IBIEducate – Class of 2019: Are You Prepared?

IBIE has revamped its education offering and presents an expanded program of more than 100 sessions and a full day of education on September 7, one day prior to the exhibit hall opening. Attendees can access targeted education opportunities designed to deliver valuable ideas and strategies to improve bakery products. This is IBIEducate.

Designed to deliver a fresh, forward-thinking perspective on all aspects of the business, from the craft, to marketing, new ingredients and process formulations, to sales, and creativity, IBIEducate offers every role and every segment opportunities to learn. This is the largest baking education program in the world.

Why IBIEducate?

IBIEducate is designed to deliver a fresh perspective on business, operations, and creativity for every role, every segment and every business goal. The program is designed for every segment of the grain-based foods industry – from wholesale to retail baking, snacks, cookie and cracker, pizza and tortilla – and covers roles from management and R&D to artisan and master bakers and cake decorators.

“Education remains one of the primary reasons to attend a trade event. IBIEducate gives attendees more than 100 tailored sessions to participate in during the show—the largest education program IBIE has ever offered, and with a new full day dedicated to learning prior to show opening, IBIE is building on an industry-leading offering,” said Andrea Henderson, chair of the IBIE Education Task Force, in an interview.

To ensure attendees receive a fresh perspective and gain leading-edge best practices and insights, classes have been broken into specialized tracks to deliver the latest techniques and trends that inspire bakers and help their business succeed. These tracks include:

  • Management (for retail and wholesale companies)
  • Artisan and specialty foods
  • Retail – bakers/decorators
  • Retail – sales and marketing
  • Wholesale – formulation/product development
  • Wholesale – plant operations
  • Wholesale – process
  • Wholesale sales and marketing

IBIE’s comprehensive program covers topics across the entire business and baking spectrum including business management and marketing, hands-on cake and pastry decorating, artisan and specialty foods, and much more.

Learning the Craft

A core component of the Baking Expo, education, and specialization play a vital role in the development of the industry. The specific advanced training needs depend on the segment: “Wholesale bakers are interested in safety and sanitation, scaling artisan, as well as clean labeling and zero waste initiatives. Our retail/artisan market is usually looking for new creative product ideas, consumer trends or marketing strategies to drive store traffic and sales. In addition, I think one common thread we hear across all markets segments is around the workforce gap. We have sessions that help address this as well as new automation technologies that are help filling this gap,” Henderson tells us.

Attracting the new generation of professionals has been a hot topic in recent years. For this, IBIE has several student programs designed to provide a deeper connection to the industry and develop meaningful connections for future opportunities. The Student Volunteer Program gives students behind the scenes access, educational opportunities and the chance to network with key industry professionals and potential employers. This program gets students in front of future employers and expands their network with established bakers, celebrity chefs, and key suppliers. Students also get a preview of the next generation of technology. With innovative technology applications for every product category, students are able to see top trends in action. “New for 2019, the Student Immersion Program is designed to further support students in establishing their career in the baking industry. In addition to learning and networking opportunities, students selected for this program will be matched with an industry mentor, participate in meetings with select exhibitors and receive a stipend for travel and accommodations,” she highlights.

One of the major challenges we continually hear about from the industry is the workforce gap. “In response to this, we built two half-day workshops into the program on Saturday, September 7, the new dedicated day of education before the exhibit hall opens. The first is “Talent Management – Acquiring, Developing, and Retaining Your Workforce” and offers new perspectives and best practices on finding employees, developing their skills and creating a culture that they want to be a part of. The second is “Lead the Way” and explores leadership principles, tools, and techniques to improve quality and organizational effectiveness.”

In addition to addressing the generation gap in the workforce, we are also looking at dynamics in gender representation in the historically male-dominated industry. Henderson observes that this trend is shifting, as more and more women open bakeries and take leadership positions within baking organizations. “This shift is evident walking the show floor at IBIE or participating in the education line-up during IBIEducate. From those like Rasma Zvaners, VP of Regulatory & Technical Services at ABA making wide-spread impact, to some of the talented faces of baking we’ve come to know and love on television: Bronwen Weber, Angela May, Emily Ellyn and more, or the innovative founder & CEO, Dr. Lin Carson, of Bakerpedia, IBIE supports and celebrates an inclusive baking community no matter your gender, age or nationality.”

IBIEducate also offers strategies to support startups. “We know that entrepreneurial companies must be innovative, nimble and quick-to-market, and IBIEducate offers strategies to support them in those areas.” Some of the business-focused sessions that will benefit new businesses include:

  • Sustainable Growth Practices for the Small Business Owner
  • Effective Policy for Successful Business: From Floor Time to The Bottom Line
  • It Takes More Than Bread to Win in the Bakery Business

You can read more in our print magazine European Baker & Biscuit (July/August 2019)! 

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