Last week’s IBIE (International Baking Industry Exposition) had lots of lots of ingredients for a successful show. (Pause now for a groan.)
Other shows were in town last week, but I chose to attend IBIE — not because I enjoy a play on words (which I do) but because although experts tell us to avoid foods like bread, cookies and cake…I still love those products and wanted to know more.
Visiting the expo show floor at the Las Vegas Convention Center was a colorful and delicious experience (another groan please). I saw booths selling a variety of baking ingredients and toppings with beautiful samples of their work on display. Massive pieces of equipment that a top flight bakery might possess were also available for inspection and sale. (See the attached video.) In all, the show floor hosted an expected 22,000 attendees, and the exhibitors I met all said the show had been good for them in terms of leads and orders.
Attendees at this year’s event not only had an opportunity to meet exhibitors; they could also choose from a variety of learning experiences. “Getting Your Cakes Published in Print and Digital’, “Decorating with Buddy, Master Baker at Carlo’s Bakery”, “Food Safety Best Practices for Operations, Engineers and Sanitarians” and “Pitfalls, Traps and Hurdles of the Cannabis Industry” were just a few of the educational offerings at the show.
In addition to my own tour of the expo, I was given massive amounts of literature and learned even more. (Did you know vertical farming (indoor farming) is growing in acceptance, particularly in urban areas?)
In Tuesday’s IBIE Newsletter, I noticed a story about the 9/11 anniversary which was happening on Wednesday. At first, I thought the story must be a typical tribute, but it was much more.
Events for bakers started in 1920, but it was in 2001, in Las Vegas, that the event’s name changed to its current title, “International Baking Industry Exposition”. The 2001 show wasn’t known for its name change however. The show was scheduled to open September 11, 2001 but came to a sudden close when Las Vegas authorities, responding to the 9/11 attacks, evacuated the Las Vegas Convention Center 90 minuets before the IBIE expo was to open.
According to a story recounting IBIE history, the forced three-day shutdown of air travel because of the attacks, stranded 22,000 IBIE attendees and exhibitors in Las Vegas, while an estimated 2,500 others who planned to come missed the show entirely. IBIE later opened the show for those who remained in Las Vegas.
IBIE is held once every three years and is the largest trade show for the “global grain-based food industry” in North America.