The Council Connection April 2021


Know Before You Go!

Illuminating the Southern Exposure 2021 Universe

Registration Desk Hours

Location: Dolphin Convention Foyers 1-2 Registration Desk (Level 3)

  • Tuesday, April 6th: 1:00pm – 6:00pm
  • Wednesday, April 7th: 6:00am – 9:00pm
  • Thursday, April 8th: 8:00am – 4:00pm

Convention Center Information

Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort

1500 Epcot Resorts Boulevard

P.O. Box 22653

Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

May the App be with you!

May the App Be With You during SEPC’s Southern Exposure: The Rise of Produce. Download the app to find event times and locations, session information, speaker bios, and so much more! Use the app to easily locate exhibiting companies on the GPS-enabled expo show floor. You may access the app in the following ways:

  • Scan the QR Code on your badge, in the conference directory, or as shown below to quickly and easily download the app
  • Login via email: Tap the Download App button, Download the SEPC Events app, Return to the email and tap the Verify Account button

Stay Connected

WiFi is complementary during the expo. Charging Stations will be available throughout the conference.

  • Network: SE2021
  • Password: SEPC1999

Social Media:

  • Facebook: @seproducecouncil
  • Instagram: @seproducecouncil
  • LinkedIn: @Southeast Produce Council
  • Twitter: @producecouncil

Don’t forget to use the hashtag: #SEPCSouthernExposure

Event Tickets

This year's conference will be educational and fun-filled, but some of our events require session purchases and wristbands. Be sure to purchase ahead of time so you don’t miss out! Space is limited.

  • Retail & Foodservice Reception: by invitation only; Opening Gala wristband required
  • Opening Gala: session purchase; SEPC wristband included with purchase
  • Keynote Luncheon: session purchase
  • Southern Roots Luncheon: session purchase (Southern Roots Networking Lounge will be available prior to the session)

SEPC Virtual Garden

The SEPC Virtual Garden – Southern Exposure Hybrid Experience is our newest platform created for you to help us complete our mission to restore unity to the produce galaxy and celebrate The Rise of Produce. Beginning April 5th thru 8th, Southern Exposure Exhibitors and Retail/Foodservice Buyers will be able to hold meetings during designated conference hours via live video conferencing. The following sessions will also be available via livestream (and later on-demand) from within the garden:

  • SEPC University Educational Sessions: It's Not Personal...It's Generational! & Power of Produce 2021
  • Southern Roots Luncheon (only available to session registrants)
  • Opening Gala (only available to session registrants)
  • Keynote Luncheon (only available to session registrants)

SEPC Virtual Garden Best Practices

  • Optimized for use with Google Chrome browser
  • For those utilizing via phone, download the Jitsi Meet app for ease of use with the live video conferencing feature

Exhibitor and Attendee Etiquette

  • Exhibitors and non-exhibiting attendees shall not congregate or solicit trade in doorways or aisles.
  • Conduct of exhibitors and attendees shall be professional and courteous at all times.
  • Exhibitors and non-exhibiting attendees may not enter the exhibit space of another exhibitor without express permission. If admission has been granted, exhibitors shall be courteous and move aside when the host exhibitor is showing merchandise to prospective buyers.
  • Under no circumstances shall an exhibitor or non-exhibiting attendees interrupt another exhibitor showing merchandise to a prospective buyer.
  • Exhibitors or non-exhibiting attendees may not have models, signs, or other solicitation devices outside assigned exhibit space or in aisles.
  • No furniture, product or packing materials may be left in the aisle during show hours.
  • No exhibit will be permitted which, in the view of Show Management, is offensive or poses a danger or potential danger to exhibitors or buyers.
  • Exhibitors or non-exhibiting attendees must keep their badge on at all times. Badge swapping is prohibited.
If any company is found in violation, they will lose their right to exhibit and attend the conference.

Health & Safety Protocol

  • Enhanced cleaning protocol: reinforced cleaning systems and the increased frequency of cleaning and sanitizing in all public areas, especially for high-traffic spaces and high-touch surfaces
  • Physical distancing protocol: modified floor plans, reduced seating capacities, queuing through signage and stanchions, one-way aisles in the exhibit halls
  • Food safety protocol: appropriate PPE use for food handling; compliance with all Marriott and industry food safety protocols
  • Provided PPE: provided personal protective equipment onsite (Masks, face shields, hand sanitizer, exhibitor sanitization supplies). Everyone should wear a cloth face cover in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  • Sanitization stations: placed at key locations and contact areas such as registration areas, entrances, stairs, elevator and escalator landings
  • Physical barriers: in place at registration counters as well as for most food and beverage displays
  • Temperature screening: applied at registration and session entrances

We encourage you to review the Swan & Dolphin Commitment to Clean Policy as well as their Social Distancing Policy by clicking the links below.

