iba online event set to preview global bakery and confectionery trade fair

A major three-day online networking event has been confirmed for next month to kick-start this year’s iba international bakery and confectionery showcase being staged in Munich, Germany, this October, writes Neill Barston.

According to its organisers, the 72 hours of preview content ahead of this autumn’s key sector trade fair will offer a valuable opportunity to highlight some of the major trends and developments across the two key industries.

Devised in response to the ongoing pandemic, the virtual iba.Connecting Experts is set to be staged between 15-17 March, ahead of iba’s anticipated return between 24-28 October 2021 at Fairground Munich.

Confectionery Production covered the last six-day event in 2018, which delivered a number of significant industry equipment, systems and technology solutions, and remains as one of the largest events of its kind in the world. For that year’s event, there were nearly 80,000 visitors from 170 countries, with organisers’ hopes remaining high that its autumn schedule, led by event director Cathleen Kabashi, will remain on track for 2021’s plans.

As organisers noted, the March networking event will serve as a global meeting place, and is primarily aimed at the baking industry with an emphasis on the process and packaging technology. The focus will be on lead generation, knowledge transfer, product presentations, and networking. Exhibitors will present their new products virtually and via direct interaction, as well as maintaining and expanding business relationships, while attendees will receive business impulses that are now urgently needed – by means of moving images, high-quality content, and specialist talks.

‘We are constantly in contact with our customers, and we are aware of the strong need for exchange and the necessity of reliable, successful discussion platforms. Numerous innovations have emerged; the industry has adapted, and – as a result of the current situation – come up with new ideas for itself. The new format will gather international industry experts in March, setting the course for customer interaction and leads that can network at the first industry meeting point of the year. It will satisfy their pent-up demand digitally and securely,’ says Cathleen Kabashi.

Michael Wippler, President of the Central Association of the German Bakery Trade, adds: ’iba is constantly evolving in its role as a market leader and trade fair for genuine innovations, new products, and premieres. We are always one step ahead, and we are looking forward to yet another innovation this year: a totally new format! This exchange is to reaffirm our role as pioneers and to send an important message to the industry.’

Furthermore, partners of the fair also welcome the innovative concept. Kerwin Brown, CEO of Bakery Equipment Manufacturers & Allieds (BEMA), speaks for his members and makes clear the high value of iba, and especially of the new complementary offer for him and the industry: ‘iba is a must-attend event for our global industry and iba.CONNECTING EXPERTS offers us even more opportunities amid these unprecedented times to create meaningful connections with new international partners and to conduct business.’

Right now, being digital is the one thing that connects us all and makes it possible for everybody to communicate. Personal business contacts and consulting, product demonstrations as well as the atmosphere and opportunities that arise when an entire industry comes together live, will be on the table once again at iba 2021 in autumn. ’I cannot download such an experience with all its senses and emotions, but right now we can create a space for contacts to be made. This will have the chance to develop in the build-up to the on-site event,’ says Cathleen Kabashi, summing up the decision to hold this new generation of trade fairs. For more information, visit: connecting.iba.de/

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