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IDDBA Grows the Future with a Successful Show

Madison, WI — IDDBA 18 was held June 10-12 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA.

With 10,576 attendees and 891 exhibiting companies, qualified buyers, merchandisers, executives, manufacturers, brokers, distributors, and other industry professionals gathered to connect and learn at IDDBA 18. This sold-out expo consisted of 2,089 booths. The event offered an abundance of educational experiences from actionable merchandising ideas and new products to presentations from influencers and experts, with more opportunities to grow your business than ever before.

Our lineup included influencers, leaders, and entrepreneurs who provided attendees with a powerful learning experience and offered them key business takeaways. The speaker line-up consisted of Aaron Rodgers, Jim Donald, IDDBA Chairman of the Board Erik Waterkotte, Ginger Hardage, Daymond John, IDDBA President and CEO Mike Eardley, Jennifer Fleiss, Bill McDermott, Carey Lohrenz, and Eddie Yoon.

The 2018 Chairman’s Award recognizes a lifetime of service and contribution to the industry and honors those who have led with vision and dedication. Erik Waterkotte proudly presented the award to Bill Klump, Chief Marketing Officer of Butterball, for the invaluable work and commitment he has put in towards the industry.

The New Product Showcase was a destination for attendees looking for unique and innovative trends all in one place.  Exhibitors had the opportunity to personally merchandise in this special display.  With 1,378 innovative products, attendees got an all-encompassing look at the newest cutting-edge products, packaging, and services. 

Another exciting learning opportunity was Expert Neighborhood where attendees had one-on-one consultations with experts from various industries. Questions about leadership, business, regulations, and marketing were answered through these appointments. Experts included CEOs, entrepreneurs, authors, and specialists who have the experience and knowledge of navigating through business challenges.

Show and Sell presented fresh examples of how businesses can engage and appeal to customers through merchandising ideas, concepts, and demonstrations. Trends and research were depicted through displays using real products from our sponsors. Leading up to the show, teams of dedicated volunteers donated months of their time and talent to create the amazing merchandising concepts displayed throughout Show and Sell. From donut samplings with unique toppings to pairing ideas and customized meal kit options, these concepts helped attendees experience out-of-the-box approaches and learn new ways they can engage shoppers. A taco bar, internationally-inspired sandwiches, and a fully functioning restaurant were a few highlights from the merchandising idea haven.

In the Show and Sell Workshop, live demonstrations from our Show and Sell teams and presentations from industry professionals offered attendees insight into a variety of topics. These workshops are geared to educate attendees and provide actionable ideas to grow their business.

Three top supermarket decorators competed in a three-day Cake Decorating Challenge where they created a variety of themed cakes. Attendees were able to vote for their favorite cake decorator each day for the People’s Choice Awards. The People’s Choice Award winner for Sunday was Randy Stratton, Dillons, Wichita, KS. The People’s Choice Award winner for Monday was Lindsay Anderson, Lunds & Byerlys, Minneapolis, MN.  The People’s Choice Award winner for Tuesday was Natasha Damm, Garden Home Market Place, Portland, OR.

New this year was the Best Tasting Cake Award. Joshua John Russell from in2food judged this competition and presented the award to Natasha Damm on Sunday, June 10.

The winner of IDDBA’s 23rd Annual Cake Decorating Challenge was Lindsay Anderson of Lunds & Byerlys. Second place went to Natasha Damm of Garden Home Market Place. Third place went to Randy Stratton of Dillons. 

The Fresh Careers Program was introduced this year. The program offered students that have interests in the food industry a chance to experience professional networking at IDDBA 18. With a Career Ambassador guiding them, the students got the chance to explore the trade show floor, see new product innovations, network and learn.

Additionally, IDDBA also launched their new IDDBA Deli & Bakery Rising Stars Manager Certification and Entry-level Associate Certificate programs. These new professional development programs assess and recognize a mastery of work knowledge and competencies needed to run a service deli or bakery department or to provide customer excellence as an entry-level team associate.

We’re pleased to help facilitate networking, growth, and opportunity for our IDDBA community. Join us next year in Orlando, FL, June 2-4, for IDDBA 19.