NCA Opens 2014 Sweets & Snacks Expo Registration
Offers improved pre-show planning app, cache of well-known speakers
WASHINGTON -- Registration is now open for the 2014 Sweets & Snacks Expo, to be held May 20-22, 2014, at McCormick Place in Chicago. Sponsored by the National Confectioners Association, the 2014 Epo is the group's 18th.
NCA said that it has a double-digit wait list of companies ready to exhibit.
The 2013 Expo broke all previous records in volume of confectionery and snack products, the association said, with more than 600 companies and an 8% 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," said 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," said 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.
Expo keynote speakers for 2014 include Tony Hsieh, CEO and founder of Zappos.com, who will reveal successful strategies to excel in customer service; ESPN commentator Jeremy Schaap, who will discuss strategies behind motivation and how strong leaders are a key component to success in any setting--both on teams and in business; and 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, NCA has upgraded the Expo's app 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 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.