2017 Joint Illinois Association of Meat Processors, Indiana Meat Packers, and Processors Convention
Convention and Trade Show
Mark Your Calendars!
February 23-25, 2017
Marriott Bloomington-Normal, Bloomington, Illinois
2018 Illinois Association of Meat Processors
February 22-24, 2018, Marriott Bloomington-Normal, Bloomington, Illinois
The Illinois Association of Meat Processors’ Annual Convention boasts a line up of educational seminars, hands-on processing demonstrations, 60+ booth trade show and social activities. This annual event is usually held in Champaign, Illinois on the fourth weekend of February each year.
The current convention site is the Hilton Garden Inn at Champaign, Illinois, conveniently located only blocks from the University of Illinois Campus and its Meats Science Laboratory. The Homewood Suites is a sister hotel to the Hilton and is located at the convention complex and features rooms appropriate for families and the business traveler.
The focus of IAMP is to bring meaningful programs for its members to the convention. Past sessions have included meat processing tips, business planning, social media, energy saving tips, panel discussions on remodeling, upcoming inspection regulations, venison processing tips, marketing tips and many more. The educational seminars usually include timely issues and are relevant for the small to mid-sized meat processing.
With our move to Champaign in 2007, we were able to implement hands-on demonstrations at the U of I Meats Lab facility. Seminars have included the effects of varying levels of ingredients, natural versus collagen casings, benefits of bowl choppers, product processing demonstrations, processing four flavors of smoked sausages from one meat block batter and equipment demonstrations. Processors, the University of Illinois staff and industry professionals team up to highlight basic principles of sausage making to upcoming flavors and trends in the meat processing field.
One of the highlights of the convention each year is the Product Show. IAMP is proud to have over 200 entries in 22 classes each year. Plaques are presented to the top three winners in each class to display in your plant. The IAMP Convention is also home to the Innovative Beef Competition sponsored by the Illinois Beef Association and the Innovative Pork Competition sponsored by the Illinois Pork Producer’s Association. The Innovative contests allow members to bring new and exciting products for evaluation. Winners of each competition receive $450 and the runner up receives $200 to be earmarked for advertising and a product launch. IAMP also promotes the both the Innovative winners and the Product Show winners at the Illinois State Fair
The 60+ booth trade show features vendors from all aspects of meat processing, packaging and business needs. Vendors may include processing and packaging equipment and supplies, spices, seasonings and additives, natural and collagen casings, cleaning equipment and supplies, scales and labeling equipment and supplies, grills and smokers, refrigeration needs, smokehouse controls, rendering and meat wholesalers. Other related vendors may include promotional items, insurance needs, financial solutions, pest management, testing and lab needs, related retail items (fruits, vegetables, cheese and more) and partnering organizations (Illinois Beef Association, Illinois Pork Producers Association and the University of IL-Extension).
The convention continues to be a “family” event with events for the young ones too. Kids may participate in the Kids’ Judging where they chose the best of a meats class which is usually wieners. They may also show off the talents in the Snack Art Competition. Finally, all kids are welcome to have fun at the Annual Pizza, Swim and Movie party.
Even though IAMP offers many opportunities to learn and help you with your business, we do have several social events to meet new contacts and “catch up” with old friends. The convention is kicked off with the President’s Welcome Reception. The Operator/Supplier Party is always a convention highlight. The party features meats from the product show and the Best of Show Product from the prior year’s convention. The awards for the product show are presented at the conclusion of this “complimentary” event. The Annual Banquet premiers fantastic Prime Rib and Pork Loin Buffet and the honoring of the Sleeter Bull Award. Entertainment follows the banquet and has included a casino night, IAMP Derby, bands or musical entertainment.
The convention also serves as a time to for the IAMP Board of Directors to get feedback from the membership and plan the upcoming year’s activities. Three meetings are held during the convention: Annual Membership Meeting and two Board Meetings.
The IAMP Convention and Trade Show are only open to members of the association, but first time members may receive a complimentary convention registration. Please contact the IAMP Executive Secretary for further details.