The 2016 International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE)—the most comprehensive event in the western hemisphere for the grain-based food industry—recently wrapped up its largest show to date at the Las Vegas Convention Center with more than 1,000 exhibitors—340 new to IBIE and a 28 percent increase over 2013—in more than 700,000 square feet of exhibit space. Attendance also continued its upward trend with more than 23,000 registered attendees—a nine percent increase over 2013 and an astounding 65 percent increase over the last decade.
Much of the growth has come from international markets with attendees hailing from more than 100 countries and making up 30 percent of the total attendance.
“The quality and depth of IBIE’s attendees, exhibitors and education sessions was incredible,” said Michael J. Cornelis, Chair of IBIE. “IBIE is continually evolving and growing to meet the needs of baking industry professionals, as well as the trends in the industry, and this year we saw a record-breaking show with the largest show floor, number of exhibitors, innovation showcase and education program in IBIE’s history.”
A host of thought-provoking new and returning features created an even more engaging experience for attendees and exhibitors; highlights included:
- The Innovation Showcase—15 percent larger than its inaugural run in 2013—was prominently featured in the Central Lobby for attendees to shop and see what’s new before entering the Expo Hall. In addition, the Innovation Spotlight Theater, located in IBIE’s new Idea LAB on the show floor, provided a forum for exhibitors to conduct live presentations of their top innovations.
- New to the show were Fresh Take Talks, presented by Grain Foods Foundation, a series of brief, informative presentations featuring influential thought leaders sharing perspectives on consumer, nutrition and industry trends.
- The American Cake Decorating Demo Theater and The ONE Demonstration Theater by Revent featured free daily demos by celebrity chefs and big-name cooking pros showing off their skills and latest techniques.
- An expanded educational program—with 90+ sessions designed for professionals of all levels and backgrounds—highlighted the latest techniques and proven strategies for streamlining wholesale operations, improving product quality and increasing profits. More than 20 new seminars focused on the most relevant issues facing the industry today, featuring expanded content for upper management. The enhanced educational program was popular with attendees, as many sessions sold out.
- This year’s speakers were well-known subject matter experts, including retail insights thought leader and former Nielsen Vice President Todd Hale, American Bakers Association’s Senior Vice President of Government Relations Lee Sanders, as well as business moguls who run the largest bakeries in the world, including Bimbo Bakeries’ Senior Vice President of Operations Ramon Rivera.
- The education program began with RPIA’s Business of Baking for Beginners seminar and the Tortilla Industry Association’s two-day Technical Conference, which addressed operation skills, safety regulations, quality control, plant efficiency and best practices for the baking industry’s fastest growing market segment.
- Seminars at IBIE 2016 were organized into targeted tracks: AIB Technical, Retail, Bread Bakers Guild of America, International, Management, Sales & Marketing, Ingredients & Processes, Food Safety & Sanitation, and Retail Hands-on (Cake & Pastry Decorating). Sessions were held daily from 8:00 a.m. to noon and in the evening to give attendees plenty of time to explore the latest innovations exhibited on the expo floor.
- Popular returning features included: B.E.S.T. (Becoming Environmentally Sustainable Together) in Baking Program, The Great American Pie Festival, RBA’s 15th Annual Pillsbury Bakers’ Plus Creative Decorating Competition and PMQ Pizza Village.
Also new to the show was the Satin Ice Live Challenge competition, which brought together six teams of three professional decorators, including one Satin Ice Artist of Excellence, to construct and decorate a fairytale-themed cake on the show floor in only six hours. The winning team included Satin Ice Artist of Excellence Jörg Amsler, Jaime VanderWoude of Eagan Hy-Vee in Minnesota and Erika Youngdahl of Jerry’s Foods in Edina, Minnesota, with VanderWoude and Youngdahl representing the upper Midwest Bakery Association. Winners were awarded a trip to the America’s Cake Fair hosted by Satin Ice in Orlando.