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.

Throughout the agenda, the CGA Strategic Conference offers suitable 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 offers the the Opening Reception followed by the chance to unwind outside 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.

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


Sunday, September 26, 2021 | 6:00 pm 

Sponsored by E. & J. Gallo Winery

The CGA Strategic Conference Opening Reception is a rare gathering of the diversity of California’s grocery industry. It’s the ideal opportunity to catch up with colleagues and reconnect with familiar faces. Co-hosts CA GROWN and E & J Gallo Wines welcome members of California’s diverse grocery industry to the CGA Strategic Conference Opening Reception to reconnect with colleagues and network while enjoying food and wines from the Golden State. Food personalities Aida Mollenkamp (Food Network, Salt & Wind) and Kate Ramos (Hola Jalapeno) will be on hand to demonstrate how to create some of the evening’s appetizers and how to pair them with wines. Don’t miss the fun!


Sponsored by Molson Coors

Sunday, September 26, 2021 | 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 27, 2021 | 5:30 pm 

Wind down from a productive day by joining your colleagues for a relaxing, tropical-inspired reception and always entertaining Illuminators Special Event. CGA Board members and Illuminator Officers will be working for your tips to benefit industry scholarships while you sip on our mixologist’s inspired craft cocktails.

For more than 80 years, The Illuminators have brought a tradition of entertainment and camaraderie to the CGA Strategic Conference.  We thank The Illuminators for their longstanding contributions to the CGA Strategic Conference, including their generous hosting of our outstanding social events and meals.