There is a lot to cram into IBIE’s 4-day run in Las Vegas. Between meetings, floor demonstrations, networking and workshops, it’s a balancing act trying to decide how to optimize time during the show.

This year, with more than 100 sessions scheduled during IBIE, show organizers attempted to alleviate some stress by giving attendees a day to focus solely on many of the educational opportunities being provided.

On Sept. 7 — one day before the show floor officially opens — attendees have the option to register for a full day of IBIEducate programming. The decision to include this day was the result of feedback in years past.

“We heard from attendees that they were challenged on how to balance their schedule between education sessions and the time needed to meet with suppliers on the show floor,” said Andrea Henderson, IBIE education task force chair and vice-president, Rondo. “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.”

Some of the sessions offered on Saturday will be repeated during the expo, but others will only be available during the Sept. 7 lineup. Sessions will cover a range of topics including workforce development, baking with cannabis, food safety best practices, automation, consumer trends and food waste. All classes are first come, first serve.

To take advantage of the extra education day, attendees must purchase a Saturday Full Day of Education Pass for $125, which includes access to all half-day workshops and one-hour sessions. If attendees wish to also visit sessions during the expo, they will need to purchase either a $125 all-access pass, good for all sessions Sept. 8-11, or $15 individual session passes.

In 2018 IBIE held a call for proposals for industry members to submit session topic ideas. The Education Task Force read through and prioritized the proposals for the IBIEducate program.

“We receive so many great ideas that it’s always a difficult assignment,” Ms. Henderson said. “But the task force is ultimately guided by the goal of curating a program that’s well-balanced in meeting the needs of all attendees — across all market segments and job roles — as well as covering the topics most meaningful to the industry.”

Ms. Henderson said the most popular sessions generally fall into two categories: general business practices and hot topics in the industry. She said attendees are eager to learn new ideas and strategies to operate more efficiently and increase sales while also seeking out opportunities to address challenges head-on and help navigate where the industry is headed. In the past, these topics have included gluten-free baking and clean label.

While many of the topics are similar to what’s been offered in the past, this year’s program will be refreshed with the latest content and most cutting-edge information, she said.

Since the additional day of programming is new, Ms. Henderson said IBIE has put a lot of effort into promoting the benefits of coming to Las Vegas a day early. Using a variety of channels including direct mail, email, digital and social media, advertising and public relations, a lot of thought went into figuring out how to highlight the extra day of IBIEducate.

“As a new initiative — and one that will impact attendees’ travel plans to arrive a day earlier — our goal is to put it front and center in our messaging,” Ms. Henderson said

In addition to the formal education sessions, there are a number of other learning opportunities available during IBIE.

The RBA Bakers Center, brought to you by Bundy Baking Solutions, is a new area of the show floor that brings together the American Cake Decorating Stage, Revent Celebrity Demo Stage, Exhibitor Demo Stage and Pillsbury Bakers’ Plus Creative Cake Decorating Competition all in one place. Here, attendees can find ideas and practical tips through live demonstrations from some of the biggest names in the industry.

The IBIE Artisan Marketplaces, crafted by Puratos and the Bread Bakers Guild of America, are the destination for attendees with interests in the craft of artisan baking. These marketplaces will aim to offer attendees new ideas and inspiration to grow their business. Both marketplaces will feature presentation theaters with hands-on demos and workshops with renowned artisan bakers.

Fresh Take Talks, presented by Grain Foods Foundation, will give attendees the chance to hear experts on trends, health and grains give their perspectives on common issues in today’s baking world. These 20-minute special presentations tackle topics like the future of food and consumer concerns.

Where IBIE attendees will find the most value is dependent on their individual objects, Ms. Henderson said. But by providing a variety of learning opportunities throughout the Expo, hopefully all attendees will leave with more insights into the industry.

“With such a wide variety of topics covered in the program and sessions for all industry segments, job functions and experience levels, it really gives attendees the opportunity to tailor their learning experience to their unique needs.”