SWEDESBORO, N.J. — The American Society of Baking’s BakingTech again will take place in the Chicago Marriott Downtown in 2014, but the event will move to the Hilton Chicago in 2015. The move will allow for more space for table top exhibits and technical sessions, said Kent Van Amburg, executive director of the A.S.B., based in Swedesboro.
“A.S.B. is not moving from the Marriott due to any concerns about the quality of the service and the facilities provided by the Marriott or because of any contracting issues,” he said. “A.S.B. is moving to the Hilton in 2015 because we outgrew the Marriott several years ago. The Marriott ballroom space is at its limits and will not permit any future growth in table tops nor increased participation by our allied members.”
He said surveys showed exhibitors want more space between table tops because they wish to have more private conversations. Bakers desire more room in the aisle. The Hilton’s exhibit space, being three times as large, should provide room for more exhibitors.
With the move, the A.S.B. is discussing the possible creation of an innovation aisle that would highlight innovations in equipment and ingredients, bakery product displays, a product development competition and a possible poster session displaying student research and development projects.
The Hilton also has twice the number of breakout rooms and rooms that may accommodate more people in technical sessions, Mr. Van Amburg said.
BakingTech 2013 took place March 3-5 at the Chicago Marriott. Changes to this year’s agenda included eliminating the Wednesday morning session, which would have taken place on March 6, and holding an officers closing reception on Tuesday evening (March 5) instead of having a reception on Sunday evening.
“The board of directors met on the Wednesday after the meeting, reviewed the changes to the BakingTech agenda and were pleased with the outcome,” Mr. Van Amburg said. “Remarks to the board members by attendees were also favorable. We will be surveying the members/attendees directly to get some hard numbers.”
Final attendance numbers for the 2013 event should be available soon, he said.