International Dairy Show Becomes an Annual Event

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR
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Chicago, IL – Worldwide Food Expo, the biennial co-located trade show held in Chicago by the American Meat Institute (AMI) and International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), took its final bow this Fall as the two associations launched plans for separate events.

The IDFA will launch the new annual version of the International Dairy Show September 13-15 in Dallas, and will book venues for future shows based on competitive pricing. The AMI’s next International Meat, Poultry & Seafood Industry Convention and Exposition will return to McCormick Place as a stand-alone Spring event on April 13-16, 2011.

The final Worldwide Food Expo concluded at McCormick Place on October 31. More than 21,000 attendees and 700 exhibitors were on-hand and the exhibit floor topped 300,000 net square feet (nsf). The numbers were roughly the same as the 2007 show, but down from approximately 400,000 nsf in 2005, according to the IDFA.

Both the AMI and IDFA said the changes were supported by their exhibitors and members. Pre-show research by the IDFA indicated that its attendees and exhibitors liked the idea of moving to a lower-cost city and switching to an annual format that would improve the sense of community within the dairy processing industry and keep up with the current rapid pace in technology development.

“With the new show, we will be able to focus on the topics, issues and products dairy professionals care about most,” said IDFA President & CEO Connie Tipton. “It will provide the learning, networking and trade show experience the dairy industry depends on.”

The IDFA set an initial goal of selling 50,000 nsf for the Dallas show, about half of the space dedicated to dairy booths at Worldwide Food Expo. Early demand, however, was high enough that the sites were reset to 100,000 nsf. “The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive,” Tipton said. “We have already received contracts for 64,000 square feet of booth space for the 2010 show in Dallas and we are sure that momentum will continue.”

The AMI show also produced solid numbers, with more than 20,000 registered attendees from more than 100 nations. “In one of the more difficult economic times, increasing the number of packer processor buyers attending the show is a very positive development,” said AMI President J. Patrick Boyle.

Reach Connie Tipton at (202) 737-4332 or ctipton@idfa.org; Anne Halal, AMI vice president, convention & member services, at (202) 587-4230 or ahalal@meatami.com