Attendees consistently rate the CGA Strategic Conference as the year’s most productive and enjoyable networking event. We combine high-energy educational programming and business meetings with relaxed social events to create an atmosphere for genuine discussions and quality time among peers.

Start your conference experience with a round of golf at The Illuminators tournament at Mission Hills Country Club, a signature Palm Springs course. On Sunday evening, our event kicks off with the Opening Reception, followed by a chance to unwind at our hosted After Hours Social event. Daily breakfast and lunch functions provide ample opportunities to connect on the show floor, and Monday evening’s reception is an event not to be missed.

End your productive days on a high note with lively networking events and receptions to deepen your connections and have fun with colleagues. You’ll leave the CGA Strategic Conference with new ideas, valuable business contacts, and a renewed sense of enthusiasm for the grocery industry.

The Illuminators Golf Tournament

Sunday, September 24, 2023
7:30 AM - 1:30 PM

Looking for an enjoyable and meaningful way to spend your Sunday morning in Palm Springs? Join us for a round of golf at one of the city’s premier courses while supporting a great cause. The Illuminators are hosting the tournament, featuring generous tee prizes, on-course contests, and a delicious lunch spread. All proceeds go towards The Illuminators Education Foundation and Scholarship Program.

Emerging Brands Pitch Contest

Sunday, September 24, 2023
2:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Are you ready to take your brand to the next level? The Emerging Brands Pitch Contest is back and better than ever. This is your chance to shine in front of major industry players and showcase what makes your brand unique.

Selected emerging companies will have five minutes to impress an influential audience of California retailers and Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) companies with their product pitch. This is your chance to grab the spotlight, make valuable connections, and take your brand to new heights.

Don’t miss out on this exclusive opportunity to put your brand on the map.

The Opening Experience

Sunday, September 24, 2023
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Start your CGA Strategic Conference experience with a bang at our signature Opening Experience. This engaging session will set the tone for the rest of the conference and provide you with valuable insights and inspiration to drive your business forward. Make sure to join us for this must-attend event!

Opening Reception

Sunday, September 24, 2023
6:00 pm

The CGA Strategic Conference Opening Reception brings together California’s diverse grocery industry for a rare gathering. This is the perfect opportunity to catch up with colleagues, reconnect with familiar faces, and make new contacts. Enjoy delicious heavy appetizers, refreshing drinks, and great company as you catch up with colleagues, meet new friends, and expand your network.

Molson Coors After Hours Social

Sunday, September 24, 2023
8:00 pm

Sponsored by Molson Coors Beverage Company

Following CGA’s signature Opening Reception, unwind at the CGA Strategic Conference’s After Hours Social. Mingle with your peers and make new connections while enjoying the beautiful outdoor patio and pool deck at the Renaissance Palm Springs Resort. With refreshing hosted beverages and a lively atmosphere, you won’t want to miss this spirited networking event.

Whiteboard Sessions

Monday, September 25, 2023
7:00 am – 8:20 am

Sponsored by RMS, Inc.

To the drawing board! These collaborative and interactive sessions are designed to spark creative and engaging conversations with only a whiteboard and pen. Led by industry experts, these 40-minute sessions encourage you to share your knowledge and brainstorm industry best practices. Come prepared with your questions, insights, and enthusiasm to join your peers in lively discussions about topics that are relevant to your interests. You’ll have the opportunity to attend two sessions, so choose wisely!

Opening Remarks & Conference General Session

Monday, September 25, 2023
8:30 am – 10:30 am

Get ready to be inspired! Hear from industry leaders including CGA President & CEO Ron Fong, CGA Board Chair Dennis Darling, and The Illuminators Headlite Greg Siegel as they share their insights on the state of the industry. Remarks will be followed by a captivating General Session presentation that will leave you energized and ready to take on new challenges.

Enterprise Risk Protection Executive Summit

Monday, September 25, 2023
11:00 am – 5:00 pm

Our loss prevention, safety, and risk management professionals will take part in a tailored program designed to provide expert insights and guidance. Discover the latest trends and strategies in emerging areas such as shrink & fraud, technology & cybercrime, and employee safety best practices. 

Independent Grocers Forum

Monday, September 25, 2023
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

The Independent Grocers Forum is where the best and brightest of California’s independent operators come together to learn from one another, share insights, and engage in lively discussions about the industry’s latest trends and best practices. With plenty of opportunities to network and participate in vendor presentations, this is the perfect setting to connect with like-minded professionals and build lasting relationships.

Ole! Tequila Tasting & Guacamole Happy Hour

Monday, September 25, 2023
5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

Unwind from a productive day by joining your colleagues for a relaxing reception at the Illuminators Special Event.

The Morning Kickoff

Tuesday, September 26, 2023
8:00 am – 9:00 am

Join us for an invigorating start to the day with a stimulating presentation from a fresh perspective that’s sure to inspire new ways of thinking about the future of the food industry. With a focus on the latest disruptions and emerging trends, this session promises to ignite stimulating conversations among attendees. So, grab your coffee and get energized for the day ahead.

Keynote Luncheon Address

Tuesday, September 26, 2023
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

After enjoying a delicious lunch provided by The Illuminators, the final education session of our conference will leave you on a lighter note. Our interactive lunchtime speaker will offer an outsider’s perspective on our industry, highlighting observations and opportunities to spark outside-the-box thinking. You’ll travel home with sharp reflections to take back to your business.