Food Processing Suppliers Association Reinventing Trade Show to Better Serve Food Processors

Feedback from food processor attendees prompts the FPSA to make changes to its format.

By Andrew Drennan, FPSA

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Guided by a committee of food industry suppliers, the Food Processing Suppliers Association (FPSA) is reinventing Process Expo .  While the show has always been a supplier owned and managed event, staff, the Board of Directors, and its Show Committee are taking new approaches based on feedback from suppliers and their food processor customers regarding the ideal trade show for exhibitors and attendees.  Among these changes are a biennial format, competitive registration fees, and a centralized location.  

Show history
The Food Processing Suppliers Association and its predecessor associations have been offering trade shows to the food industry for more than 100 years. These supplier-owned and managed trade shows had a variety of names and were offered in numerous venues. But they were guided by the same principles that characterize the new Process Expo .

Early on, the FPSA trade show  was one of many serving vertical markets in the food industry in every region and state throughout the U.S. With the expansion of air travel, the development of the interstate highway system, consolidations in the food and beverage industry, and similar consolidations in the supplier segments, trade shows began to transform.  The Dairy Show became the Food and Dairy Expo. The Canners Show became the International Exposition for Food Processors.

Over time, these shows evolved and merged to become Process Expo , owned and managed by the suppliers who make up the Food Processing Suppliers Association.

Keeping costs down
To keep costs down for food processors, the FPSA moved Process Expo from an annual to biennial schedule beginning with the 2011 show.

Reasonable registration fees
Feedback from the largest food manufacturers indicated that being able to bring a team of their people added to the value of a trade show. Therefore, Process Expo will continue to offer some of the lowest registration fees in the industry. In addition, exhibitors will receive unlimited complimentary passes they can offer to customers and prospects.

Centralized location
A centralized location in Chicago helps lower travel costs since many of the U.S. food companies are located in the Midwest and the city’s airports offer major hubs for international flights.

Adding more value
The development of a world-class educational program provides much of the technical expertise to complement the practical applications seen on the Process Expo show floor. The curriculum for Process Expo 2011 includes a strong focus on food safety, automation, sustainability and alternative methods of production.

Language-specific seminars will benefit food processors employing an increasing number of Spanish speaking workers as well as reach out to attendees from Latin America.
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