More than a million square feet of exhibits and 1,000 of the world's leading suppliers are promised Oct. 24-27 when Worldwide Food Expo makes its biennial appearance in Chicago's McCormick Place. More than 25,000 attendees from 100 countries are expected to visit the show to learn about new technologies, trends and ideas in food and beverage processing, including some packaging and some ingredients.
Worldwide Food Expo essentially is two co-located events: the American Meat Institute's International Meat, Poultry Seafood Industry Convention and Exposition and the International Dairy Foods Assn.'s Food, Dairy Beverage Exposition. One registration badge gets you into both shows' exhibits and programs.
Early bird registration deadline is Sept. 14 - that means a full registration costs $125. It's $175 thereafter.
The event actually starts with several preshow activities. Preshow workshops run 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Oct. 22 and 23 and teach Hazards Analysis and Critical Control Points Certification for Dairy Professionals (a two-day course), Dairy Industry Orientation and Trends in Dairy Label Claims.
The Meat Industry Research Conference is a separate, ticketed, two-day conference sponsored by AMI and the American Meat Science Assn. on Oct. 23-24.
The real Worldwide Food Expo kicks off with a Wednesday (Oct. 24) keynote, "Competing and Succeeding in a Global Economy." Speaker Todd Buckholz is a former White House economic policy director, trend forecaster and author on politics and the global economy.
Other "super sessions," as the de facto keynote addresses are called (all run 10:30-11:30 a.m. daily), are:
- Oct. 25: "Generations, Lifestyles and the Future of the Meat and Dairy Industry," by Neil Howe, an economist, historian, demographer and authority on generations in America.
- Oct. 26: "Consumer Trends: What America Eats and Drinks," by Harry Balzer, vice president of NPD Group's Food Consulting Services.
There also are educational sessions, including three plant operations short courses: Flexible production lines (Oct. 24), Six sigma for the food industry (Oct. 25) and a topic to be determined (Oct. 26). All courses run 8:15-11 a.m. daily.
Three more "Highlighted education sessions" are on "Energy, Economics and Impact," "Product Formulation" and "Succession Planning." Dates and times were still being firmed up.
Two short courses are offered free with exhibit floor access Oct. 27 (7:30-11:30 a.m.): "Food Safety Short Course--Listeria Intervention and Control" and "Industry Short Course--Family Business." Plus three sessions will be offered in Spanish only Oct. 24-26.
There also are ticketed and invitation-only events, including two evening welcome receptions Oct. 24. On Oct. 26, AMI hosts both its Washington Insider breakfast and its evening Chairman's Gala.
The show floor is open 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 24-26 and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Oct. 27, a Saturday.
And of course, Chicago holds a world of food and beverage opportunities for attendees after the show closes each day. To register for Worldwide Food Expo, go to www.worldwidefood.com.
Exhibit hours are: Oct. 24-26: 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Oct. 27: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.