To review the AGS Expo Services' Getting Back to Events Plan, click the link below.

What Do I Wear?

Overall conference attire is business casual. Use this guide to help decide what to wear throughout the week (also available in the conference app).

  • Tom Page Golf Classic (Tuesday, 4/6): Golf attire
  • Educational Sessions & Southern Roots Luncheon (Wednesday, 4/7): Business casual
  • Opening Gala (Wednesday, 4/7): Family-friendly, Star Wars-themed attire or dressy casual
  • Keynote Luncheon & Expo (Thursday, 4/8): Business casual
  • Closing Reception (Thursday, 4/8): Business casual
  • SEPC Prayer Breakfast (Friday, 4/9): Business casual

Who’s Attending?

You can access the attendee list by logging in to your registration and selecting “Attendees” within the "Post Registration" dropdown. You can also access it through the SEPC Virtual Garden.

*Please note that any external company solicitation has not been approved by the SEPC.

Produce Donations

The SEPC is proud to donate all leftover produce from Southern Exposure to Society of St. Andrew. A Society of St. Andrew representative will be dropping stickers off to each booth during the expo. If your company is interested in donating leftover product, please attach the stickers to your donations and leave them in your booth after the expo. If you have any questions, please stop by the Society of St. Andrew table in the SEPC Cares Church.

Contests, Games, & Prizes!

Grab your light sabers, droids, and wookies, and defend your booth from Storm Troopers, TIE fighters, and Star Destroyers to compete in our Southern Exposure: The Rise of Produce costume and booth decorating contests! We invite all attendees to participate for a chance to win CASH!

Costume Contest:

Come to our Opening Gala on Wednesday night, April 7th in Star Wars-themed, family-friendly attire to compete in our costume contest for a chance to win one of these AMEX gift cards:

  • 1st place: $200
  • 2nd place: $150
  • 3rd place: $100
  • Best Group: $300

Booth Decorating Contest:

  • 1st place: $1,000
  • 2nd place: $500
  • 3rd place: $250

Please submit an application if you plan to participate to ensure your booth is reviewed by our SEPC judges by using the link below.

Click Connection Challenge:

Participate in our Click Connection Challenge from within the Southern Exposure conference app, whether you’re able to join us onsite or virtually.

  • 1st place: $100
  • 2nd place: $50
  • 3rd place: $25

Hybrid Experience within the SEPC Virtual Garden

Exhibitor Information

By now, exhibitors should have received more information via email regarding our Southern Exposure Hybrid Experience, including important guides and details on how to easily set up their virtual booths, complete profiles, and network with attendees who cannot attend in person. The following resource guides are available to ensure the success of the entire virtual setup process:

Virtual Retail/Foodservice Attendee Information

Our virtual platform is ready for you to create your virtual profile and R/FS Sky Suite so that you will be able to successfully connect with our exhibitors.

Note: Until you complete your profile, you will not be able to receive meeting requests from exhibitors.

The below resource guides are available to navigate you through our virtual universe:

Southern Exposure 2021 Entertainment

Michael Jr

Known as one of today's most gifted communicators, Michael Jr brings laughter and encouragement to audiences all over the world. Using comedy and dynamic storytelling he inspires audiences to discover and activate their purpose. This unique skill set has landed him on stages like The Tonight Show on NBC, TEDx talks and Jimmy Kimmel Live. His mission to make laughter commonplace in uncommon places means that he also seeks opportunities to share his gift with those in homeless shelters and prisons. You can find him in Sony Pictures' feature film War Room, as well as starring roles in Selfie Dad, Laughing on Purpose, and More Than Funny.

The Dark Desert Highway Band, presented by Russ Lanier, has performed their Eagles Tribute show, One of These Nights, to sold out audiences and rave reviews.

Southern Exposure 2021 Digital Toolkit

Use the graphics below to customize your company email signature or other social media graphics to show your support of Southern Exposure 2021! Right click on the images to download. They can also be accessed on our website using the link below.

Email signature
Linked In

Check out our FAQ section of Southern Exposure 2021 on our website. Learn how to:

  • view attendee list
  • modify your registration
  • add/edit sessions
  • substitute attendees
  • add/edit group members
  • use sponsor credits

May the Force Be With You!

