After the highly successful 2013 ABA Convention and especially the 2013 IBIE, the feedback from the members on what they wanted to see featured on the program for the upcoming 2014 ABA Convention was overwhelming. Take risks. Show us innovation. Help us think about our business in new and different ways.
I think you will see all three of those requests rolled into the program next month. Attendees should expect to hear and learn about what consumers are really doing in the marketplace. Once again Todd Hale of Nielsen will share his keen insight, but with a twist this time. Additionally, we expect to learn some incredible lessons around retail innovation from Tom Furphy and Kevin Coupe. They will share their provocative thoughts on the future of “traditional” retailing and both the potential and pitfalls of ecommerce for bakery and grocery in their Innovation Conversation. Attendees will then have the benefit of one of their key customers’ reaction to these learnings. These content rich morning sessions will be followed by an afternoon with Curt Steinhorst as he sheds light on how to connect with Gen Y as customers, the soon-to-be largest consumer segment.
It also wouldn’t be an ABA Convention without some top flight speakers and this year is no different. Long-time and respected Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace is preparing special remarks for the ABA Convention around true leadership in Washington. Drawing from more than a thousand interviews with key global leaders over the course of his storied career, Mr. Wallace will share the common themes of what makes a great leader and where leaders have not met our expectations.
In something a little different for the ABA-PAC dinner, we will be joined by noted business leader, publisher and erstwhile political leader Steve Forbes to talk about how Washington is impacting the baking industry and the broader business arena. He is especially eager to hear from you on the impact Washington’s policy decisions are having on your business.
Finally, we have reworked our Tuesday program to reflect feedback from the last few Conventions requesting more informal networking and fun time. We will also once again have the critically important Paul Abenante PEC Golf Tournament, but are opening up the traditional sports and golf awards lunch to all attendees and encouraging them to spend the afternoon socializing and having some fun with what we are calling Game-a-Pooloza. Don’t let the name fool you; it is all about getting to know one another a little better before heading home. And who couldn’t use a few more hours of sun and warmth after this winter?
I and the ABA team look forward to seeing you next month when we return to the Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale. We hope you like what we have done to your Convention!