Bottled Water Heads to Las Vegas

As the bottled water industry continues to grow, the International Bottled Water Association’s (IBWA) tradeshow is expanding as well.Celebrating its 50th year, this year’s event will be held in conjunction with the American Beverage Association’s InterBev 2008 tradeshow, providing a single gathering place for those involved in the nonalcoholic beverage industry.

The event will take place Oct. 20 to 23 at the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas, Nev., elevating education, training and networking opportunities for attendees to new levels.

“InterBev, combined with the IBWA tradeshow, offers our respective member companies a much broader opportunity to experience a larger range of materials and techniques that can enhance their businesses,” said Joe Doss, IBWA president and CEO. “This joint endeavor can move InterBev and the IBWA shows to a more valuable position as our companies work to enhance their gains and growth.”

Educational Opportunities

This year’s event will offer a full range of new educational courses as the InterBev Advisory Committee and the IBWA Education Committee combined forces to develop multiple new education tracks. These new tracks will enable executives and key members of their team to select and attend the most pertinent sessions for their professional development.

Some class offerings to consider when planning your personal itinerary:

  • Point-of-Use Session 9:30-10:30 a.m., Monday, Oct. 20. Do you want to want to learn more about barriers against contamination? Have you ever wondered how many cases of AGI are attributed to drinking water? Joe Harrison, technical director for the Water Quality Association (WQA), will present these issues and others currently being addressed by the WQA.
  • Polycarbonate Issues 12-1:15 p.m., Monday, Oct. 20. For many years, polycarbonate plastic has been an approved food contact material and has been used in the bottled water industry in 3- and 5-gal returnable bottles. In recent years, a component of polycarbonate plastic—bisphenol A (BPA)—has been alleged to be an endocrine disruptor that has been charged with being responsible for certain health effects at very low levels of exposure. Steve Hentges, executive director of the Polycarbonate/BPA Global Group of the American Chemistry Council, will provide an overview of the current health and environmental issue landscape for BPA and polycarbonate plastic.
  • Bottled Water 101 8:30-10:30 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 22. Are you new to the industry or looking to revitalize your existing business? Have you noticed that your sales and marketing people are in need of industry education and essential techniques to best represent your products and services? Do they know the difference between artesian water and spring water? This session provides a comprehensive review of bottled water industry basics.
  • U.S. Sales Trends and Bottled Water Growth Opportunities 9:30-10:45 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 22. Barclay Griffiths of Beverage Marketing Corp. will discuss the current status of the dynamic bottled water category in the context of the overall U.S. multiple beverage marketplace. He will analyze the key segments and growth drivers and will assess the leading companies’ strategies and performances. In addition, he will offer projections of the industry’s future growth.
  • Using Your Route Accounting Data to Better Manage Your Business 8-9:30 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 23. Today’s route accounting packages are capable of generating an extraordinary amount of data. Many bottlers today get so much data that they find it difficult to sift through. Quantitative analysis and innovative computer tools can help you gain unimaginable insight on your business. This session will examine the data tracking, performance measurements and special tools that make a difference in the way you analyze your business.
  • Bottled Water QC Basics 7:30-9 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 23. If you want to enhance your existing quality control (QC) program, then this is the session for you. The facilitator will discuss not only the basic format of a bottled water QC program but also how to incorporate regulatory and HACCP requirements into your current QC program. The presentation will cover process, package and product inspections, and participants will receive information about setting up a bottled water QC laboratory for product and package testing.

Networking Opportunities

With so many bottled water and beverage professionals gathering in one place, InterBev 2008 will be sure to provide some serious networking opportunities. The first social event to attend is the “ABA/IBWA InterBev Reception,” on Monday, Oct. 20, at 4:30 p.m. This event will kick off the start of InterBev 2008, celebrating the co-location of the ABA and IBWA.

The “IBWA Chairman’s Gala: 1958–2008 It’s Time to Celebrate” will be held Wednesday, Oct. 22, at 7 p.m. Celebrate the IBWA’s 50th anniversary at the Wynn Las Vegas.

This year’s InterBev tradeshow expects to draw more than 4,000 industry professionals, so register early. For more information about the event, visit the IBWA’s website, www.bottledwater.org or www.interbev.com.

Stephanie Harris is managing editor of Water Quality Products. Harris can be reached at 847.391.1007 or by e-mail at sharris@sgcmail.com.

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