The Baking Industry Exhibition (BIE) board of patrons has held its inaugural meeting.

Andrew Reed, chairman of the board, told patrons representing both exhibitor and visitor sectors about plans for the show, which will take place on 6-9 April 2008.

Reed, representing organisers William Reed, said more than 63% of space had already been taken -"a fantastic response from the industry". He added that plans were already under way for the feature areas, which will consist of a live working bakery with student competitions, a masterclass area for demonstrations and a bake-off theatre showing the latest launches.

Reed stressed the importance of visitor promotion, which will take place across all William Reed titles, including British Baker, Bake & Take, The Grocer and Food Manufacturer, as well as other food magazines and web media in which bakery plays a part.

The BIE will take place alongside Food & Drink Expo, Convenience Retailing and Foodex Meatex, with a central aisle linking the shows.

BIE patron Nick Townend, Sainsbury’s category manager, bakery, said: "We want this exhibition to be the showcase for new products. We are interested in the environment, which means integrated sourcing from flour to plate, and ingredients such as chocolate and sugar with Fairtrade potential."

Craft baker and BIE patron Janet Carr, who owns five shops in the Reading area, said: "I want to see ideas that will support craft bakers on the retail side: better and more appropriate packaging, more efficient labels, better designed cake boxes, more drinks machines and sandwich fillings, for example."

Chris Freeman, craft baker with a shop in North London, wanted family-friendly support and welcomed the provision of crèche facilities. He said he would be looking for new ideas that could be translated into successful end products back at the bakery.

Roger Tearle of Rondo said: "I really like the concept of the live demonstrations and lots going on. Also, theming in with other shows alongside is the right way to go."