When the International Bakery Industry Exposition (IBIE) sets up shop for the Baking Expo’s triennial run in Las Vegas in October, there’s no mistaking where most of the focus will fall. The massive show — which bills itself as the most comprehensive event in the US for the grain-based food industry — mostly caters to large commercial producers of baked goods, tortillas and snack foods.
But that doesn’t mean there won’t be plenty to see and learn for retail foodservice providers. In fact, show organizers are making it a point to draw supermarket, c-store and in-store bakery attendees to Las Vegas.
“Since IBIE moved from a four-year schedule to three, our focus and planning have expanded considerably,” says Rich Hoskins, IBIE committee member and president of Colborne Foodbotics. “IBIE leadership has worked hard to expand and add many new programs that have been very successful.”
Hoskins says IBIE 2016 has seen a significant rise in exhibit space sales, which organizers think will result in more attendees and even more growth. International attendance has already grown to approximately 30 percent of total attendance, with buyers from more than 100 countries coming to the show.
American favorites, big ideas
Part of the draw for retailers and in-store bakers is the Great American Pie Festival, which was founded by the American Pie Council to capitalize on the popularity of pies across the country. The event features live entertainment, complimentary refreshments, festival merchandise, free prizes and — perhaps most importantly — the opportunity for attendees to sample ready-made pies and interact with pie manufacturers.
“It’s a good opportunity to network with the pie makers to compare flavors as they prepare for the National Pie Championships in Orlando,” Hoskins says. “You can relax, enjoy a slice of pie and meet the best pie makers in the country. Pies are a hot item right now.”
Keeping with the patriotic theme, the show kicks off with the All-American Tailgate Party, a football-themed event held on the show floor from 4:30-6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8.
“It’s a great opportunity to connect with bakers and suppliers in a casual and fun astmosphere,” Hoskins says, noting that tickets are $45 and include unlimited drinks, tailgate food, music, interactive games and, of course, viewing of multiple football games.
More along the educational track, IBIE has added IdeaLab, a new hub on the show floor designed to “inspire and re-energize attendees,” Hoskins says. Expert-led Fresh Take talks — similar to 20-minute TED Talks —will cover a broad range of topics. Attendees can also visit the Expert Bar to ask specific questions.
It’s all just a portion of what retailers can expect to gain from a trip to IBIE. “Our company, Colborne, has designed and built high-speed production machines to produce and package pies, cakes, muffins and custom specialty products,” Hoskins says. “We spend a lot of time in and around in-store bakeries and we’re looking for new ideas that can help our customers. 


Picked for you

A huge part of the IBIE experience is the daily schedule of expert-led seminars. We went through the expansive list and picked a few that could be beneficial for the instore audience. A full list is available at www.ibie2016.com/agenda.
Saturday, Oct. 8
8 a.m. – noon
Cake Sculpture with
 Internal Frame
Roland and Marsha Winbeckler share their knowledge of which cakes and icings work best for sculptures, how to shape and sculpt, and how to create the details that make their sculptures “come to life.” Attendees will sculpt and decorate a sculpture that includes an internal support during the class. There will also be a brief discussion on how to create various types of internal support for other sculptures. Price: $200
11 a.m. – Noon
Product Pricing for Bakeries
You wouldn’t work 12 hours a day for free, so it makes sense to price your products properly to avoid this. This session will show how to capture fluctuating material costs, as well as how to distribute labor and overhead properly across a product line. Using live examples from their own bakery, Nicholas Scavo, Gerald Scavo and Jerilyn Reed will demonstrate how to set yourself up for success. Price: $10
Sunday, Oct. 9
8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Selling and Marketing
Dessert Bar Packages
Things in the wedding world have changed. Most bakers will verify that today’s brides are looking for a variety of colorful, pretty and Pinterest-inspired desserts for their receptions. How does your in-store bakery become the one-stop shop for everything in a wedding dessert bar? Beth Fahey will explain the concept of “package selling,” which includes how to price, sell, and market dessert bar packages to a new generation. Price: $10
11 a.m. – Noon
The High Cost of Poor Training
Ineffective training programs can be the equivalent of opening an office window and throwing away a few boxes of your company’s money. Successful companies know how important excellent training and trainers are to the productivity, safety and morale of their entire work force. Price: $10
Monday, Oct. 10
11 a.m. – Noon
Point of Sales Systems
Don’t be tied down by bulky old-fashioned point of sale systems. This panel discussion, led by Odette Daniello, will explore new lightweight and mobile POS systems being used in bakeries and retail outlets. Price: $10
11 a.m. – Noon
Understanding and Embracing Your Millennial Employee
Millennials will have a dominant effect on the workforce within the next 10 years, when it is estimated they will make up half of the American workforce. This session focuses on how to understand this so-called misunderstood generation, and what steps can be taken to actively engage the emerging group. Price: $10
Tuesday, Oct. 11
8 a.m. – Noon
Showcase Individual Desserts
Students will learn how to create a variety of fast single-serve desserts that can add a “wow” factor to a bakery case. Students will work with chocolate, cake, fillings, and a variety of toppings to create stunning-yet-simple desserts. Price: $200
8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Managing Pests in the
Bakery Environment
Throughout the evolution of pest management, the role and responsibilities of a pest management professional have changed and so has the level of liability. Hank Hirsch, president of RK Environmental Services, will take the audience through the expectation of a pest management professional. Price: $10