Despite challenges that include a marketplace undergoing major consolidation, an unfamiliar venue and a host of competing niche shows in 2007, IBIE was a success.
Attendees flooded the halls of the Orange County Convention Center Oct. 7-10 in Orlando, looking for the latest equipment, ingredient and supply solutions from nearly 650 industry suppliers. Bakers commented that this event was particularly conducive for getting business done. Jack Lewis, IBIE Committee Chairman and President of Lewis Bakeries stated, "IBIE has always been a buying show, but we took that to a whole new level in 2007. This show proved its value as the one place baking professionals can get the resources and information they need to stay current and competitive."
A common theme among exhibitors was the quality of the buyers who attended the Orlando event. Many exhibitors stated that this was the best IBIE in history for attracting key decision makers with purchasing power. According to Rich Hall of Koenig Technology, "We were pretty slammed the first two days of the show, but more importantly, the quality of buyers was excellent. This has been the best show weve done in 30 years. We were able to get down to business with the key buyers in our industry."
Those comments were echoed across the exhibit floor and supported by post-show statistics, stating that 61 percent of IBIEs 15,000 registrants were owners, presidents, managers or C-level executives and 90 percent played a role in the purchase of new products or services.
Exhibitors were also pleased with the number of bakers from countries outside the United States. Mike Hitt of Cambridge International stated, "Approximately 30 to 40 percent of my leads at IBIE were from international attendees. These are buyers we probably wouldnt be able to reach any other way." According to official registration data, 31 percent of IBIEs registrants were international.
Just as exciting as the business conducted between bakers and suppliers were the educational and networking opportunities presented. The collaboration between ABA, AIB and Disney Institute gave attendees access to cutting-edge technical and management information.
IBIE also made great strides in achieving one of its primary objectives: bringing the entire grain-based food industry together. Specifically, 23 percent of event registrants produce cookies and/or crackers, 22 percent class themselves as retail bakers and 19 percent produce snack foods. 167 exhibiting companies were new to IBIE.
In 2010, IBIE will take place in Las Vegas, Nevada from September 26 to 29.