(UPDATED COVERAGE, Jan. 26) The Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit 2012 will be a day shorter, but exposition floor hours will drop only 90 minutes.
The change to a 3-day conference, Oct. 26-28 in Anaheim, Calif., came after exhibitors told PMA through a survey that they overwhelmingly favored two instead of three days of expo floor time.
The PMA Board of Directors voted unanimously to eliminate expo hours on the last day of the show, which in recent years has been a Monday.
Glenn Boyet, senior director of public relations for the Newark, Del.-based group, said the Fresh Summit Committee and the Exhibit Advisory Committee recommended the change.
“Even though we are eliminating Monday, the total time is being reduced only an hour and a half,” he said.
Industry leaders said the show won't lose its attraction.
"I think the reduction in attendance will be zero," said John Pandol, director of special projects for Pandol Bros., Delano, Calif.,
Kevin Moffitt, president of the Northwest Pear Bureau, Milwaukie, Ore., said the PMA's decision was welcome news.
"That last day pretty much turned into exhibitors visiting exhibitors," Moffitt. "We're happy we can keep the show confined to the time we can really see the buyers and importers."
All educational sessions are on Oct. 26, allowing more show hours Oct. 27-28. Boyet said.
Boyet said through the survey, exhibitors said Monday show hours were not providing them enough traffic to make it worthwhile. He said that according to attendee evaluations from the past four years, an average of 34% of attendees participated in the show on Monday, compared with 94% on Saturday and 86% on Sunday. More than 70% of the attendees have indicated they would be in favor of a two-day show, he said.
PMA had more than 800 exhibitors last year in a sold-out show, and the 2012 show is almost sold out, he said.
While the full agenda is final, more details about the 2012 show will be updated at http://www.freshsummit.com, Boyet said.
Note on correction: The article orginally said the 2012 show was sold out.