Now, to be fair, I can't say that I have attended many trade shows, the IBSS may be the only, but it is an incredible make up of companies that together seem to represent a full cross section of the seafood industry. The IBSS is held in the Boston Convention Center, an enormous facility opened a few years back in the up and coming Fort Point Channel area of Boston. The sheer magnitude of this space is your first clue that once you enter the doors you will be in the middle of an incredible event. Beyond the noise of the earnest chatter happening between the thousands of people attending, the first greeting you receive from the huge room is the scent. Wafts of fried seafood, mingle among the herbs and other seasonings being used to cook the dozens of seafood entree tastes served throughout the show. The odor is welcoming, alerting the entrant to the fact that their hunger pangs will soon be satiated by countless options. Every booth seems to have some tasty treat to tempt the passers by, but chowing down isn't the real reason you're here is it?
Though the scents draw you into each booth, it is the people that keep you there. Companies from all over the world send their representatives to expand their markets and voice. The diversity is vast, ranging from cooling systems, vacuum packaging equipment, and ice makers to the fisheries, and activist groups. I had the opportunity to speak with the Oregon Salmon and Albacore Commissions, who are currently facing the dilemma of wanting to expand, but are cautious due to supply. This seemed to be the plight of several of the smaller fisheries. I spent time talking to the Scottish Development International who are trying to break further into the US market with their wholly Scottish salmon. They find that often their products are outsold by "Scottish Like" salmon, rather than that which is made purely in Scotland. I watched countless demonstrations for new vacuum sealers (I can't say those caught my attention enough to chat with the representatives) and automatic zip tiers, as well as ice makers. Finally, of course, I visited the great folks at iPura, one of my favorite life science companies, dedicated to ensuring the safety and cleanliness of seafood to the end user. The work that they do is incredible, please find my thoughts on their outreach in my post from last years IBSS.
|The scene at IBSS|