May 1, 2011 |

2011 May: Record Breaker

By Jeremy White

The 27th annual International Pizza Expo turned out to be one for the ages. According to tradeshow officials, the 2011 event set records for attendance, exhibits, contest prize money and educational sessions.

The Las Vegas Convention Center hosted the Expo March 1-3, and a total of 6,452 attendees hit the bustling show floor to visit more than 900 exhibiting booths. These attendees had the opportunity to sit in on more than 80 educational seminars and view a wide range of competitive events.

“We had more educational sessions and demonstrations than ever before,”
says Bill Oakley, Executive Vice President of Macfadden Protech, LLC, parent company of Pizza Today and International Pizza Expo.

As always, the Beer & Bull idea exchange, the International Pizza Challenge and the World Pizza Games Finals and Rockin’ Party were big draws. Hot topics at Beer & Bull ranged from the viability of gluten-free pizza to commodity prices to marketing.

In the International Pizza Challenge and World Pizza Games, hundreds of competitors went head-to-head to
determine who had the best pizza making — and tossing — skills in the world. A breakdown of the winners
from each contest category can be found in the “Expo News” column in this month’s issue (page 10).

“This year’s show was simply
unbelievable,” says Pizza Today editor-in-chief Jeremy White. “This great industry of ours is so vibrant right now. The attendees I spoke to indicated that they expect to experience positive growth in 2011, and that’s exciting.

“There’s just really nothing like International Pizza Expo. It was three days of pizza magic.”

Next year’s show is scheduled for March 13-15 in Las Vegas. For more info, visit

“We’re working now to make it even better next year,” promises Oakley.