iba global bakery and confectionery fair set to deliver virtual pre-event – Confectionery Production

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The organisers of the international iba bakery and confectionery trade fair are staging a virtual pre-event early next year in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic that has restricted physical meeting opportunities, reports Neill Barston.

With the physical show set for 24-28 October 2021 at Fairground Munich, Germany, it was felt a further opportunity to meet colleagues beforehand was required amid a number of key events having been postponed or cancelled so far this year.

As a result, it has developed a three day online showcase, iba.CONNECTING EXPERTS, a global networking event between 1-3 February.

Project manager Cathleen Kabashi has been tasked with bringing together global experts during the course of the three-day showcase that will cement business contacts and insights ahead of the physical show scheduled for next October.

Confectionery Production covered the last iba event in 2018, which unveiled a broad spectrum of new equipment, systems and innovations across bakery and confectionery markets targeting the international industry.

For the February 2021 pre event, 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.

Speaking on the prospects for the new element to the event, Cathleen Kabashi said: “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 February, 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,

Furthermore, she explained that having the chance to connect with people on a digital basis was the prime means of communicating amid the pandemic.

She added: “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.”

Michael Wippler, President of the Central Association of the German Bakery Trade, shared her enthusiasm, stating that iba is constantly evolving in its role as a market leader and trade fair for genuine innovations, new products, and premieres, that had been a major element of its success.

He said: “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.”

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