After 72 hours of global networking, professional lectures and presentations on innovations, iba.CONNECTING EXPERTS has closed its virtual doors. With its premiere, the networking event expanding the portfolio of iba involved 6,031 participants (unique users) from 131 countries, who took part in the virtual format from March 15th to 17th 2021.
Networking around the globe, new business contacts and presenting innovations worldwide: iba.CONNECTING EXPERTS gathered experts from the global baking industry and has proved itself to be this year's first global and successful business and networking platform with 5,340 direct interactions in the form of personal conversations and product information.
Broad reach with relevant industry topics
In addition to the networking opportunities, the high number of international participants was particularly interested in the supporting program of iba.CONNECTING EXPERTS. A total of 11,860 registrations were recorded for the online lectures, held by renowned experts. Worldwide, the virtual event resulted in 3,480 minutes of knowledge transfer and innovation exchange in the course of the online lectures alone. In addition to the platform, the social media channels were running hot: The cumulative reach, exclusively related to the exhibitors of iba.CONNECTING EXPERTS, amounted to around 1.1 million followers.
A platform full of possibilities
With networking possibilities and a focus on (new) customer contacts, the pillar "Connect" formed the heart of the event as one of the platform's four pillars in total.
Cathleen Kabashi, head of iba says: “Present via our own iba booth, we were really looking forward to a virtual—but nevertheless personal—reunion. The three days gave us the opportunity to connect, foster contacts and create new ones. Whether in live chats or through video calls—we were very pleased to be able to communicate directly with numerous exhibitors, visitors and journalists at the booths. iba.CONNECTING EXPERTS proved that the need for exchange, networking and the ability to meet in a high-level place, like iba can offer as the world's leading trade fair, is great in the national and international industry. Our aspiration is to offer a place for personal exchange and a platform for business and knowledge exchange in times like these. We are all the more pleased that everyone experienced the new format so well!"
Inspiring trends and product innovations
In addition to the supporting program and expert lectures, trends and innovations were among the highlights. The topics of automation, baking manufacturing trends, hygiene and cleaning, packaging, sustainability and the influence of the crisis on the baking industry of tomorrow were the focus of interest. Visitor magnets were the topics: “Baking Manufacturing Trends: Examining the U.S. Market”, “Rustic style bakery goods—from Trend to Industrial Production” and “The bakery trade and Corona: crisis, customers and concepts.” At the booths on innovation, exhibitors presented on what the industry has to offer, giving visitors a focused view of the market.