If you’re in the food service industry or are involved in food technology in any regard, the annual meeting of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) is the place to be every year. It’s the expo where food and science come together to feed the minds of those who feed the world, where the most creative minds in food science join to share the latest research and innovation in the field.
Finding the right meeting for your business is vital to getting the best return on investment for your appearance, and if you’re involved at all with the science of food, whether it’s industry, academia or government, this is the show to attend. Learn all about the IFT 2019 Annual Meeting and Food Expo, held on June 2-5, 2019 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, LA, how it can advance your research and business, and the role it plays in the science of food technology.
What Is the IFT?
The Institute of Food Technologists, or IFT, is an organization comprised of the best minds in food science, all dedicated to working together to provide safe, sustainable and nutritious food for the entire world. The organization was first founded in 1939, and has been advancing theoretical and applied food science all over the world ever since then.
Membership in the IFT is comprised of representatives and researchers from over 90 countries. All are dedicated to applying scientific research and knowledge into practical and innovative solutions to end world hunger.
The purpose of the IFT is to realize a vision of a world where innovation and science are widely accepted as the means to sustainable and safe food supply for the entire world. Their mission is to advance food science across the globe, and they are committed to four promises:
- Develop, promote and advance food science careers while educating IFT members worldwide.
- Establish interactive and productive global networks for the sharing of innovation and knowledge.
- To continue to promote this innovation, knowledge, and both technological and scientific advancement.
- To advocate for current issues in food science and to address these issues head on while working to positively influence outcomes.
- The IFT is a community-oriented group who believe in the value of passion, progress, integrity and respect in all their operations.
One of the most notable projects spearheaded by the Institute of Food Technologists is FutureFood 2050. First launched in 2014, this program is dedicated to raising awareness of food science among the general public. It began with the stories of prominent people involved with the science of food, whether directly or whether affected by its application.
The second phase of the project was the funding and production of a feature-length documentary highlighting the many dimensions of food science and the people involved with it and affected by it. The goal was to demonstrate how we can end world hunger by 2050.
Told by renowned documentarian Scott Hamilton Kennedy, the end result is a celebrated documentary called “Food Evolution.” It’s been screened all over the world and has brought a new focus and passion to the science and decisions we make about the food we eat and the policies that influence those decisions.
IFT Annual Meeting
The 2019 IFT Annual Meeting in New Orleans carries the theme “Feed Your Curiosity,” will feature over 1,000 exhibitors, 100 different sessions, and 20,000 attendees. This annual event brings together food professionals from all over the world, all dedicated to inspiration and transforming the scientific knowledge of the world into innovative food service solutions.
Come to the 2019 IFT Annual Meeting and Expo and break boundaries, be inspired and challenged, and discover the ways food science is being redefined in the modern era. Whatever your role is in the food science world, IFT is a fantastic way to advance your business and make new contacts that will take your knowledge and capabilities to the next level.
Over 20,000 Attendees
The annual meeting of the Institute of Food Technologists draws over 20,000 attendees, which equates to thousands of potential new relationships and opportunities to expand your network. Meet new professionals, engage with complementary businesses and see what the competition is up to.
More Than 100 Sessions
Get insights and information about the latest advancements in the science of food by attending any of over 100 sessions and seminars at the show. Here, you can hear from and exchange ideas with some of the most important and innovative minds in the industry.
The IFTNext session is not to be missed. It’s among the most innovative and exciting seminars you can possibly attend. It involves the most critical topics, current conversations, and roundtable debates and discussions by the most prominent figures around. If you’re considering attending the meeting, the IFTNext sessions must be on your schedule.
IFTNEXT Start-Up Alley is another can’t-miss event. In this location, you can meet one-on-one with the leading group of cutting-edge entrepreneurs developing some innovative solutions in the food industry today. For 2019, featured Start-Up Alley exhibitors include airPHX Environmental, AmazStev Inc., and Ecovatect Solutions, among many others, so you won’t want to miss this.
Over 1,000 Exhibitors
The Food Expo is being expanded this year into the North Hall and South Hall of McCormick Place, allowing for tons of opportunities for more exhibitors than ever before. If you’re looking for the next big thing in the field, the IFTNext Start-Up Alley should be on your agenda. It’s located in the North Hall and will afford you the chance to meet with the leading entrepreneurs in the field, who are offering some of the most innovative solutions and products out there.
There are also tons of specialty pavilions focused on: new exhibitors, food safety, quality assurance, organics and naturals, current trends, market insights, the Cooking Up Science Ingredient Showcase and more.
Getting the Most out of the IFT – Pre-Planning
Naturally, if you’re considering attending the conference, you want to maximize your return on investment. It’s vital to make sure you approach the conference in the right way in order to maximize your investment. It all starts with the right planning. The IFT show is the show to visit if you’re involved in food science, but it’s important to understand what your role will be there. You don’t just want to set up a basic booth and appear. You need to engage and participate.
To that end, determine which events you can attend. Find out if you can participate as more than just an attendee. Can you get in on a roundtable discussion? Can you set up any events of your own? You need to actively engage potential contacts and clients while you’re there. Submit white papers. See if you can get a copy of the attendee list. Do this all in advance.
Trade shows are all about engagement with clients and other industry pros. Make sure that you’re there to build relationships. It’s not about selling your goods and service — it’s about generating interest, and that’s an entirely different thing. The IFT conference offers opportunities to engage with hundreds of contacts across the industry.
You’re going to be busy engaging with tons of people in a very exciting and interactive environment. It’s all about seeing and being seen. Don’t try to close any deals; the conference isn’t the place. Do, however, work to generate leads.
Make Your Booth an Experience
With over 1,000 other companies and researchers also showing their wares, you need to make your booth a true experience that draws people in, makes them want to stay and leaves them wanting more after the show is over. It requires the right lighting, the right presentation and the right traffic flow. It requires interactivity and engagement.
It also means giving away something of real value. Giveaways are great, but not if they just get tossed at the bottom of a bag and forgotten. Consider, for example, putting your latest materials, advancements and reports on a flash drive branded with your company logo — it’s useful in more ways than one, and it will keep you in the minds of those that take it away. Be creative, but make sure your giveaways are useful as well as engaging.
Pre- and Post-Show Marketing
Certainly, you’re going to do marketing before the show to let everyone know you’ll be there. Hit all your social media accounts, post it on your website, send it to your mailing list and post it on industry forums. The more you can get your name out, the better off you’ll be.
You also want to continually hit your social media channels during the show. This will remind people you’re there and engage them as they watch your live streams, while also encouraging them to visit your booth.
Post-show marketing, however, is equally important. Make sure that you maintain a mailing list at the show and get everyone who comes through your booth to sign up, then reach out and contact them after the show, and personalize your contacts. Post recap blogs and talk about your key takeaways from the show. Keep it — and you — in the public mind as long as you can.
The Best Trade Show Services
Not every business has the tools to create an outstanding trade show experience, and there’s nothing wrong with that. That’s where Xibit Solutions comes into the picture. We offer a complete trade show experience at a competitive price. We can help you with the logistics of the show, from booth design, installation and dismantling, to graphic design, transportation and even storage.
We’re here to help you with every aspect of your appearance, to take the stress off you and allow you to focus on making the show all it can be. For more information, or to get started taking your 2019 IFT annual meeting experience to the next level, get in touch with us today.