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One of the biggest opportunities to make an impression with current and potential food industry partners is the Institute of Food Technologists Expo. A symposium of 1,191 exhibitors, thousands of attendees, and a million split-second opportunities to get the attention of your audience, companies rely on the IFT Expo to build brands, introduce new ingredients, and foster partnerships.

Here are a few of the companies MarketPlace worked with to develop a strategy, build buzz, and inspire action at IFT13 in Chicago:

IOI Loders Croklaan

IOI Loders Croklaan sought to leverage its presence at the IFT13 trade show to support awareness of and interest in its newly minted Creative Studio. In partnership with this global edible oils company, MarketPlace developed a strategy and tactics to build brand awareness and position the Creative Studio as a center for collaboration in creating applications and solving problems.

IOI Loders Croklaan Trade Show branding

The Big Idea

Positioning the Creative Studio as a resource for facilitating greatness, we went beyond the brick and mortar, the technology, and the ingredients to celebrate the victories made possible in partnership with IOI Loders Croklaan. The “Celebrate Your Next Big Idea” concept is both a call to action and a promise of success, highlighting IOI Loders Croklaan as the key to making its clients’ big ideas possible.

Spark Interest

  • Trade show strategy
  • Concept
  • Oversized cupcake and cake pop display
  • Photo booth attraction
  • Photo booth props
  • Application recommendations
  • Sales team training tool
  • Metrics and expectations
  • Print advertisement
  • Press release
  • Email invitation

Attract Attendees

  • Trade show sponsorships
  • Escalator banner
  • Phone app
  • Booth atmosphere
  • Design
  • Layout
  • Photo booth and props
  • Application samples
  • Apparel

Develop Leads

  • Qualifying questions
  • Creative Studio invitation
  • Post-show email

Our partnership with IOI produced many reasons to celebrate:

  • The pre-show email boasted an open rate of 182% of the average B2B email.
  • IOI engaged with twice as many leads as the previous year’s IFT efforts.
  • Over 1,000 trade show attendees lined up to use the IOI Loders Croklaan photo booth.


In advance of IFT13, MarketPlace and IDF developed a marketing campaign that repositioned IDF among protein ingredient competitors. With a new look, bold tone, and unique message, we built on the existing campaign to position IDF’s real food ingredients as foundational in a broad range of applications, including smoothies, bars, beverages, pasta, and ready meals.

IDF Trade Show design

Through the bold tone established in our Get Real ad campaign, we positioned IDF’s ingredients competitively against whey and soy by communicating the real nature of its ingredients through the benefits associated with IDF’s four pillars: protein, flavor, function, and nutrition.

Real Interest

  • Media plan
  • Print ads
  • Digital ads
  • IFT program directory ad
  • IFT advertorial
  • Content library sponsorship
  • Email campaign
  • Press release
  • Cocktail hour email invitation

Real Interaction

  • Training presentation
  • Booth atmosphere
  • Messaging
  • Design
  • Cocktail hour print invitation
  • Text message
  • Brochure
  • Get Real microsite

 Our partnership with IDF led to Real Results:

  • We generated 125 leads at the booth, 25% more than the company goals.
  • 100% of our targeted food industry media met with the company.
  • Website traffic increased 800% over the numbers leading up to the trade show.


On June 24, 2013, three weeks before IFT13 in Chicago, Roquette and Solazyme, the parent companies for the joint venture Solazyme Roquette Nutritionals (SRN), agreed to dissolve the JV. SRN had been working toward being the first to bring microalgae-based whole food ingredients to the marketplace. The dissolution took the industry and the media by surprise. And by storm. With arguably the most important trade show of the year only weeks away, and with the media already in motion looking for a narrative, time was of the essence, not just for the parent companies but also for MarketPlace. Why? Because Roquette was a longstanding partner of ours. Because we’d been helping SRN bring its technology to market. Because this is what we do.

Roquette Trade Show marketing

The dissolution of SRN was a significant news story, and MarketPlace anticipated the media’s need for answers. This was more than standard trade show marketing; we knew the kinds of questions that the media would ask, the issues that the industry would care about, and the concerns that each company needed to address directly and quickly. We felt that it was important that Roquette immediately issue a statement to the press to establish its position in moving forward with microalgae technology. Because of our deep experience in the industry, our expertise in working alongside the media, and our ability to craft a relevant, newsworthy story, we were able to quickly deliver a press release that would change Roquette’s course heading into IFT13 and beyond.

Our press release was picked up by 100% of the food ingredient media, and, for the first time in Roquette’s long history, generated significant coverage by the business media. Coverage included the Wall Street Journal, Business Wire (including Global), and Yahoo Finance, to name a few. In the first 24 hours, the release was viewed almost 2,000 times, and that number increased another 50% in the next few days (compared to zero pickups from its first release regarding the dissolution). This release alone led to numerous valuable post-show requests for presentations and samples. Our press release positioned Roquette ahead of any industry-generated story that could have distracted from Roquette’s overall mission and its purpose at IFT: promoting expertise and commercialization capabilities with microalgae-based ingredients.

In addition to creating and distributing Roquette’s press release, Marketplace delivered a pre-IFT email, supplemental booth elements, microalgae content on Roquette’s website, and a brochure and other print materials. All in the span of a few days. Due to our handling of the event, the industry, rather than focus on the legal aspects of the dissolution, received a more constructive story, focusing on the future of the company as it moves toward its goal of introducing microalgae as the next generation of ingredients. In the end, the dissolution of SRN and the potential drama surrounding it became all but a footnote. Now that IFT is past, we’re working with Roquette to bring a microalgae brand to life—and to an industry looking for the next generation of food ingredients.
Though not as extensive as the work we did for IOI Loders Croklaan, IDF, and Roquette, we produced a lot of beautiful, strategic creative for a couple more partners:

Corbion Purac

Corbion Purac partnered with MarketPlace to call attention to the capabilities of Corbion Purac’s natural food safety ingredients at IFT13. With infographic design elements, we created a conversation around Food Safety in Numbers, highlighting the quantitative data that identifies Corbion Purac’s clean label food safety focus and sodium reduction capabilities with a show-stopping booth designed to prompt conversation.

Purac Trade Show booth design


Celanese partnered with MarketPlace on an IFT approach highlighting the unveiling their new sweetener system, Qorus. With print media, a booth design, brochure, and media engagement, MarketPlace helped launch the Qorus conversation as a high capability sweetener on par with the taste of sugar.
For a strategic approach to your next trade show, get in touch today!

Celanese Qorus trade Show booth design
Nicole Hill drives visionary change for businesses and brands, from global enterprises to entrepreneurial startups.