Good Info, Good Works at IFT Show

Thousands of food professionals will make their way to Chicago at the end of July for FoodSmarts: The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting and Expo, to be held at McCormick Place.
The event runs from July 28 to August 1, 2007 and will feature many opportunities for industry representatives to meet, share information and learn about the latest products and techniques.
More than 16,000 registered attendees came to the 2006 Expo in Orlando, with 935 companies exhibiting — a bar the organization hopes to top this year, according to IFT’s Web site.
Those who want to start early can take part in pre-meeting courses at the Chicago Hilton on July 27-28. There is a choice of one- or two-day sessions.
Professional Development Sessions will run on July 31. Topics covered include, “How to Negotiate with Vendors and Suppliers,” “The Essentials of Communicating with Diplomacy and Professionalism,” “Conflict Resolution and Confrontation Management,” and “Excelling as a Highly Effective Team Leader.” A retirement program is also under a consideration, but details are still being settled, according to the Web site.
Scientific Sessions will run from July 29 through July 31. Some of the programs included in this year’s activities include New Products & Technologies and Health Wellness and Foods.
There will be plenty of chances for networking at the IFT Meeting and Expo. Attendees will be able to go to the IFT Awards Celebration and the Conversation Café. There will be opportunities to talk during the Food Technology Trends panel discussion, moderated by Elizabeth Sloan, contributing editor of Food Technology magazine.
Another chance for networking and philanthropic work occurs with the Annual Fun Run on July 30. Participants raised more than $30,000 for scholarships through last year’s 5K run/walk. Registration for the run is at 6 a.m., and the run steps off at 6:30 a.m. Those not interested in running can still make a contribution and redeem their ticket for a thank you gift at the annual meeting.
On August 1, the Global Food and Safety Conference will take place with a focus on food security. “Food defense remains a national and international priority for the food industry and our government,” stated a description of the conference on the Expo Web site. “Product developers, research and management professionals, regulators, academics, and anyone involved in food safety and quality will find this conference necessary to their awareness of and professional development in the field.” Speakers will be drawn from all areas of government, industry and academia. The IFT International Food Nanoscience Conference and the Global Chinese Health Food Symposium 2007 will be held in conjunction with the Expo.
Technical field trips will be available. Participants can visit Chicago-based companies and institutions such as Knechtel, Seibel Institute of Technology and McDonald’s corporate headquarters and its Hamburger University.
The IFT Food Expo will be held at McCormick Place South in Exhibit Hall A, with specialty pavilions covering a few interest areas. The Healthy Foods Pavilion will have exhibitors whose are presenting nutraceutical, functional and organic products. The Organic Food Ingredients Pavilion will expand on Healthy Foods. According to the Web site, it aims to provide a forum for new companies in the fast-growing field. The Food Safety & Quality Pavilion will allow attendees to see the newest instruments, services, processing and packaging technologies to protect and ensure food safety. The International Pavilion will bring companies from around the world to present to the major North American customers.
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