This is the first year that Gold Coast Packing will exhibit at the United Fresh show. While the format of the show has been changed, the company continues to look forward to their participation. Crystal Chavez, the company’s marketing coordinator, says: “We were disappointed when the show was moved to a virtual platform, because we’d initially been very excited to exhibit on our home turf in California, and to travel to San Diego to meet up with all of our produce friends. But we understand the circumstances, of course, and are glad that this move to a virtual platform will help keep everyone safe.”
Reconnections and new connections expected
Gold Coast is hoping for a lot of digital foot traffic to their booth. “We are predominantly a foodservice company, so we are looking forward to sharing our items with foodservice operators who work with school foodservice directors. We look forward to meeting with those we have connected with in the past, as well as sharing our items with new buyers who stop by our booth,” Chavez says.
The preparation for this virtual show is much different than how the company has prepared for trade shows in the past. “We have had to shift our strategy a bit,” Chavez shares. “We are letting our customers and buyers know that we will be attending by sharing on social media and through emails. We have also looked at all of our product sheets and brochures and are making sure they are updated and ready to be shared on the digital platform. Communication with our team has also been important in the planning process: we have to make sure that everyone is aware of how the platform works and what is available to our team and the attendees."
Virtual platform will improve visitor analytics
The new platform has also changed how exhibitors attract visitors to their booths. Chavez explains: “It is not going to be as easy to chat with someone who is walking by our booth and we will need to be creative with drawing people to our booth and getting new leads. But we are hoping to get a lot of digital foot traffic. Attendance is free, so we are hoping that buyers who typically can’t make it to an in-person event will take advantage of the platform and visit our booth as well as all other exhibitors.”
Chavez concludes: “We are hoping to have great analytics from those who stop by our booth, such as what their interests are. Visitor data will be great information for follow-ups. Especially since the virtual format will prevent the exchanging of business cards, the analytics will be a great way to get into contact with those who stop in. With many people working from home, and the platform being live throughout the summer, we hope that many buyers will have the opportunity to visit at any time, giving even more opportunity to make connections. Since this is new for the produce industry and for all of us at Gold Coast, we are just hoping everything goes smoothly.”