The decision to make United Fresh Live! a free event meant the association was giving up $1 million in revenue — not an insignificant amount. Now that the “live” part of the event has come to a close, Michael Muzyk, chairman of the United Fresh board of directors, is reaching out to the industry.
“We’re asking you today to make a contribution to help cover the cost of bringing you this experience,” he said. “No matter how large or small, you’ll be making a powerful investment in our continued advocacy before government, food safety and regulatory support, training and education for our community, and increasing children’s access to fresh fruits and vegetables.”
A deeper dive into the data of United Fresh Live! showed that the event was able to reach a whole new generation of fresh produce professionals by transitioning to a virtual event that otherwise would not have had the opportunity to travel and attend an in person event.
“About half of the attendees that registered had never engaged with a United Fresh event,” said Coppola. “So not only are they young professionals, but these are also folks from each company that were able to call in from the warehouses, or on the road, and those are the folks that any trade association isn’t always able to address, because of the nature of their job. It was so exciting to see some of those folks pop up in receptions and coffee talk conversations that were pertinent to their roles within a company.”