we can’t wait to join with industry friends again in person, we’ve also realized that we’re connecting today in new ways. We’re all online, with video streaming, face-to-face chats, and group interactions that, just a month ago, we didn’t know how to do.”

United Fresh President & CEO Tom Stenzel, explains the new virtual trade show.

United Fresh LIVE! is an innovative solution to an unprecedented challenge, said the association in a statement. “Businesses across the supply chain are clamoring for information and connections,” said Michael Muzyk, President, Baldor Specialty Foods, and Chairman, United Fresh Board of Directors.

“As we’ve learned to adopt online platforms to conduct our daily business, offering this free virtual event broadens our opportunity to deliver real value to thousands of industry members at a time when they need it most,” added Muzyk.

United Fresh2020 LIVE! will debut the week of June 15, 2020 and will feature live keynote presentations, roundtable discussion groups, networking interaction among different communities, and a robust expo floor where exhibitors and attendees can share information, view videos and other content, chat live and make the same connections one would at an in-person event.

“In the coming days, United Fresh will be working with our exhibitors and sponsors to build out our virtual platform that delivers live experiences, valuable content and new connections to industry members around the world,” said Danny Dumas, Senior Vice President, N.A. Sales, Marketing and Product Management, Del Monte Fresh Produce, and Chairman-Elect of United Fresh.

“United Fresh LIVE! is a testament to the quick-pivot thinking to ensure that our industry can continue to gather and thrive, even in these unprecedented times of coronavirus.”

United Fresh LIVE! will debut at www.unitedfreshlive.org, with preliminary information and sneak peeks in the coming weeks.