All Things Baking (ATB), a new tradeshow offering a mix of educational sessions, competition, networking and special events, will take place Oct. 2-4 at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel & Convention Center in suburban Chicago, with about 5,000 industry professionals expected to attend.
Held in lieu of the Retail Bakers of America’s (RBA) annual American Retail Bakery Expo, ATB aims to energize and inspire the “underserved” segments of the retail baking industry, according to event marketing managers Kimberly Hardcastle-Geddes and Jacquelyn Clair.
“Essentially, retail baking events over the years had become very focused on cake decorating–almost exclusively, leaving certain segments of the industry feeling like they didn’t have as big of a representation,” says Hardcastle-Geddes. “All Things Baking was designed to create a comprehensive event for the retail baking space. It’s not just for people who are doing cakes but also pastry chefs, café owners, caterers, chocolatiers, bakery directors and other culinary professionals outside the typical core market.”
Hands-on and demo classes enlist the help of association, educational and supplier partners like the American Pie Council, American Society of Baking, Bread Bakers Guild of America, AIB International, the French Pastry School of Chicago and Kendall College. From learning how to make gumpaste flowers to moulding gelatin to observing a Master Baker demonstrate authentic Italian bread, interactive content abounds in the classroom and on the show floor. ATB also will host five behind-the-scenes tours of Chicagoland bakeries on Oct. 4.
Thirty-nine educational seminars will examine a range of business-focused and timely topics, such as wedding cake trends, the science of freezing, the impact of the Farm Bill and sugar quotas, bakery marketing and scaling up formulas.
Annual competition attracts top talent
The best of the best in cake decorating will showcase their skills in the 11th annual RBA Pillsbury Bakers Plus Grand Champion Creative Decorating Competition, co-sponsored by RBA and General Mills. The competition will take place during the first two days of ATB in front of a live audience on the show floor. It will be judged based on the following categories: flowers and sprays, wedding cakes, rolled fondant, custom design cakes and sculpted cakes. The winner, as determined by a panel of judges, will receive the Pillsbury Bakers Plus Grand Champion trophy. On Sunday night (Oct. 3), RBA will host an awards dinner to recognize the winners along with emeritus members and graduates of this year’s RBA certification programs. Tickets will be sold at registration.
The 20,000-sq.-ft. exhibit floor will keep bakery professionals ahead of today’s consumer trends. Suppliers of baking equipment, bakeware and moulds, decorating supplies, ingredients, flavorings, packaging materials, technology and business services will offer demonstrations and resources.
In association with ATB, RPIA Group is presenting the Business of Baking for Beginners, Oct. 1-2, at the Embassy Suites Hotel, a seminar for those looking to join the baking industry. “It’s a crash course for entrepreneurs who don’t have a bakery, or bakery owners looking to take their bakery to the next level,” Clair says. Registration for this event includes entry to ATB.
Visit www.businessofbakingnow.com for more information about Business of Baking for Beginners and a schedule of events. ATB is supported by RBA, American Bakers Association and BEMA.
Visit www.allthingsbaking2011.com for more information.
Click here to view a list of exhibitors and a schedule at a glance.