International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE) is the largest trade show for the grain-based foods industry. The event occurs every three years and is managed by a volunteer committee of industry representatives from three sponsoring associations: the American Bakers Association (ABA), the Bakery Equipment Manufacturers and Allieds (BEMA), and the Retail Bakers of America (RBA). IBIE operates in a crowded marketplace with several niche competitors. In recent years, the show has been impacted by industry consolidation, the prolonged recession, and slow recovery.
The Best Ingredients
To overcome these challenges and increase attendee interest, it was time for a show revamp. There are various subsets of bakers and suppliers that attend IBIE. Working closely with the IBIE team, we focused on the core audiences and envisioned ways to expand these groups through two primary strategies: identifying four new niche markets and targeting non-domestic wholesale bakers. In addition to expanding audience targets, we determined promising markets and developed innovative, cost-effective digital campaigns to reach them.
A Perfect Recipe
Baking professionals were targeted with emails, videos, microsites, social advertising, and direct mail. The campaigns highlighted the companies within the audiences’ industries that had already discovered the benefits of the event. It included the resources on the floor applicable to their area of interest and the education sessions designed for them. International prospects were targeted through digital advertising, emails, and a microsite translated into their respective languages.
A Delicious Outcome
Since our engagement started in 2007, IBIE has seen a 50 percent increase in buyer attendance. International attendance has increased to 30 percent of the total attendance, and the show floor has sold out two years in a row. Future campaigns built on those strategies, integrating targeted SEM strategies with ads and keywords translated into regional languages for international prospects, and targeted social advertising.