Registration is open for the 2014 Sweets & Snacks Expo, to be held May 20 to 22, 2014, at Chicago’s McCormick Place. Sponsored by the National Confectioners Association, the 2014 Expo is poised to be the most successful in the event’s 18-year history with a jam-packed show floor already boasting a double-digit wait list of companies ready to exhibit.
The 2013 Expo broke all previous records in volume of confectionery and snack products with more than 600 companies and an eight percent increase in exhibitor participation. In 2014 the show floor square footage has expanded to incorporate more space in the center of the exhibit hall.
“There are a number of reasons that our event continues to grow and break milestones,” says NCA President Larry Graham. “We are committed to finding innovative ways to grow the Expo, including an emphasis on new confectionery and snack products, distinct exhibit space for organic, natural and gourmet products, highlighting international companies, and exploration of the latest trends in shopper marketing. We service all your confectionery and snack needs in one place.”
Experiencing double-digit international growth, the 2014 Expo will introduce the new European Confectionery Pavilion and welcome more than 100 international companies from nearly 25 countries.
“The global marketplace is growing at fast rate, and it’s essential that the Expo provide access to more product categories from more international companies. Last year the show experienced double digit growth in international participation, making the Expo truly a one-stop-shop for candy and snack buyers from around the world,” says Tim Quinn, Expo chairman and vice president of trade development for Mars Chocolate North America.
The popular Gourmet Marketplace sold out in early January, housing 84 companies and providing access to hundreds of one-of-a-kind, upscale, natural and organic products. Marketplace growth and sales success continue to accelerate since recent consumer statistics show that more than one third of shoppers will pay more for premium or natural products.
In addition, the Sweets & Snacks Expo is unique in its commitment to offer the best value and efficiency with top notch keynote speakers included as part of a modest Expo registration fee. Its educational content offers a suite of sought-after experts promising to deliver strategic direction into effective leadership, customer service and insights that can contribute to bottom line success.
Tony Hsieh, CEO and founder of Zappos.com, will reveal successful strategies to excel in customer service while ESPN commentator Jeremy Schaap will discuss strategies behind motivation and how strong leaders are a key component to success in any setting—both on teams and in business. Nancy Snyderman, NBC’s chief medical editor, will share her insights on health and wellness, particularly as it relates to balancing healthy lifestyles and enjoyment.
This year the Expo’s popular app will be upgraded to improve effectiveness and usability. New this year is a user-friendly desktop planner that allows attendees to schedule their entire trip before arriving in Chicago. The Expo’s Virtual Media Center, introduced in 2013, will return to make it even easier for exhibitors to post and socialize their news releases so that media and other show attendees can see what’s hot at the show.