10 Sep IBIE 2019 Insights – Connecting With The Various International Delegations
Kerwin Brown, President/CEO
After day 1 of the IBIE 2019 show, we caught up with Kerwin to get his thoughts about the day, the technology solutions being featured at the show and the educational opportunities being presented at IBIEducate.
Q: There have been several international delegations at the show this year. Can you tell us a little bit about the value that IBIE offers to the different international attendees?
A: Sure! IBIE is an international organization, so we always work to grow our international presence at the show. Through the IBIE 3-year cycle, we start with a tiered approach to attract attendees from various international markets.
We work with a wide variety of trade organizations, other international shows, and even the US Commerce department to identify, promote, attract the IBIE show. We really work hard, getting out in the market and connecting face-to-face with the international guests to help them understand the benefit of attending IBIE.
IBIE had a presence globally in Brazil, Germany, Singapore, Mexico, and Japan and we worked to attract both attendees and exhibitors. That work has paid off and we have more than 100 different countries represented.
This year we have 18 different international delegations and we provide them concierge services like international registration, a private lounge for international attendees, assistance with visa acquisition, and any other specialized needs they might have.
As attendees, they have access to the presentations, education, and exhibitor booths which can allow them to see new technical advancements in the industry, make connections with potential partners, and even identify ways to enhance their existing business.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your meetings with the various delegations and organizations that are here from Mexico?
A: Certainly! Mexico is our number one international audience for the show and we are consistently working to grow that relationship and expand the attendance. This year, the volume of attendees from Mexico was outstanding and we want to continue to see that attendance increase for our 2022 show.
The great thing about meeting with the delegations is we get to hear about changes in their markets, consumers trends, and technology advancements. It also affords us the chance to share US trends and discuss how we can collaborate to meet consumer needs.
Q: The delegation from Brazil also has a good-sized exhibitor presence at the show, how did your meetings with that delegation go?
A: At our meeting with the Brazilian delegation, we had more than 40 people at the meeting and there are more than 200 attendees from Brazil at IBIE 2019. In our meeting, we have the opportunity to meet with industry organizations and retail/wholesale leaders in their market.
We discussed the markets in South America, with a focus on Brazil, the cultural significance and consumption of bread in their country, and the opportunities that suppliers who showcase at IBIE may have in serving the Brazilian markets.
The conversation was very informative and we look forward to continuing to growing those relationships and helping our members build connections within the Brazilian community.
Q: Markey Culver from the Women’s Bakery in Rwanda was also presenting yesterday. Tell us a little bit about how BEMA is working with that organization.
A: It’s always great to hear Markey speak about her work with the Women’s Bakery and the progress they are making in raising awareness about their mission. At the show, Markey presented as part of the Fresh Take Talks series of talks presented by Grain Foods Foundation and we appreciate them giving her a chance to speak.
BEMA is working to help raise awareness about the Women’s Bakery and their mission to empower women in Rwanda. Recently, we assisted with the purchase of a transport vehicle that will allow the Women’s Bakery to expand their delivery network. This will help Markey and her team expand their delivery network and continue to scale up their customer reach.
It’s been an exciting week, so far, at IBIE 2019 and there are still a few days left to go! I’m excited to see what they will hold for our exhibitors, our partners, and our attendees.