Show spotlight: Southeast Regional Fruit & Vegetable Conference
By Charlotte Woolard
Producer/owner: Georgia Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association and the Georgia Peach Council
What: Trade event for fruit and vege-table producers in the southeastern U.S.
Where: Savannah (Ga.) International Trade and Convention Center
Date in 2013: Jan. 10-13
Date in 2012: Jan. 5-8
2012 exhibit space: 31,700 sq. ft.
2011 exhibit space: 30,300 sq. ft.
No. of attendees, 2012: 2,650
No. of attendees, 2011: 2,334
No. of exhibitors, 2012: 250
No. of exhibitors, 2011: 230
Producer comment: “Most of the people who attend our show are farmers,” said Charles Hall, executive director of Georgia Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association. “They value the conference. They value the information.”
Exhibitor comment: “AgWorks exhibits at this show because the numbers are growing,” said Dan Bremer, president of Agricultural Labor Manage-ment Co. “The attendees are also the decision-makers at their businesses.”
Breakdown: The regional conference enjoyed growth throughout the economic downturn and measured a more than 13% jump in attendance this year. Exhibit space grew, driven by an almost 9% increase in the number of exhibitors. Organizers have developed educational content to serve producers of 12 different commodities, a roster that this year expanded to include olives. They also have invited collocations with organizations such as the Georgia Agritourism Association. “They bring attendees that may not have come to our conference before,” Hall said. “It gives our exhibitors a broader base of people to access. By pooling resources, we make it a stronger conference.