Editor’s Letter: April 2014
By Laura Aiken
We’ve done something a little different with our April edition this
year. We always bring you the Baking Association of Canada’s (BAC) trade
show event guide within Bakers Journal, whether it’s in Toronto,
Montreal or Vancouver.
We’ve done something a little different with our April edition this year. We always bring you the Baking Association of Canada’s (BAC) trade show event guide within Bakers Journal, whether it’s in Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver. This year, we expanded the guide to preview the show throughout this edition. The majority of articles will expand on what’s happening at this year’s Bakery Showcase, taking place May 4 to 6 at the International Centre in Toronto. We are offering an expanded preview of what’s happening at the show because it’s very important to attend industry events – and to go armed with a plan. The scope of content in this edition will highlight some of the important issues facing the bakery industry today that are being addressed at the show. I hope this show guide serves as a tool for providing great context to this year’s event.
I generally like to stress the importance of face-to-face interactions in this digital day and age, and as it turns out, I’m not alone. The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) in the U.S. conducted a study in 2012 called “The Role of and Value of Face-to-Face Interaction,” which found that 48 per cent of trade show attendees said face-to-face interactions during exhibitions, conventions and annual meetings are more valuable today than two years ago, and 43 per cent anticipate this setting will be more valuable over the next two years (as reported by Meeting Professional International). According to the same study, attendees put a lot of importance on face-to-face contact at all pre-purchase stages, with two-thirds or more ranking these interactions “important for investigating, evaluating and narrowing down choices before buying. Post-purchase, 71 per cent of attendees place high importance on face-to-face interactions to maintain relationships with vendors.”
A survey conducted by Skyline Exhibits and EXPO Magazine queried why attendees go to trade shows, and found that the number one reason is to see new products (92 per cent), followed by keeping up to date on industry issues and trends (78 per cent).
There is information being delivered at Bakery Showcase that is imperative to large swaths of the industry. For the first time, a representative from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) will be available to answer bakery-specific questions about the new rules that will require anyone exporting or importing ingredients or products across provincial or national boundaries to have a licence and a formalized food safety plan. This doesn’t just affect large manufacturers. This means the artisan baker in Ottawa selling their bread to a restaurant in Quebec would need a licence, and they would only get this by demonstrating they have the proper procedures in place. Questions yet? Probably plenty.
This year’s show promises plenty for the mind and eye. Bakers Journal will be moderating a panel of leading minds in baking: Maria Liang, president of Weston Bakeries, Marla Kravice, president of Baker Street and Thierry Schmitt of Patisserie La Cigogne. Each will share their insights in the opportunities and challenges facing them as large commercial, mid-size commercial and small independent operators.
You’ll find three colleges duking it out for creative bragging rights in the design challenge, and three cupcakes in the final showdown of the Bakers Journal Great Chocolate Cupcake Contest. Attendees may want to gather round and not miss a taste.
There’s plenty more to be seen at the show, and we’ve delved into it all in the pages of this issue. We hope you enjoy this year’s newly expanded Bakery Showcase guide and hope to see you at the show!