WASHINGTON — The International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE) and its industry partners have demonstrated a commitment to teaching, learning and mentoring. IBIE, historically known as Baking Expo, has the largest education program of any baking industry event in the world. And this year, organizers are digging even deeper into the industry knowledge well.
“Our program is designed to give people the tools to do their jobs better, run their bakeries more efficiently and innovate their product lines,” said Andrea Henderson, chair of the IBIE Education Task Force and vice-president, Rondo. “We know the value is there. It’s evident in the growth of the program in the past decade; we went from less than a dozen sessions in 2007 to more than 100 this year.”
With the growth over the past decade have come some tough choices because of IBIE’s other must-dos. It’s difficult for attendees to sit through a full schedule of educational sessions and, at the same time, walk the show floor and meet industry partners. So, this year, IBIE created an education-only day on Sept. 7 featuring a full slate of sessions prior to the exhibit hall opening Sept. 8.
“By introducing this dedicated day of learning before the exhibit hall opens, we’re creating an opportunity for attendees to take full advantage of IBIEducate, gain a more complete experience at IBIE and return home more prepared with new ideas and strategies to improve their products, optimize production and support business growth,” Ms. Henderson said.
The education task force surveyed key stakeholders at the planning stages to hone in on the areas of most interest and then grouped them into appropriate tracks. On the retail side, tracks include artisan and specialty foods, retail for bakers and decorators, retail management, and retail sales and marketing. For wholesalers, tracks include formulation and product development, plant operations, processing, and sales and marketing. There are also two tracks for all audience and all management attendees.
“We understand the needs are very different if you’re a plant manager versus a cupcake decorator, so it’s important to ensure the content that’s specific to your business and goals is easy to find and tailored to your personalized IBIEducate experience,” Ms. Henderson said.
The IBIEducate program is loaded with technical topics and on-trend issues that continue throughout the show, ending on Sept. 11. On Sept. 8, Christine Cochran, executive director of the Grain Foods Foundation, and Stephen McCauley, founder of The Ginger Network, will discuss the state of the media/union shaping the bakery marketplace.
On. Sept. 9, Walt Tunnessen, national program manager for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program, will join Rasma Zvaners, vice-president of regulatory and technical services, American Bakers Association, to provide their perspective on energy efficiency improvement and cost savings opportunities for the baking industry.
Trends in nutrition labeling will be spotlighted on Sept. 10 as part of a session led by Val Wayland, director of regulatory compliance, Flowers Foods, Inc., Thomasville, Ga.; MaryJoy Ballantyne, special counsel at Covington; and Lee Sanders, senior vice-president of government relations and public affairs corporate secretary, A.B.A.
The entire program is curated by industry partners A.B.A., Bema, G.F.F., the American Society of Baking, the Bread Bakers Guild of America and the Retail Bakers of America. And to make the sessions more accessible, IBIE is launching an all-access pass system this year. For a flat rate of $125, attendees can access unlimited sessions.
For more information on the education program, visit www.ibie2019.com.