Being able to do all your networking in one place represents one of the greatest benefits of the BEMA Winter Summit, according to Jennifer Prusa, meeting and communications specialist for the baking equipment suppliers trade group. “Because it’s held just prior the American Society of Baking’s BakingTech, everybody is there, the entire industry is in Chicago, IL,” she said. “What we like to say is, ‘BEMA kicks off the Best Week in Baking.’ ”

The annual Winter Summit meeting will be held Saturday, March 2, and Sunday, March 3, at the Marriott Downtown Chicago Magnificent Mile, the same location as BakingTech.

Highlights of this year’s event include a Vendor Relations Panel, the Business IQ luncheon, Sunday’s annual luncheon and Saturday evening’s Welcome Reception, which is free for baker guests and will be held next door to the hotel at the Women’s Athletic Club of Chicago.

The association is currently working to engage bakers for Sunday morning’s Vendor Relations Panel. “We always focus on having the customers talk to our members during the general sessions, either about their own projects or on a specific topic like this,” Ms. Prusa said.

Because the triennial International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE) will be held next fall, Saturday’s Business IQ luncheon will feature speakers from Marketing Design Group (MDG), San Diego, CA. MDG, which is the marketing company for IBIE, will be presenting on how to best market your booth at IBIE.

The annual luncheon held on Sunday is open to anyone who wants to buy a ticket and will feature an inspirational speaker or entertainment. “It’s always a memorable presentation,” Ms. Prusa said. BEMA will also present its Lifetime Achievement Award during the luncheon.

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