Hit the ground running at IBIE

by Mari Rydings
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Research shows that the No. 1 reason people attend an industry trade show is to see what’s new. Industry insiders heading to the 2013 International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE), slated for Oct. 6-9 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, will find plenty of new products, suppliers, features, events and educational opportunities to explore, as well as some familiar show staples.

When the show floor opens, it’s time to get down to business. But before they head straight toward their “must see” booths, bakers will want to check out the IBIE Innovation Showcase, a new show feature. Located in the main area of the convention center lobby, the Innovation Showcase is a walk-through gallery of posters illustrating some of the cutting-edge technology introduced during the past three years. It’s a one-stop shopping experience for the latest advances in just about every industry category.

An amplified, dual-stage demonstration program conjoins information and entertainment in the aisles. Headlining at the Amoretti Demo Theater is Cake Boss Buddy Valastro, who will lead two sessions on cake decorating. Chef Dana Herbert, winner of “Cake Boss: The Next Great Baker,” and his 50-baker team will take the stage in an attempt to break the current record for the World’s Largest Wedding Cake, which is 15,032 lb. Stick around after this festive feat for the opportunity to buy a slice of the cake, with all proceeds going to Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s Southern Nevada Affiliate.

Pie, pizza and raisin bread also get in on the show floor action. New to IBIE 2013, The Great American Pie Festival invites attendees to feast their eyes — and their appetites — on “A Never Ending Pie Buffet.” Sponsored in partnership by The American Pie Council and IBIE, visitors can sample an impressive array of ready-made pies and take in live entertainment, merchandise, ­complimentary refreshments and free prizes.

To balance out the sweet, IBIE will also add some savory in the form of the PMQ Pizza Village. This town-hall-style pizza pavilion, created specifically for IBIE 2013, will connect pizza manufacturers and bakers through demonstrations, exhibits, networking opportunities and educational seminars. Village visitors can  enjoy a freestyle pizza acrobatics competition and the American Pizza Championships cooking contest.

Joining The Great American Pie Festival and the PMQ Pizza Village on their inaugural IBIE run is the America’s Best Raisin Bread Contest, hosted by the California Raisin Marketing Board. Over the course of the three-day show, 36 contestants will bake their raisin pièces de résistance in front of a panel of judges. Three winners from three categories — Artisan, Commercial and Breakfast — will emerge victorious. Judges will also select one student winner in each category.

IBIE’s education program is bigger and better than ever and boasts the addition of several new seminars and speakers. Hot topic sessions include presentations on the Food Safety & Modernization Act, the Global Food Safety Initiative, managing rising commodity prices, and formulating with ancient grains. For the complete schedule, visit ibie2013.org/education.

For those eager to get a jump start on the IBIE experience, three industry associations will host pre-show workshops and conferences. The American Bakers Association, in partnership with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), will offer “Food Defense Awareness.” Scheduled for Oct. 5, the all-day seminar will provide participants with the tools they need to create a food defense plan. It will also include a hands-on demonstration of FDA’s Food Defense Plan Builder (FDPB) tool. Space is limited. To register for the program, visit www.surveymonkey.com/s/22LXDWN.

The Tortilla Industry Association scheduled its annual technical conference for Oct. 5-6. Co-located with IBIE, the conference focuses on the operational angle of managing a plant for efficiency and profitability amidst a sea of safety and regulatory issues. For more information, visit ibie2013.org/tia.

Lastly, the RPIA Group will host its annual day-long The Business of Baking for Beginners (BOB) seminar on Oct. 5. This program is designed for people with five years or less in the baking industry. For more information, visit ibie2013.org/bob.

Navigating the show floor, scheduling supplier appointments and making dinner reservations will be a snap with the IBIE mobile app. Sponsored by DuPont Nutrition & Health (Booth No. 5821), the mobile app is available for iPhone, Android and Blackberry 10 devices as well as via the Web for all other mobile gadgets. Innovation Showcase entries, the education program schedule and demo times and locations are just a tap away. 

In no time at all, the industry will truly be “All Together Now” at what promises to be the best industry show ever.
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