Social Events

Attendees routinely praise the CGA Strategic Conference as the most productive and enjoyable networking event of the year. We blend our high-energy educational programming and business meetings with relaxed social events to foster an environment for genuine discussion and quality time in the company of acquaintances new and old.

Networking Opportunities

Throughout the agenda, the CGA Strategic Conference offers opportunities to connect with colleagues in a more informal and relaxed environment. Prior to the start of the conference, tee it up with your industry colleagues at The Illuminators golf classic at one of Palm Springs’ signature courses. Sunday evening, the conference social program shifts into high gear with the Opening Reception followed by the chance to unwind poolside 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 and The Illuminators Special Event is an experience not to be missed.

Take advantage of these nightly networking events and receptions to connect with new colleagues and clients and strengthen relationships with your existing customers.


Sponsored by E & J Gallo Winery and Alta Dena Certified Dairy

Sunday, September 23, 2018 | 6:00 pm

The CGA Strategic Conference Opening Reception is the single largest gathering of the California grocery industry. It’s the ideal opportunity to catch up with colleagues, reconnect with familiar faces, and make new contacts. Delicious heavy appetizers and libations add to the lively and welcoming atmosphere at this unrivaled networking event.


Sunday, September 23, 2018 | 8:00 pm

Following CGA’s signature Opening Reception, attendees are invited to join their colleagues and new found acquaintances at the After Hours Social held in the picturesque setting of the Renaissance Palm Springs Resort’s outdoor patio and pool area.  Hosted beverages and the lively atmosphere will be enjoyed by all who attend.


Monday, September 24, 2018 | 5:30 pm

After a productive day, join your colleagues for a taste of aged spirits, sophisticated cocktails and artisan-crafted brews inspired by the barrel.  Experience the CGA Strategic Conference’s own unique blend of camaraderie and fellowship while distilling your conversations and easing into the perfect finish to a fruitful day.

While you “wet your whistle” you’ll be entertained by the Illuminators’ Special Event.  For more than 80 years, The Illuminators have brought a tradition of entertainment and camaraderie to the CGA Strategic Conference.  Your paid conference registration includes two Special Event tickets that include a chance to win. Come cheer on your favorite CGA Board Member & Illuminator Officer team.  The Special Event proceeds benefit The Illuminators’ industry scholarship program.

We thank The Illuminators for their longstanding contributions to the CGA Strategic Conference, including their generous hosting of our outstanding social events and meals.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

8:00 am – 2:00 pm

The Illuminators Golf Tournament

What better way to spend Sunday morning than playing one of Palm Springs’ most notable destination courses? Take a swing at one of the generous tee prizes and enjoy lunch, refreshments, and on-course contests, hosted by The Illuminators. All proceeds benefit The Illuminators Educational Foundation and Scholarship Program.

6:00 pm - 8:00pm

Opening Reception

The CGA Strategic Conference begins with an opening session that is promises to me more of an opening experience.  This must-attend kick off is guaranteed to provide you with inspiration for the next two days and will seamlessly blend into the Opening Reception.  Don’t miss it!

8:00 pm – 10:00 pm

After Hours Social

Sunday evening’s networking doesn’t end at the Opening Reception.  Grab your newfound friends and retire to the picturesque setting of the Renaissance Palm Springs Resort pool for a casual after-hours mix

Monday, September 24, 2018

6:30 am - 8:00 am


Provided by The Illuminators

11:30 am – 12:30 pm


Provided by The Illuminators

5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Bourbon ‘n Brews Reception & The Illuminators’ Special Event

After a productive day of meetings, join your colleagues for a sip of bourbon inspired cocktails and craft brews followed by the always entertaining and un-convention-al, Illuminators’ “Special Event”.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

6:30 am - 8:00 am


Provided by The Illuminators

11:30 am – 12:30 pm


Provided by The Illuminators