“I like to think of this as the family reunion got moved to a ZOOM meeting.” That is what Jeff Watkin, Director of Marketing for Sev-Rend, says of the new virtual format for the PMA Fresh Summit this year.
For Sev-Rend, this will be the first virtual show that they are exhibiting at. “We have participated on the other end of the spectrum in some of the other industry shows as attendees, such as at United Fresh. This is literally flipping our strategy on its head for a virtual environment and I am a firm believer of you only get out as much as you put in with these types of situations,” Watkin says.
Importance of virtual presence
In order to display their products in the best manner possible, the company is working hard to design and develop their virtual ‘booth’. “We are going aggressive on our setup and time, energy, and money are coming into play on developing for this. We have been working to get items in place to expand our digital footprint to add support to this type of show environment,” Watkins explains.
With trade shows moving to virtual platforms, a company’s overall virtual presence has become increasingly important, Watkin shares, saying: “Video and digital images are obviously a big push for this environment. Also having your digital footprint outside of this as a support factor is a big deal as well. Everything from social to PR support is something every player in this game needs to have on point, but this year it is even more crucial with a virtual show environment.”
New focus on compostable packaging
As a packaging company, Sev-Rend has put a big focus on sustainable options. This year, though, they are highlighting their new focus which takes sustainability a step further: compostable packaging. “We are doing a push on the sustainable option front for all of our packaging types we support the market with. We have had recyclable options in place for some time now, but our new focus is on the compostable front and will be a game changer,” Watkin explains.
“We’re all in the same boat”
Going into the first time exhibiting at a virtual trade show, it is difficult to know exactly what the expect. For Watkin, he’s hopeful for a successful event: “Keep in mind everyone is in the same boat right now with this not just being a virtual show, but a first for everyone which includes the PMA team as well. Much like the COVID environment we have been dealing with all year – we are all in this together and are having to deal with the circumstances the best we can. I remain hopeful that the participation rate is significant but realize that the virtual show does cut down on that chance of bumping into colleagues and friends. We make the best of the situation and in the end, we still keep things moving forward,” he concludes.