The International Baking Industry Exhibition (IBIE) only takes place every three years and can be an overwhelming sight. The 2022 show will take place in Las Vegas, September 17-21, and will feature nearly 1,000 exhibitors and more than 100 education sessions. To get the most out of the experience, the IBIE 2022 committee agreed that it was important to have a plan of attack.
“If you walk in the door just to do a drive-by, you’ll miss everything you need to see,” said Jason Frye, IBIE committee member and senior vice president of supply chain and purchasing for Flowers Foods. , Thomasville, Georgia. “You have to plan your visit. Separate your team, visit throughout the day, go back and review the top three to five things you need to see. Hold daily morning meetings with your team and nightly debriefs. This is so important because IBIE has so much to offer, and you want to see the key components you need.
Regarding the team that a bakery company brings, Jorge Zarate, IBIE Vice President and Senior Vice President of Global Operations and Engineering, Grupo Bimbo, Mexico, urged attendees to be intentional.
“Bring in more departments of your company to help with decision-making, not just engineers and food safety, but also sales people and business people,” he said. “Define what you are looking for. What is the problem you want to solve or what is the opportunity you want to seize? And then do what Jason mentioned: make a plan and use the time for it. But it’s very important that you bring in the right people who can make the change for your business, not just the ones who will make the decision, but the ones who will implement and execute it.
Mr. Zarate also pointed out that the IBIE can be an opportunity to introduce promising employees to the baking industry and show that you are ready to invest in them.
“They won’t be making the decisions, but you’ll be opening their eyes and accelerating their professional development, and they’ll be more engaged in our industry,” he said.
IBIE 2022 Chairman Dennis Gunnell, President of Formost Fuji, also pointed out that IBIE has changed because of the investments Las Vegas has made in the Las Vegas Convention Center. It’s important to pay attention to something as simple as the layout of the show, even as a veteran.
“Not everything is located where it was,” he said. “As well as being located in the North Hall, we will also be using the brand new West Hall for the very first time, so planning ahead to get the lay of the land is key.”
The IBIE website, show app and show materials can all help attendees know where to go and what is available.
“There’s so much going on at IBIE, not just the show itself, but the educational part, the hands-on training,” said Dave Watson, IBIE committee member and baking and snacks expert, The Austin Co. “Visit the website, take the time to plan, set up meetings in advance with the key vendors you want to meet. But don’t plan every minute of the day either. Allow yourself time to roam and see new suppliers, new bakers.