TUCKER, GA. — The International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) will not have the in-person meeting originally planned for Jan. 26-28 in Atlanta due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. A digital event is being planned instead.

The decision was made on numerous factors, including surveys, direct feedback from the involved industries and other stakeholders and an expected decrease in participation.

“For many decades, our industries have engaged in an in-person event to serve and connect leaders in networking, learning opportunities and experiencing new technology,” IPPE show management said. “However, we concluded that due to the challenges of the pandemic and safety concerns, we could not offer the type of experience the industries have come to expect by bringing key decision-makers from across the globe to Atlanta.”

IPPE show management will offer exhibitor marketplace engagement and a slate of educational programs for attendees and exhibitors during the week the event is scheduled and beyond. Further details regarding the education programs and engagement opportunities are forthcoming.

“We are replicating the elements that can deliver the most value in a digital environment,” IPPE show management said. “While we know we cannot simply transfer the live, in-person experience of IPPE to an online offering, we will provide buyer engagement through an exhibitor marketplace showcase with direct communication options with industry suppliers in addition to online educational opportunities. Even though we cannot offer an in-person event in 2021, we look forward to the global poultry, egg, meat and animal food industries returning to Atlanta for what is expected to be a much anticipated IPPE, scheduled Jan. 25-27, 2022.”

The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA), which hosts its annual one-day Pet Food Conference during IPPE, also announced it will be suspending the in-person portion of that conference, opting to host it virtually instead. 

"After careful deliberation, we have made the difficult decision, in cooperation with our partners, to suspend the in-person component of the 2021 International Production & Processing Expo," said Constance Cullman, president and chief executive officer of AFIA. "The health and safety of our attendees, exhibitors and staff is of the upmost importance and we believe that COVID-19 prohibits us from offering the exceptional service and experience our attendees have come to expect.

"IPPE week will proceed with an exceptional offering of virtual programs, including AFIA’s Pet Food Conference, free feed education session, and additional interesting content, including an online exhibitor showcase designed to connect vendors and buyers," Cullman added. 

Read more about pet food and treat industry events.