Convention Provides Chances For In-Depth Learning, Networking
By Andy Hanacek,
executive editor

Surf’s up in San Diego!
At least, that’s the theme of the 67th American Convention of Meat Processors and Suppliers’ Exhibition, hosted by the American Association of Meat Processors (AAMP). AAMP is urging attendees this year to “Catch the Wave of the Future Now!” at the convention, July 13-15, 2006, at the Town & Country Resort & Convention Center in San Diego.
This year’s event features all the best of previous conventions as well as new features that attendees can enjoy and take part in to further their experience.
Some of the highlights include:
• Pre-Convention workshop, “Creative Flavor Solutions for Injecting and Tumbling,” followed by a pig-roast luncheon and wine sampling at the San Diego Wine & Culinary Center.
• The country’s only national competition for meat products: the American Cured Meat Championships, which offer more than 100 different awards each year in 26 different classes of competition, including the new regional competition class of Gourmet Cured Poultry Sausage. The competition is judged by meat scientists and specialists in the meat industry.
• The Trade Show aspect of the convention, featuring more than 100 meat-industry suppliers that are geared to the small-plant operator.
• The educational sessions, led by experts from the processing and supplier communities.
• The Sharpest Knife in North American Competition, where for $10, you could end up taking home the sharpest blade.
• The Kids’ Cookie Decorating Competition, always a favorite social function to enter your children in.
This year, attendees can head to the new Demonstration Areas, where they can learn first-hand about such topics as marination of chicken to offer product diversity or what retail products can be added to shelves to add value to your shop, among other topics.
Beyond the educational and equipment-viewing opportunities, the social aspect of this year’s convention offers attendees plenty to do after the doors close on the convention. San Diego itself is quite the location, with plenty to see and do, but AAMP is providing several high-quality social functions that will give attendees a chance to kick back, relax and network with others in the industry.
Attendees can kick off the convention at the Welcoming Reception at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Town & Country Resort to get reacquainted with fellow conventioneers. Saturday, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., attendees can travel up to the Wave House on Mission Beach for a “San Diego Sunset Evening.” The Wave House offers outdoor Kava bars, open-air barbecues, fire rings, hammocks, tropical palms and meandering boardwalks, creating “the quintessential California experience,” relays the convention’s brochure, when coupled with the beautiful sunset over the Pacific Ocean. Costs are associated with both of these social functions. NP