Chicago, IL—The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) announced in a press release that it will transition the IFT20 Annual Event and Food Expo to a virtual experience. The move is an effort to prioritize the health and safety of participants and the broader community.

Previously slated to convene at McCormick Place in Chicago from July 12-15, the convention’s website now says that IFT staff are “looking to launch the virtual event in mid-July,” with more details regarding the format to be shared in the coming weeks through a variety of communications and

IFT President Pam Coleman said in the press release: “After thoughtful consultation with leaders and partners within the food industry and academia, IFT’s board of directors made the decision to transition IFT’s onsite Annual Event and Food Expo into a virtual event experience. We believe this to be the best and safest course of action in light of the evolving COVID-19 pandemic developments.”
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The 79-year-old Expo highlights the latest trends, solutions, and insights shaping the food ecosystem. It typically attracts upwards of 20,000 global attendees, the release says.

IFT CEO Christie Tarantino-Dean added in the release: “It would be a disservice to the members of our community and the broader food ecosystem if we were to cancel IFT’s annual event in its entirety. We chose to transition to a virtual event to provide a safe and inclusive platform for the global science of food community to convene, share, and learn—a purpose that is more important than ever before. We are excited about the new opportunities this presents and look forward to providing informative virtual programming.”