See the Difference Cooper® Sharp Makes. Get Cooper®
Where culinary passion meets business opportunity
Simple done right
President and CEO Mike Eardley Discusses Plans for 2018 IDDBA

President and CEO Mike Eardley Discusses Plans for 2018 IDDBA

Tuesday, April 24th, 2018

Show season is upon us, and the International Dairy Deli Bakery Association’s IDDBA 18 trade show is fast approaching. The show that boasts more than 10,000 registrants and more than 2,000 exhibitors each year needs no introduction, but with a constantly evolving and growing format, IDDBA 2018 is sure to surprise. So, what can we expect from this year’s event, held June 10-12, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana? For answers, I turned to Mike Eardley, President and CEO of IDDBA.

Q: Tell me a little about what makes the IDDBA’s trade show such a unique opportunity for those of us in the dairy, deli, and bakery industries?

Mike Eardley, President and CEO, IDDBAMike Eardley: It is the place to engage, discover, explore, learn, and experience! And driving these opportunities are IDDBA’s Six Influencers—People, Community, Consolidation, Food Safety, Competition, and Technology. They’re the pillars and vision of IDDBA, and they play a prominent role in all of our events, programs, and education. And they play an important role in helping our industry continue to grow and be successful, especially during these times of competition from new shopping channels and consumer shopping patterns.

With the support and assistance of our Board of Directors, committee members, volunteers, and association staff, we strive to provide our members and the industry with resources, knowledge, and support to help them and their businesses be profitable and remain a vital and trusted component in the lives of shoppers and their families. With inspiration from the Six Influencers, we continue to expand and enhance our educational opportunities at the show through new ways of merchandising product, learning about new trends that can drive more traffic to your stores, and learning about regulations that impact store operations. We have a continual schedule of learning opportunities through those three days, and the value and benefits of attending are only limited by your choice of involvement. The IDDBA show is the gathering spot for the community of constituents in the dairy, deli, bakery, and prepared food businesses. It’s where we meet and help each other grow. Being there will get you motivated to create the future in your business!

What can we expect from New Orleans?

ME: IDDBA is excited to return to New Orleans for its show. The city has such a history, both culturally and culinarily. Its residents—and the people who visit—celebrate food. In many ways, it’s the cornerstone of the perception of New Orleans. As I look at the accomplishments and struggles the city has experienced since its founding 300 years ago, I’m reminded of some of the challenges our own industry faces. New Orleans has survived and prospered despite both natural and man-made threats. And by doing so, the city is a true inspiration for all of us. Yes, there are challenges—both present and on the horizon—but our fresh departments will continue to play an ever-growing role in the success of our stores.

Q: What can you tell me about the IDDBA’s plans for 2018?

ME: As I mentioned above, we’re continually expanding and adding to the attendee experience at our show. A good example of this is the Expert Neighborhood, a special section of the trade show where attendees can meet with industry experts and have questions on a variety of topics answered in one-on-one sessions. 2017 was the first year we conducted Expert Neighborhood, and the reception from attendees who participated was outstanding! We are again featuring the program at IDDBA 18, with experts available to answer questions on topics such as regulations, leadership, and disruptors. Registered show attendees can even schedule their appointments online before the show opens.

Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana

Another can’t-miss feature of IDDBA 18 is Show and Sell, a mainstay at our show since 1989. Driven by inspiration from our teams of volunteers and association staff, Show and Sell provides the perfect venue for learning about merchandising ideas and concepts for driving traffic and growing sales in our fresh departments. New and future trends form the basis of many of the themes attendees will experience at Show and Sell, and our ultimate goal is for attendees to take these ideas back with them to their stores and share them with colleagues. Additionally, the Show and Sell Workshop will feature a daily lineup of speakers sharing their insight on a variety of industry and regulatory topics.

Other show attractions that attendees should not miss include: the New Product Showcase, situated prominently on our show floor and featuring the latest products from exhibitors that may soon be making their way to your stores; the Cake Decorating Challenge, where three of the nation’s top retail cake decorators square off for recognition as the best of the best; and the Proudly Wisconsin – Cheers to Cheese Event on Monday night, which is always a favorite among show attendees.

Q: Can you give me some impressions of the IDDBA 18 keynote speaker lineup?

ME: As in past years, we have a dynamic lineup that’s sure to inspire and energize attendees at IDDBA 18. These general sessions are the perfect start to three days of education and experience. Keynote speakers ready to share their insights and stories with attendees include:

  • Daymond John, CEO and Founder of FUBU, will teach and share the motivation to be entrepreneurs and to move ourselves forward in powerful ways.
  • Carey Lohrenz, the first female F-14 Tomcat fighter pilot in the U.S. Navy, will share leadership lessons and how she flew thru glass ceilings and any obstacles in her way to be a top performer.
  • Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP, started his career in the deli, became a top sales person, and now is CEO of an international technology firm. He’ll share his inspiring journey with us.
  • Ginger Hardage, former Senior Vice President of Culture and Communications at Southwest Airlines, will give us a real insider view on creating a culture, straight from the person who did it, not just talked about it
  • Aaron Rodgers, Super Bowl-winning quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, will share leadership lessons and how to become a MVP.
  • Christina Tosi, CEO and Founder of Milk Bar, will share with attendees how to turn individual baker skills into a brand that rewards you and gives back to the parts of your community that are important.
  • Jennifer Fleiss, CEO and Founder of Code Eight, will share her story of how to be a successful entrepreneur in a Millennial economy powered by technology.
  • Actor Michael J. Fox will close out the speaker lineup, the perfect speaker spot for a guy who’s license plate in the hit movie Back to the Future read, “Out A Time.” I think that his presentation will be one we will be talking about for a long time as a difference maker to the attendees in the audience.

Q: What does the IDDBA expect in terms of exhibitor and attendee numbers? Buyers?

ME: Another record year and a sold-out trade show floor! Last year, we reached a new high for number of exhibitors and booths. And with just a little less than two months to go until IDDBA 18, we’ve already surpassed that number, with 820 exhibitors confirmed. Attendee numbers are also poised to break last year’s mark of 10,000, the second-highest recorded since 2004, the year consolidation of retailers in our industry became more and more prevalent. The diversity of food sectors that will be represented at our show is also worth noting, as it’s indicative of how our industry is evolving. In addition to supermarket retailers, wholesalers, and brokers, some of this year’s registrants also represent international companies, restaurants, resorts, and online grocers. The numbers speak for themselves: IDDBA 18 is a must-attend event, not only for exhibitors seeking the best venue for promoting their products and services, but for food retailer attendees wishing to discover the latest and greatest in food innovation and industry education and trends, as well as for brainstorming annual strategies with their partners.

For more coverage of IDDBA 2018—before during and after the event—keep reading Deli Market News.