March 1, 2016 |

Expo Spotlight: It’s Show Time

By Bill Oakley

Bill Oakley Show Director International Pizza Expo

Bill Oakley
Show Director
International Pizza Expo

The pizza world is assembled once again in Las Vegas. You really have to experience Pizza Expo to understand the excitement and interaction that takes place among our attendees and exhibitors each year at our show. Everyone is truly eager and motivated to get into discussions about new products, new technology, the latest industry trends and hot-button issues facing the industry today. We’ll bring together more than 1,100 booths, 450-plus exhibiting companies and approximately 12,000 pizza professionals.

At this year’s show we expect more international visitors from more countries than ever before, offering an immense opportunity for our attendees and exhibitors to establish global contacts. We’ve added seminars and panel discussions on franchising and concept growth for expansion-minded operators. We’re facilitating networking and idea swapping among attendees more than ever, making it easy to connect at our evening events and on the show floor. And we’re focused on the future with our new Pizzeria 2020 exhibit and seminars on food and dining trends and opportunities.

The one thing that really separates International Pizza Expo from all of the other general foodservice shows is our educational component, which we continue to expand. We’re offering close to 100 business-boosting seminars, demonstrations, workshops and networking events for our attendees to choose from. Our speaker lineup includes more pizzeria operators than ever before. In fact, we lined up some of most successful pizzeria operators on the planet.

Where else but Pizza Expo would you have the chance to learn from a super-successful group of fellow pizzeria operators from all over the world? I’ll tell you, nowhere. In fact, I like to think our pizza-focused seminars and demonstrations alone are worth the price of admission. The bottom line is there’s always something new you can learn or see at Pizza Expo that will

improve your pizzeria and boost your bottom line, whether you’re an industry veteran or just opening your first shop halfway across the world.

This year’s International Pizza Challenge has the largest field ever in five divisions. We’ll crown the Pizza Maker of the Year on Thursday. The World Pizza Games will honor new champions in Fastest Dough, Largest Dough Stretch, Fastest Pizza Box Folding, the Pizza Triathlon and, of course, Freestyle Acrobatic Dough Tossing. The acrobatic competition reaches its crowd-pleasing height during the finals at the Pizza Expo Block Party on Wednesday evening. There will also be an additional morning keynote at the 2016 show, featuring a third industry luminary — none other than Tony Gemignani — offering inspiring comments to get the day going.

We’re always making changes to improve the show, and with that in mind, I welcome any suggestions that would improve the event. Drop me a note or post your thoughts on our Facebook or Twitter pages. It’s your show — we want it to be the best you can imagine.

We Mean Business!



Bill Oakley

Tradeshow Director

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