LAS VEGAS — That buzz heard in the booths throughout the Las Vegas Convention Center wasn’t just from the electricity powering the hundreds of mixers, conveyors and other baking systems firing up for the first time the day before IBIE 2022.

Rather, it was from the anticipation being felt by exhibitors for the first major international baking exposition in three years. 

“It’s been too long. We’re anxious to be in front of customers again,” said Scott McCally, president, Middleby Bakery brands. “You can see the enthusiasm from both sides — bakers and allieds alike. It’s going to be electric.”

Historically, bakers had the opportunity to attend major bakery trade shows in between IBIE events, but since 2019, both iba and interpack had to cancel because of the pandemic.

“We’ve had a three-year gap for the first time ever, or at least in my time in the baking industry,” noted Dennis Gunnell, president, Formost Fuji, and IBIE 2022 chair.

Mr. Gunnell, who’s worked in the baking industry for 37 years, added that the IBIE 2022 Committee and the show’s many partners had to step up their efforts because of all of the uncertainty during the past few years.

“You can’t orchestrate what has happened with the pandemic and have other shows canceled,” he said. “To be here in Las Vegas at this time and being ready in a big way is huge. People know this show needs to happen. It needs to take place. We need to be together and celebrate this industry. I see IBIE as a celebration of the whole industry.”

Nick Magistrelli, vice president of sales, Rademaker USA, expects a more energized group of bakers coming to Las Vegas this time.

“They’re here to see some innovative ideas, hoping to find some solutions to their problems,” he said. “You’re going to see an eager group of bakers plowing through here for four days looking for some answers, and, of course, we’re excited to see some old friends.”

Rich Wall, executive general manager, Sottoriva America, is a 45-year veteran of the baking industry and has been coming to IBIE since it was in Atlantic City, NJ, in 1977. At IBIE 2022, the labor situation is front and center.

“People have been waiting long enough on their labor situation,” Mr. Wall said. “They knew they had to make an investment for the future because they can’t find enough employees to work, and automation is the key. We have equipment for small, medium and large bakeries with labor-saving ideas.”