May 3-5, 2013. Let the Washington Post describe the show: “The National Rifle Association’s convention bristled with combative and triumphant rhetoric, having achieved a major victory in 2013: defeating the White House-backed package of gun-control legislation. The gun-rights group seems stronger than ever, with tens of thousands of enthusiastic participants, record high membership and effusive approval for the path taken by the its leader, Wayne LaPierre. Beneath the surface, however, some NRA allies are uneasy, saying that the organization is facing challenges on a scale it has not faced before. These include changing demographics and patterns of gun ownership; a new willingness of gun-state lawmakers to buck the NRA; and the rise of an organized and well-funded gun-control movement”. There is a “debate over whether the NRA made a mistake by pugnaciously opposing all of this year’s major gun-control proposals — including background checks for gun purchases”. Jumping the gun, perhaps…?
April 19-21, 2013. KBIS stands for the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show. KBIS is the voice of the kitchen and bath industry and has been for 50 years, putting up an interactive platform that showcases the latest kitchen and bathroom industry products, trends and technologies. This year, the NKBA (National Kitchen and Bathroom Association) celebrated its 50th Anniversary, and unveiled a brand new conference series, “Voices from the Industry,” featuring 70 conference speakers representing all industry segments and every level of professional – a platform for sharing new ideas on design and inspiration, business management, a renewed focus on the customer, and sales & marketing matters. Courses spanned a wide range of industry-relevant topics including “Integrating Universal Design in the Kitchen,” “Google AdWords — An Introduction to Search Marketing,” “Improve Your Sales Performance With Consultative Selling,” and “Recruiting & Hiring for Success”. Um, ‘scuse me… where’s the bathroom…?
April 30 – May 2, 2013. SIAL Canada is North America’s Premier Agri-food Event, aka “The North American Food Marketplace”. Delegates were there to learn about local, regional and national products from Canada and 45 different countries, all under one roof. A keynote offered insights on consumer shopping, buying and media consumption behaviors and attitudes, to provide foodstuffs manufacturers and retailers with strategic visions to facilitate brand, category and retail sales growth. Another keynoter became inspired to help other people feel better after overcoming her own health challenges through the healing power of food. Delegates heard about a culinary tourism plan for Ontario that brings people and businesses together across agriculture, specialty food processors, wineries, tourism, chefs, foodservice and culinary schools. Also discussed were projects to improve childhood food practices in schools and hospital contexts. Who knew food could do you so much good…?
April 23-25, 2013. LFI stands for LightFair International, and it brings you “the future, illuminated”. LFI purports to be the world’s largest annual architectural and commercial lighting trade show and conference, attracting over 23,000 design, lighting, architectural, design, engineering, energy, facility and industry professionals from around the world. It is dedicated to bringing together top international and domestic professionals in Architecture, Design, Engineering, Energy and Lighting, pairing them off with lighting exhibitors fromthe global market. 500 of the world’s leading manufacturers showcased products in over 200,000 square feet of exhibits, including Specialty Luminaires, Daylighting products & services, Lampholders and Switches, Meters, Mounting Devices, Light Sources, Exterior Luminaires, Lighting Control components and Solar products & solutions. No-one was left in the dark…
April 12-14, 2013. SC? Specialty Coffee! As in Specialty Coffee Association of America. So, like, this would be an event just for baristas, right? Wrong. The uninitiated have NO IDEA how many different professional grades and specializations get involved in putting the consumer in contact with his/her Daily Joe. People with titles like Roaster Wholesaler, Roaster Retailer, Coffee Oriented Retailer, Grower, Producer, Importer, Green Broker, Coffee Exporter, Distributor (Specialty food service/other), Restaurateur, Culinary Professional, Office Coffee Service (OCS/Vending), Coffee Carts/Kiosks/Drive-Thru’s, Producer Association, Allied Products and Services… There’s a coffee-flavored charity agenda too: “Supporting other non-profits, particularly those working to improve the lives of people in coffee, is fundamental to SCAA’s own mission, and we’re proud to enable coffee-focused fundraisers to reach such a wide audience in conjunction with our 2013 Event.” Biscotti with that…?
April 16-18, 2013. GlobalShop claims to be the world’s largest annual event for retail design and shopper marketing. It fancies itself “the only show in the world where you can find the largest, most comprehensive array of store fixture companies, and more in-store solutions than any live event in the nation”. On display were such retail-related products as architectural millwork, countertop fixturing, decorative props, design services, display fabrics, extrusions, fixtures, mannequins and forms, packaging, shelving, shopping bags and showcases. The GlobalShop show floor was conveniently divided into six sections of the retail design industry so visitors could find their particular specialty and learn about others. Among GlobalShop exhibitors were top manufacturers and suppliers of custom displays. Retail experts focused on the retail display fixtures market as a key item on the conference program. Overall, quite a display…!
April 3, 2013. The New England Produce Council was the organization behind the NEPC Produce and Floral Expo. The Council is a nonprofit trade association serving over 500 members. Members are involved in all sectors of the industry: distribution, production, foodservice, and retail of fresh fruits and vegetables. NEPC is also a member of the Produce Marketing Association. Food safety was a major focus. The food safety issue is an ongoing concern for consumers, we heard, and bacteria is the number one cause of food-related illness. While the way bacteria enters food can be complex, there are some simple measures that the industry can take in order to reduce those chances. When a crisis arises, communication is the key. A plan of action is needed to reduce the level of uncertainty among employees and customers. Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) plans are prudent in daily food preparation and storage in any facility, whether it is at a wholesale or retail level. Maintaining the cold chain is a key to product safety and shelf life. Food for thought…!