BEMA Winter Summit will help to kick off the Best Week in Baking with education sessions such as how to make the most of the International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE) 2013. Featured speakers from Marketing Design Group, San Diego, will be present on how to best market your booth at IBIE. Other sessions will explore State Trade and Export Promotion grants, R&D tax credits and a trade relations roundtable.

The education sessions will be held from 8:30 a.m. to noon, Saturday, March 2. The annual Winter Summit meeting takes place March 2-3, at the Marriott Downtown Chicago Magnificent Mile, just prior to the American Society of Baking’s annual BakingTech conference.

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 to BakingTech, everybody is there — the entire industry is in Chicago,” she said. “What we like to say is, ‘BEMA kicks off the Best Week in Baking.’ ”

Saturday evening’s Welcome Reception, which is free for baker guests, has a new location and will be held next door to the hotel at the Women’s Athletic Club of Chicago.

Sunday’s morning activities include the Baking Industry Forum, which will focus on Creating a Skilled Workforce, and a Vender Relations Panel, where bakers will discuss how suppliers can build mutually beneficial relationships with their customers.

The annual BEMA Luncheon, which is open to anyone who wants to buy a ticket, will close out the Winter Summit starting at noon Sunday. Guest speaker Michael C. Anthony will provide entertainment and BEMA will also present its Lifetime Achievement Award.  “It’s always a memorable presentation,” Ms. Prusa noted.

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