IFT 2021 Food Expo Again Goes Virtual

March 3, 2021
July 19-21 show has been canceled for second straight year.

The Institute of Food Technologists' board announced today (March 3) that the IFT Food Expo, scheduled for July 19-21 in Chicago, will again be a virtual show this year.

The board considered several factors "impacting IFT’s ability to offer a safe onsite event experience this year. Integral to this discussion was the Board’s continued commitment to providing an accessible and safe solution to convene our global community as they work to advance the science of food and food innovation — a purpose that continues to be vital as the pandemic continues.

"After thoughtful consideration, the Board made the decision to move to a digital only experience."

For something like 80 years, the scientific society has staged the annual summertime event as an annual meeting, educational showcase and a mostly ingredient-oriented trade show. Numbers have been waning in recent years, but it still draws around 20,000 attendees.

Last year's show, scheduled for July 12-15, also was replaced with a virtual event. Not only did the pandemic do it in, Chicago’s McCormick Place, which hosts the show, was being transformed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers into a 3,000-bed hospital to handle overflow coronavirus cases – an emergency measure that was never needed.

"The pandemic has presented many challenges, and in those challenges, we have found exciting opportunities to innovate and transform," the announcement continued. "Later this month we will be sharing information about the new and innovative ways you will be able to meet, share, discuss, and explore the latest science, research, ingredients, and product solutions digitally this summer."

We'll carry an update when we get it.

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