If you’d like to rub elbows with the meat industry’s leading innovators, save the date for PROCESS EXPO, Nov. 1-4, 2011, at Chicago’s McCormick Place. 
Many of the companies known for being on the cutting edge of technology are exhibiting in grand fashion, some featuring their largest booths of the 2011 trade show season. This gives you the opportunity to see new technologies you may not see at other shows. 
The organization sponsoring PROCESS EXPO — the Food Processing Suppliers Association (FPSA) — is led by some of the key players in the industry who, along with the Meat Industry Suppliers Alliance (MISA), an FPSA industry council, have been intimately involved in show planning and setting the agenda for educational sessions.

What does this mean to you? It means a trade show event with exhibitors and programs focused on critical meat industry issues. I use the word “event” to describe a trade show that produces the results that both exhibitors and attendees seek. And this year’s PROCESS EXPO is shaping up to be such an event.

PROCESS EXPO’s new biennial format is in synch with the average research and development cycle for equipment, usually two or three years. An every-other-year event ensures that exhibitors will roll out innovations that are current and relevant to attendees.

A full day of Spanish-language educational sessions is an event-worthy opportunity you’ll find at PROCESS EXPO. It is important to me, as an exhibitor, that FPSA is reaching out to the Latin American market, especially the growing meat industry, and providing them a service that is respectfully presented in their native tongue. Language-specific seminars will benefit domestic meat processors employing an increasing number of Spanish-speaking workers as well.

Another event-worthy characteristic of 
PROCESS EXPO is the diverse makeup of exhibitors and attendees that spans all sectors of the food industry. The cross-pollination that occurs between different vertical markets at horizontal shows fosters creative thinking. For example, an engineer in the meat industry might see how another industry has solved an automation or logistic or material-handling issue and see a solution for their own situation.

Cross-pollination and collaboration are key benefits of FPSA membership as well. The networking that I do with my peers in the industry has developed strategic alliances from a business standpoint. My company has collaborated with other suppliers that have synergistic product solutions to provide integrated systems for customers.

Not only has my company had opportunities to grow, I have grown professionally through the educational opportunities FPSA provides and my involvement on the MISA council. We are constantly keeping our membership up to speed on changes in the industry that could impact their businesses in a positive or negative way. We try to be on the cutting edge and stay out in front of issues rather than be reactionary.

Education and advocacy is a soft way the council gives back to the meat industry; we give back in a tangible way through the MISA Foundation Scholarship Fund. The program awards scholarships to qualified students expressing an interest in the meat industry. These individuals will some day work for us or our customers, and the scholarships help keep that talent pool full.

The MISA Council supports the meat industry. FPSA advocates for all food and beverage sectors. PROCESS EXPO brings the world’s leading food companies face-to-face with new technologies.

It’s an event. See you there.