’Tis the season for innovation over at KeHE Distributors as this week, the company will welcome attendees to its first-ever virtual Holiday Show, Holidays of Hope, a digital show experience accessible from their home or office around the clock. After announcing the shift of its annual Holiday Show to a digital platform in April, KeHE shared details of the first-of-its-kind technology developed in-house to host the show.
“Everyone at KeHE would much rather be gathered together at McCormick Place as planned, but that’s just not an option right now,” said Brandon Barnholt, President and CEO. “However, the show must go on, and go on, it will.”
KeHE is the first distributor in the space to facilitate a virtual show using its own digital system, according to a press release. KeHE’s proprietary technology will enable participants to connect in a similar way to how they would in-person, using best-in-class methods to mimic a live show within the virtual realm.
Through its digital platform, KeHE will bring everything visitors love about the annual Holiday Show online, including a curated and innovative product assortment to ensure customers have a strong fourth quarter. The distributor will also provide customers with post-COVID solutions including item recommendations, contactless options, and more than 275 new items to help them continue to bring innovation to their shelves.
This new easy-to-use, digital marketplace platform will enable retailers to participate in live education, discover innovative trends, suppliers and items, and place orders just like KeHE’s physical shows. Customers can also connect with participating suppliers to discover new products, explore product stories, negotiate deals, and buy the seasonal products they know and love.
“One of the most exciting things about our virtual Holiday Show is the ability to facilitate virtual negotiations for our retail partners like we would in person,” said Ari Goldsmith, Vice President of Marketing. “Our goal in launching Holidays of Hope digitally was to create the same atmosphere our retailers know and love from past shows, while bringing everything online. The pivot to digital rather than cancelling the show also ensures our retail partners don’t miss out on exciting products and being first-to-shelf this holiday season.”
After a proactive 2019 virtual show pilot, with 1,500 retail partners, KeHE was set up for success to launch this year’s show. This year’s virtual show, which takes place June 8-15, is part of KeHE’s ongoing digital excellence initiative, which made it easier for the distributor to convert the physical show to an online experience quickly due to COVID-19 safety concerns.
In lieu of participation fees, KeHE encouraged its suppliers and retail partners to donate to KeHE Cares® in support of communities ravaged by COVID-19. To date, KeHE has raised over $170,000 through Holidays of Hope.
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