For decades, companies have unveiled new technologies, products and services at the International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE) that not only offer solutions but also define the future of baking.

A leading reason people attend a tradeshow is because they want to see the latest advances in their industry. The premier Innovation Showcase in 2013 was one of IBIE’s most popular attractions, and the feature is back this year, presenting even more progress. The Innovation Showcase highlights cutting-edge developments that have hit the market during the past three years. Each showcase entry is a product or service that has not been exhibited at a previous IBIE, making it a “must see” event for anyone walking the show floor.

New in 2016 is the opportunity for show-goers to learn more about each innovation during an interactive 15-minute presentation in the Idea LAB on the show floor. Michael Cornelis, IBIE chairman and vice-president, international sales, American Pan, a Bundy Baking Solution, explains that the strategic plan for IBIE 2016 heavily focused on the Innovation Showcase and how to make it easier for attendees to see what’s new at the show.

“Innovation has always been our main focus at IBIE,” Mr. Cornelis says. “It’s the No. 1 reason that people attend, and it’s why exhibitors often plan their new product cycle around the show.”

Exhibitors in 2013 received tremendous value from the showcase, he added, not only by being featured in the Hall of Innovation at the entryway to the show floor but also with recognition in the Official Show Directory, the 2013 IBIE Special Edition & Show Preview, email newsletters and features on the IBIE website and mobile app. All those elements, Mr. Cornelis says, drove significant traffic to those exhibitors’ booths.

“For attendees, it gives them an opportunity to see some of the latest advances in one place, rather than having to search them out on the show floor,” Mr. Cornelis says. “Before they even walk into the exhibit hall, they can stop by the showcase, see what’s new and write down the booths they want to visit.”

Formost Fuji was one of first 48 companies to participate in the 2013 debut of the Innovation Showcase with a new horizontal wrapper. Dennis Gunnell, vice-president, sales and marketing, was more than happy to invest in the opportunity.

“To me, it was a no-­brainer,” Mr. Gunnell says. “It really hits home as to why you go to a tradeshow, so we jumped on board right from the very beginning.” Formost Fuji plans to announce another product via this year’s showcase, which has expanded to 56 entries, according to its organizer, Sosland Publishing Co.

With the help of the showcase, Mr. Gunnell said, Formost Fuji was able to reach a targeted audience in a way not previously available at IBIE. He explained how the added presence of the display in the halls’ entryway, along with participation in Sosland’s IBIE-related publications, was able to cut through the daunting size of the show, which features 800 exhibitors on 700,000 sq ft of floor space, and reach attendees with a clear, concise and easy-to-see message.

Mr. Gunnell says people directed to his booth by the Innovation Showcase came with a purpose. “They’re there because they already have the need and they’re already interested at that point,” he said.

In 2016, show-goers can expect to see the latest in wholesale and retail advances, including ovens, griddle systems, bakery pouches and snack containers, mixers, packaging equipment, heat management solutions, consulting services, ingredients and more.

Related presentations at the Idea LAB (booth No. 7720 in the Central Hall) will also offer a more engaging experience for show-goers, Mr. Cornelis says. The presentations, which include a Q&A session, will highlight how the innovating company created a solution to an industry challenge. Presentations will allow companies to dive deeper into their new technology, product or service by providing context and an opportunity to create dialogue with attendees.

“Attendees no longer want to be passive participants, simply walking up and down aisles; they want organizers to curate experiences that facilitate networking, hands-on learning, inspiration and entertainment. We’re continuing to add and improve upon that every year,” Mr. Cornelis explains. “The Innovation Showcase is part of that strategic initiative along with several other show features we’re bringing to the table in 2016."