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We all went through them, though I’m not referring to adolescence. With all the consolidation we’ve witnessed in this industry over the past 20 years, I’m actually referring to the growing pains we experience after a merger or new partnership.

Today, I had lunch with an old-time member of FPSA and we discussed “the good old days” back when we organized another trade show with other partners. It was a great event that we were all proud of but eventually things change, and we need to move on. As I said to him today, you either move forward or you get left behind.

That’s exactly what FPSA did two years ago when it announced it was bringing in Messe Frankfurt to run PROCESS EXPO, and subsequently to join us as a joint venture partner. Messe Frankfurt as one of the most successful trade show organizers in the world would bring an infusion of new ideas, energy and resources to PROCESS EXPO, to solidify its position as the global food equipment and technology show. We believed that then and even more so today as we start to put together an exciting show floor activities plan for our second show together taking place in October of 2023 in Chicago.

Next year’s show will once again feature production lines with live demonstrations where exhibitors will make and package actual product on the show floor; the ever-popular Food for Thought educational program with sessions put on throughout the day by subject matter experts addressing critical topics for food processors and beverage manufacturers; and of course, the Innovations Showcase highlighting top processing and packaging technologies across all major industry segments. But while Messe Frankfurt certainly is organizing the show, it’s not as if FPSA is sitting back. In fact, the two groups work hand in hand in these activities with a strong assist from FPSA Councils, its Show Committee and of course, FPSA members. Just as in shows prior to the MF partnership, our goal is always to create an even better show experience than before. In that respect, nothing has changed.

So, you can understand that I might have been confused at another member’s recent surprise that FPSA staff had work to do at all on the show. “Didn’t you guys sell it?”

I explained that no, we did not sell PROCESS EXPO. This Association and its predecessor associations have been running trade shows for nearly 140 years….not a typo …. Yes, back when Grover Cleveland was president! Perhaps more importantly, PROCESS EXPO has always been run by equipment manufacturers, given that they are the experts in food industry technology and that they know best what their customers were looking for. That hasn’t changed at all.

In truth, the issue here is that I guess you can never tell your story enough. People have been very busy over the best two years and can be forgiven if they’re not up to date on all the comings and goings at PROCESS EXPO. That’s ok. That’s on us to bring them up to speed. Honestly, I don’t tire of telling them how good this next show will be. If you haven’t yet signed up to exhibit and see for yourself, what are you waiting for?

Andy Drennan, FPSA SVP