Many things have changed since the Baking Expo™ took place in September 2019. For our industry, those changes included shifting safety and sanitization best practices, grappling with multifaceted supply chain challenges, and appreciating our collective ingenuity more profoundly. Something else changed, too — perceptions about in-person gatherings, like trade shows and expos.
IBIE’s triennial cycle meant that we didn’t have another live event on the calendar until 2022. But many other events took place over the last year and a half, and they’ve produced a lot of useful data. That data proves an important point as we look to bring our community together again this September: Live events can be (and have been) held safely.
How is that possible? For starters, live events are controlled situations. Unlike grocery stores, public transit, etc., event venues only include registered guests and staff. These controlled environments allow for more reliable health and safety implementations and overcrowding prevention measures.
Venues also play a key role in the production of safe events. Air quality and ventilation concerns have been front-and-center during the COVID-19 health crisis. In response, major convention centers made significant upgrades to HVAC systems. Those upgrades — plus the vastness of these event spaces — have allowed these indoor events to realize low virus transmissibility rates typically associated with outdoor events. Venues also have cleaning and sanitization protocols that often go beyond what’s recommended by health authorities.
Of course, vaccinations are also a factor. Recent data shows that trade shows, conferences, and other business events have vaccination rates much higher than the latest CDC national vaccination rates. The August 2021 study showed 80% of attendees and 83% of exhibitors were vaccinated, whereas just 66% of all Americans are vaccinated as of October 2021.
IBIE organizers are keeping tabs on current data, monitoring advice from the CDC, Nevada and Las Vegas health authorities, and considering what other shows have done to make IBIE 2022 a safe, productive event for everyone involved. It’s incredibly encouraging to see so many successfully held events — and many more will take place before IBIE 2022 begins. We can’t wait to bring the grain-based foods industry back together again for what will be an incredible experience!
Additional information on IBIE’s health and safety updates, exciting new show features, and registration are available on the IBIE website. We look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas, Sept. 18–21, 2022!
Freeman, Epistemix. Delta impact study. (2021).
Amaya, M., Mazurek Melnyk, B., Fairchild, A. (2021). The scientific-based evidence for conducting safe and healthy professional meetings and events (PMEs). The Ohio State University.