07 Sep IBIE 2019 Insights – IBIEducate and Show Preview
Kerwin Brown, President/CEO
As a preview to the IBIE 2019 show, we caught up with Kerwin to get his thoughts about the day, kicking-off IBIEducate, and his thoughts on innovation at the show.
Q: This is the first time IBIE has dedicated Saturday to education at IBIE, how do you think that was received?
A: We added Saturday to the IBIEducate curriculum based directly on the feedback from previous attendees. We felt like this was a great way to give everyone an opportunity to expand their industry knowledge before the actual show started.
Based on the full rooms and the initial feedback from the folks in the room, I would say the response to adding Saturday has been outstanding. We covered a lot of topics today and we’re going to cover a lot more over the course of the next few days, so I’m looking forward to hearing from the 2019 attendees about the value of this addition.
Q: Speaking of IBIEducate, the topics for today’s panels ranged from employee retention to robotics to cannabis. Do you feel like the breadth of the content was well received?
A: Most definitely! We strive to invite presenters who have deep expertise or offer a chance to really engage their audience and expand their understanding of the changing industry. The broad range of topics allows attendees to choose from a variety of sessions that are relevant to their business.
We received feedback from a variety of different job functions, such as plant operations, that they would like additional sessions, so we developed some of our education paths directly based on those requests.
We wanted to make sure that there were training options available to both the baker and supplier side.
Q: Obviously, with constant changes in the industry, education and training are critical. Beyond IBIE, what can BEMA members do to continue expanding their knowledge?
A: The best thing they can do is take advantage of our BEMA-U offerings. Whether it’s helping their sales staff evolve their skills, providing leadership training, or even buiding a custom curriculum, our training team can help put together personalized training sessions.
If our members want to send their team to Kansas City for training they can do that, or we can send our training team to their location in order to keep travel costs to a minimum.
Q: Tell us a little but about the Innovation Showcase and why IBIE attendees should check it out.
A: The Innovation Showcase allows some of our exhibitors to show off products that have not been previously displayed at an IBIE show. In the IBIE 2019 Central Lobby, we have created a gallery experience where attendees can check out the very latest innovations in equipment, ingredient, and services.
Innovative ideas and changes are often the key reason why people attend trade shows like IBIE, so we wanted to make it easy for attendees to see the innovations in the industry. I encourage everyone to stop by the gallery in the main lobby or learn more about the featured companies using the IBIE app.
Q: The booths are nearly complete, what have you seen from your walks through the exposition space that really excite you?
A: The sheer number of booths is exciting, with more than 1,000 booths. We changed our model for this show to include drayage with the booth costs. This incentivized our exhibitors to bring more equipment and build bigger, more complex displays in their booths.
It’s obviously they fully embraced this.
This show is a great place for people to see, smell, and touch items in the booth and get in-person experience with new innovations in the industry. Our vendors brought interactive experiences, cutting-edge signage, virtual reality opportunities, and new equipment.
Our exhibitors really brought their A-game for this show.
Because the show is every three years, a lot of our exhibitors use the show to launch new products, so this will be an exiting show to see what is revealed.
Q: If attendees need help at the show, where can they find it?
A: They can stop by the ABA/BEMA booth in the lobby and we can answer any questions they have.
If you can’t find a booth or vendor, we’ll point you in the right direction. Need a place to charge your phone? Stop by and rest for a few minutes and power up that device.
You can even stop by and try your luck by submitting a guess for our “estimation jar” where you could win future training opportunities.