Cultivating Ideas – Growing Relationships – Producing Results

Each year, the SEPC strives to curate an impactful series of industry programs and networking events for our members. The SEPC Virtual Garden is our newest platform through which we will continue to keep members abreast of the latest developments in produce—whether those are happening in the soil, in the cloud, or anywhere in between.

Through the SEPC Virtual Garden, we have begun planting the seeds from our founding pillars – Networking, Innovation, Community, and Education – so that our members will reap the benefits of harvesting quality experiences guaranteed to increase the value of their membership.

Join us in the garden for these current and upcoming SEPC Virtual Garden sessions:

Cooking in the Garden – Sponsor Chef Demos

SEPC University Educational Sessions

Produce Inspection Training

Southern Exposure 2021 Hybrid Experience

In case you missed them, several of these sessions are already available on demand and are now located on January 1, 2021 within the schedule!

The key to the success of our SEPC Virtual Garden is the community who tends it, and we are eager to serve alongside our SEPC family to see what we can grow together!


Is your company looking for top entry level recruits?

STARS is the Southeast Produce Council’s annual scholarship program that awards 14 outstanding agricultural-based majors across 7 Southeast-based land grant universities. These students are at the top of their class and seeking to network, gain entry level positions, or acquire an internship with premier companies in the produce industry.

There's still time to join us for this invitation-only Cocktails & Careers private event held during Southern Exposure 2021 within the SEPC Virtual Garden. A virtual table will be reserved for company representative(s) where you may showcase your company’s benefits to these highly qualified young job seekers! RSVP TODAY!


Community Updates

Our featured charitable partner for April is Society of St. Andrew, whose partnership enables us to do our part to help feed America’s hungry. In addition to financial support as well as disaster relief donations, the SEPC is honored to work with the Society of St. Andrew to donate all leftover product from Southern Exposure and Southern Innovations each year to help those who are hungry in the Southeast. Visit https://endhunger.org/ to learn more about this outstanding organization!

Through the COVID-19 pandemic, we have gained valuable insight into SEPC’s theme for 2021 – Produce: Powered by People. The produce industry has been deemed essential during this pandemic, and whether companies are serving from the fields or delivering to our tables we have all felt the tremendous impact. We would love for you to share how you have witnessed essential workers from your company or others within our industry who have risen above the challenges to make a difference in the communities we serve.

Share your support of Produce: Powered by People!


Scholarship Details

Recipients of the SEPC Member Scholarship will each receive a scholarship of $1,000 towards their educational goals for the upcoming school year. The SEPC awarded 74 scholarships ($148,000) in 2020 thanks to the dedication of our members.

The SEPC Member Scholarship application can only be submitted online through our link which is now open. The application deadline is April 30, 2021 at 5pm EST. Click the link below to visit our website and view the scholarship information.

2020-2021 SEPC Annual Membership

Join the SEPC Today and Thrive

As an SEPC member, you’ll join a diverse group of like-minded produce professionals, from farmers to distributors and retailers to chefs. It’s about growing your knowledge, sharpening your skills, sharing your passion with others, and enjoying what makes this corner of the country extra special: its long tradition of bringing people together through food that is grown, distributed, and cooked with love.

Please review the membership information on our website and select which annual membership* best suits your company's needs.

*Please note that our annual membership period runs June through May of the following year. We do not prorate our membership fees.

**All conference attendees are required to be SEPC members in order to attend any events. Exhibitors are required to maintain a corporate membership.**

Our Sponsors

SEPC sponsors are a vital part of our existence. Simply put, sponsor contributions help us bring more to the table for everyone. Like better networking and education events, fresh talent, and a broader awareness of best practices throughout our industry. And of course, when you help us promote produce, your organization will gain crucial exposure at our events and engagements throughout the year.

Interested in becoming an SEPC Sponsor?

We thank you for your support and look forward to boosting your business in return.

Check out this month’s Sponsor Spotlights on our social media platforms to learn more about each of our SEPC Level Sponsors!


SEPC Fruit & Veggie Trivia

Congratulations to Vicki Greer of KVAT Food Stores for being the first to answer our March SEPC Fruit & Veggie Trivia Question correctly!

April Trivia Question

This layered fruitcake is traditionally eaten in various countries to celebrate Easter. It is distinguished by layers of almond paste or marzipan, fragrant spices, dried fruits, zest and candied peel. Twelve marzipan balls are then used to decorate the cake, representing Jesus and the 11 apostles (minus Judas Iscariot). Can you name it?

Be the first to answer correctly and win a $25 gift card!

Contact us

315 Hwy 17 North | Millen, GA 30442 | 877.720.SEPC (7372) | info@seproducecouncil.com