Exclusive Interview: “Special Events around Snacks and Coffee Are High in Demand”
With over 1,300 exhibitors and around 80,000 visitors expected to gather in Munich to witness innovations hosted at iba, the organizers of the industry’s biggest specialized trade fair offer a glimpse into what we can expect. Claudia Weidner, project manager iba, shares views about the massive undertaking that is the triennial exhibition, with European Baker & Biscuit.
EBB: What are the main categories of exhibitors coming to iba, in terms of their specialty?
Claudia Weidner (CW): iba covers all areas of the industry. That is what makes iba so special. Artisan bakers and confectioners, just like medium-sized companies and large companies, caterers and retail food companies will find perfect solutions and business partners.
The entire sector of machines and production technologies still plays a central role at iba, in other words, anything that is somehow related to the production of baked goods and bakery products. Whether sheets or food carriers, raw material provision, dough preparation, oven equipping or ovens – visitors will find everything they need for their business in twelve trade fair halls. Another unique fact regarding iba is that many of the machines can be seen in action. The second important sector includes baking ingredients, raw materials and semi-finished products. Point of sale solutions are in great demand, which means store furnishing and equipment, sales concepts, snacks and coffee as well as the areas of packaging and process optimization – also in connection with the diverse possibilities of digitization.
EBB: What is the feedback from exhibitors at iba?
CW: We are pleased to see that exhibitors worldwide are using iba as their platform for presenting innovations and new products. This reflects how well iba was received. We have already exceeded the 1,300-exhibitor mark in the end of June. As such, iba has once again defended its position as a leading trade fair for all baking industries, for companies of all sizes and the entire industry.
EBB: iba offers online tools to help attendees plan and organize their visit, including the Online Marketplace. What are the services provided for visitors and participants, in this respect?
CW: Thanks to the iba marketplace on the website, visitors can prepare perfectly for the trade fair and find out about exhibitors and their product offers. You can browse the solution directory to see who offers what solution answering which questions, mark favorites on the hall map and set up appointments with exhibitors. The iba marketplace offers exhibitors the possibility to present their innovations to their company, to save press information, films and much more. The iba marketplace is a wonderful tool that also stands for the competence of the GHM as a trade fair organizer in the digital sector.
EBB: iba sets the stage for the baking industry’s most important innovation launches. What can we anticipate to see at the exhibitor stands in 2018, and how will new innovations be highlighted throughout the fairground?
CW: We can surely expect a lot regarding solutions in the areas of digitization and automation. New machines that make work easier, that allow for more efficient and better control of the production. We know of a few exciting product premieres that will be celebrated at the following iba. There will be many highlights in each hall – and that will also be clearly seen at the booths. The new iba marketplace on the website is a central element for us. Here exhibitors have the possibility to show their innovations. The visitors can find out about novelties before the trade fair, take note of their highlights and plan their way through the halls. Don’t forget this: iba has 12 halls. There is a lot to see and experience. It is also clever to find out about the areas in advance to leave time to discover something new on the spot.
EBB: Very important aspects included are processing and packaging; how can visitors navigate these innovations and what features does “iba.OPERATE!” include?
CW: Over 180 companies present their solutions and innovations at iba regarding packaging technology and material. Over 50 of them are gathered together at the “iba.OPERATE! Packaging & Processing Solutions” in hall B1, where everything revolves around packaging solutions, processes and materials for large bakeries, manufacturers of dough, retail, sweets and supplier industry. They offer visitors a 360° overview of the entire market and their innovations – from the molding to packaging. Leading companies are present, such as Multivac, Cavanna, Niverplast, Bosch Packaging Technology, GHD Hartmann, Ilapak, Theegarten, Bradman Lake, Ulma Global Packaging, just to name a few. The exhibitors show machines, complete solutions and components. A few of them are actually having their premiere exclusively at iba.
You can read more on this topic in our print magazine European Baker & Biscuit (Jul/Aug 2018)!