Dale J. “DJ” LeCrone is chief executive officer of LeMatic, Inc., and serves on the International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE) 2022 committee. He has worked in the baking industry for more than 40 years.
What are you looking forward to most about IBIE 2022?
IBIE 2022 is positioned to be the first major bakery trade show to welcome back an in-person experience. The anticipation and desire to re-tool and automate our industry adds an incredible amount of energy to an already exciting trade show.
Why are in-person trade shows so important?
The pandemic, working from home and an overabundance of virtual meetings over the past couple of years has highlighted the value of in-person experiences through on-site visits, face-to-face meetings, conferences and trade shows. The experience of a handshake, a smile, personal engagement and the ability to evaluate equipment, products and services firsthand cannot be recreated in a virtual world. We need contact!
What does an attendee gain from exploring the IBIE exhibitor halls?
Attendees will be able to explore the IBIE exhibit halls and discover what’s standard, what’s new and what the future may hold for every aspect of our industry.
How can exhibitors get the most out of their experience?
As a good friend of mine once said, “promote, promote, promote!” Exhibitors can get the most out of their experience by bringing and exhibiting their latest and greatest advancements that they supply to the industry and, of course, promote it!
What are the new ways exhibitors can promote themselves for 2022?
IBIE offers a suite of tools that exhibitors can use to promote themselves, including a customized landing page with a discount for their customers. IBIE also offers a range of sponsorships and advertising packages to help drive awareness and booth traffic.
How will this show be different from 2019?
In hindsight, IBIE 2019 was a unique show. It was a great show. Optimism was high, prospects were many and the industry as a whole was on a fast pace. Then, out of nowhere, we were the last trade show before the pandemic hit, and our world changed dramatically. Industry direction changed. Demand changed. Equipment and service needs changed. And now, coming out on the other side of the pandemic, the experience has created slightly different equipment and service needs. But, overall, the kernels of automation, labor savings and efficiencies still drive the demand. IBIE 2022 incorporates lessons learned through the pandemic and is poised to pick up where 2019 left off to show the industry’s latest and greatest through equipment, services and education.
What do you hope people take away from the show?
Attendees will walk away with solutions to their current needs, exciting possibilities for their next automation projects and thought-provoking possibilities of what their processes might look like in the future.
What is your favorite part about IBIE? How has this part of the show been enhanced for 2022?
My favorite part? The entire IBIE experience. I enjoy the energy of the show and seeing the industry come together. Our show continues to grow and adapt to meet the needs of our industry. The Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) continues to expand and develop and combined with sponsorship programs allows exhibitors to present their goods and services in a modern environment. Plus, the exhibit pavilions, like cannabis and sanitation, and IBIEducate offerings truly make this an all-industry, can’t-miss event.
How is IBIE taking full advantage of the LVCC campus?
The new campus is beautiful. The expansion and renovations are helping elevate the experience overall. We’re taking advantage of the technology, such as wayfinding and large screens, the Tesla loop, as well as the new spaces available to us for a variety of programming.
What new features should people check out at this year’s event?
This year we’re excited about the new Cannabis and Sanitation Pavilions, keeping IBIE current with industry demands and trends. Education continues to be an industry need, and IBIE 2022 will not disappoint. Education is a growing and dynamic focus of IBIE, especially with the recent challenges we’ve all faced. Topics and scope that address all industry segments are continually being identified, developed and incorporated. IBIEducate has fast become a necessary and integral part of the show.
How do you anticipate the current industry challenges will impact people’s goals for IBIE?
The industry has been faced with some unique challenges through the pandemic. New projects took a back seat to maintaining existing lines while addressing automation and labor challenges that still loomed in the background. Now, hopefully on the rebound side of it all, we can focus on the complete picture — strengthening existing production needs as well as addressing labor challenges and automation needs. Going in to IBIE 2022 gives attendees the opportunity to address all the above with immediate needs and labor-saving solutions.
What new technology do you think the baking industry is ready to embrace?
Automation solutions will be throughout the exhibit halls. Robotic and vision will lead the way, followed by a plethora of control and information advancements to make facilities smarter, faster and predictive. The alphabet soup of IoT, Industry 4.0 and the various variations all can play a vital role in new age solutions to age-old challenges.
What’s the top reason people come to IBIE?
The top reason is to see what’s new. You must continue to adapt to stay on top in this industry, and this rings true now more than ever. We haven’t had a category leading trade show in our space since the last IBIE in 2019, and the need for innovation has accelerated due to the pandemic. We’re facing more challenges than ever, and IBIE is specifically tailored to help our industry overcome these challenges.