AZO treks to first in-person trade show since pre-pandemic times

Gus Carrington

Gus Carrington About The Author

Aug 17, 2021

Though masks and hand sanitizer may set apart the 2021 International Powder & Bulk Solids Conference Exhibition from its previous iterations, the event is now set for in-person attendees Aug. 24 - 26 in Chicago. With the AZO Dos P50 and an AZO DA 650 Screener by their side, sales representatives from AZO aim to greet new and old customers alike for the first time in a long time. 

General Manager Chuck Kerwin realizes that the topic of automation has only increased in the ingredient handling world, due in part to labor shortages across the board. Though the AZO team successfully built an online trade show floor over the pandemic, Kerwin said that there’s nothing quite like in-person shows. 

“Virtual trade shows have a long way to go to replace face-to-face shows,” Kerwin said. “I thought we would be back at an in-person show sooner, but it’s been in the hands of mother nature since the beginning of these shutdowns.”

AZO Food Sales Manager Kevin Pecha agrees that there are certain unique benefits to in-person events. Weighing the uncertainty of what the future might hold, Pecha says that he is confident that some things won’t change.

“Powders are still powders,” Pecha said. “It’s been harder to interface with customers in the past year, but many of them still expect to see someone they might need to work with on a project -- someone they’ll feel comfortable asking questions down the line.” 

One person AZO clients typically end up asking many questions is VITAL sales manager Bill Nesti. He said that, in many cases, implementing automated conveying systems to handle powders will reduce both liability and risk.

“Automation eliminates the chance of human errors,” Nesti said. “ It allows system operation to be monitored and adjusted on the fly. Automation greatly reduces and sometimes eliminates operator exposure to raw materials as well as work site injuries.” 

As for how equipment manufacturers like AZO can be as inviting as possible at their first in-person show in ages, AZO applications engineering manager Jeff Gaines sees an advantage in emphasizing how exhibitors can actually help future clients.

“I believe it’s no longer cost-effective to have a large booth with a lot of active display equipment,” Gaines said. “AZO’s trade show objective is to provide friendly, knowledgeable personnel who can engage a potential customer and help them see how their plant operations can be improved.”

AZO, Inc. engineers, builds and installs components and complete systems for bulk material handling requirements. A wholly-owned subsidiary of AZO GmbH, the company supports U.S. customers with technical support from its Memphis location and rapid parts delivery. AZO equipment is used in companies ranging from small, family-owned businesses to the world’s best-known industrial and consumer products companies. More info about our company, as well as common questions related to the world of ingredient handling, can be answered on our company blog at