Over the past few years, the baking industry has learned to embrace change in order to keep moving forward. And on that front, tortillas are no exception. In the spirit of change, the Tortilla Industry Association (T.I.A.) announced it will hold its annual convention at the Paris Las Vegas hotel and casino with a new date in early May in a shift to make the convention a spring event moving forward.
After four consecutive conventions at Caesars Palace, feedback from an attendee survey indicated it was time for a change.
“We conducted the survey right after the 2014 convention and learned that folks were getting a little burned out,” said Jim Kabbani, chief executive officer of T.I.A.
One reason, he explained, was that Caesars was no longer cost-effective.
“As prices went up, we found that fewer attendees were booking their rooms in the same hotel as the convention,” he said.
One benefit to the change is that at Paris, guest rooms are located in closer proximity to the exhibit halls.
“That’s one thing some attendees had not been happy with at the previous location, so this should solve that,” Mr. Kabbani said, noting that the hotel’s layout will allow attendees to maximize their time on the tradeshow floor and in education sessions.
Although the speakers and topics had not been finalized at press time, attendees can expect the same high-quality sessions that will help tortilla producers and suppliers to the industry improve business operations.
“At the convention, we tend to cover topics that are more related to running the business, and the production-related topics are reserved for the technical seminar,” Mr. Kabbani said.
Entertainment at this year’s awards banquet, held on May 5, will have a little twist. After the banquet speakers and awards ceremony, attendees will have the opportunity to see a performance of Jersey Boys just down the hall at the Paris Theatre. T.I.A. has reserved a block of 200 seats for the show, and tickets are included in the full registration and banquet ticket price.
Mr. Kabbani expects high attendance at this year’s convention, providing more opportunities for networking and business development.
“Over the years, we have noticed that whenever we change locations, there’s an increase in attendance,” he said. “People who might have been sitting on the sidelines for the past couple of years are going to be back — expect to see more friends, colleagues and potential customers.”The convention’s early bird registration deadline is April 4, and the deadline for room reservations at Paris is April 19. For more information and to register, visit www.tortilla-info.com.