IBIE 2019 Insights – Overall Thoughts About The Show

Kerwin BrownKerwin Brown, President/CEO

After an outstanding IBIE 2019, we caught up with Kerwin to get his thoughts about the show, the exhibitors, and the educational opportunities offered throughout the week.

Q: Now that the show is completed, would you share some of your overall insights from IBIE 2019?

A: What can I say… it was a great show. From a size and look perspective, it was outstanding. We challenged the exhibitors to bring more equipment and more advanced displays for their booths and they certainly rose to the occasion. There were double-decker booths, booths with interactive displays and signage… and even booths with performance art.

Attendees want to see, want to interact, and want to learn about the latest innovations.  Our exhibitors took IBIE to the next level with more equipment, more demonstrations, and larger gathering spaces to connect with potential customers. They really went above and beyond for this show and the attendees loved it.

IBIE 2019 exhibitors brought bigger booths and more machinery

It wasn’t just the exhibitors, either. IBIE invested significantly in this show creating spaces like the VR Showcase, the Innovation Showcase, the RBA Bakers Center, and the Artisan Marketplace. Each of these offerings provided visitors to the show with the opportunity to learn, share, and collaborate on a range of topics impacting the global baking industry.

The end result was a lot of collaboration, engagement, and education. What more could we ask for?

Q: Speaking of these various IBIE features, what made them better investments this year?

A: IBIE invests back in these experiences with the goal of giving participants more hands-on engagement and learning opportunities. For those attendees from the retail side of the baking industry, they could listen and learn from industry influencers. They could identify new ways to hone their skills through collaboration and knowledge-sharing.

Best of all, in many cases they could taste the outcomes.

Knowledge sharing was an important part of the IBIE investment

For those on the manufacturing and supplier sides, these experiences provided the ability to see how others are succeeding in the industry. Want to take a virtual tour of a retail or industrial manufacturing facility in various countries without leaving the show? The VR experience allowed attendees to do just that.

Want to connect with partners who are innovating in the space? We showcased a huge group of businesses who are pushing the industry to the edge.

By investing in these features, we help the industry grow, connect, and learn. It’s what IBIE is all about.

Q: Education is such a big part of the IBIE experience. How do you feel the IBIEducate experience went?

A: Just based on the attendance alone, we could tell that IBIEducate was a huge success this year.

We added Saturday classes based directly on feedback from previous show attendees, and this year’s attendees certainly took full advantage of it. Over the course of the show, we offered more than 100 different classes to participants, with topics ranging from recruiting and talent retention to cake decorating to robotic automation at baking facilities.

The diversity of topics was better than ever before and we are so appreciative of all of our presenters who contributed to the success of IBIEducate.

IBIEducate was one of the most successful elements at IBIE 2019

I would be remiss if I didn’t thank all of the volunteers who made IBIEducate possible, as well. It took a small army to coordinate and execute IBIEducate this year and they did a great job making it run smoothly.

Q: It wasn’t always all business at IBIE 2019, the All-American Tailgate party appeared to be really popular. How do you think it went?

A: It’s always great to see everyone come out for the tailgate party. Getting the show set up and running takes a lot of effort by the exhibitors. There were over 20,000 attendees at IBIE who were busy visiting hundreds of booths. Our exhibitors spent each day providing them with the best experience possible.

The tailgate party was full of games, beverages, football and so many other activities.  It created a space for the IBIE baking community to relax and have some fun.

The BEMA team gathered at the IBIE All American Tailgate

IBIE is like “coming home” week for me. You see people that you have known for years and you get to see everyone in one place. You also get to expand the baking family by meeting new people. The tailgate party was perfect to catch up with old friends and make new ones.

Q: If there was one thing that stood out to you from IBIE 2019, what would that be?

A: That’s tough. the IBIE Vision Statement says that IBIE should be “where everyone in the baking industry wants to be”.

The BEMA team at IBIE 2019

This week was definitely where everyone wanted to be. It was a chance to showcase, learn, share, connect, and just have a great time.

I consider this one of our best shows ever and I’m looking forward to seeing how we top it in 2022.

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