The National Restaurant Association today announced that exhibit space at its 2012 Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show has completely sold out. The newly redesigned exhibit floor will showcase more than 1,900 exhibitors, including over 500 new exhibitors that will offer thousands of products and services to restaurant and foodservice operators. NRA Show 2012 will be held at its new dates May 5-8 at Chicago’s McCormick Place.
“A sold-out exhibit floor means NRA Show 2012 will be buzzing with thousands of new products and services that can make a difference in operators’ businesses,” said Jack Crawford, Convention Chair and President and CEO of Ground Round Independent Owners Cooperative, LLC. “And this year’s addition of more than 500 new exhibitors speaks to the ongoing opportunity and optimism inherent in our industry. Coupled with our show-stopping lineup of celebrity chefs, plus more than 70 in-depth education sessions on key topics, a lively exhibit floor promises to energize our attendees and provide them with countless ways to improve their operations in the year ahead.”
Highlights from the NRA Show 2012 exhibit floor include:
• Operator Innovations Awards Gallery (located in the Grand Concourse): The industry-first Operator Innovations Award recipients will highlight operator accomplishments in five distinct categories: Sustainability, Technology, Food Safety, Health & Nutrition and Menu Development. Winners in each category, as well as the Innovator of the Year will be announced at Destination: Celebration on May 5 at the Harris Theater Rooftop Terrace at Millennium Park.
• Food & Beverage Product Innovations Awards Gallery (North Hall, Booth 7200): The Food & Beverage Product Innovations Awards program acknowledges how food and beverage manufacturers are responding to the changing needs of operators and consumers by delivering creative and delicious offerings.
• Kitchen Innovations Pavilion (South Hall, Booth 2440): An expert panel of food facilities consultants and multi-unit executives selected innovative commercial kitchen equipment for the impact they can make on operations of all business types and sizes. Hands-on demonstrations of the Kitchen Innovations Award recipient products will take place in the KI Pavilion.
• World Culinary Showcase (South Hall, Booth 2988): Chefs from Food Network, PBS and Bravo’s Top Chef will take center stage in the World Culinary Showcase theater all four days to demonstrate cutting-edge culinary ideas and techniques. It’s a unique opportunity to pick up their unique takes on trends, plating and sourcing – and even participate in some Q&A.
• Specialty pavilions: New Healthier Kids Fare (South Hall, Aisles 500-600) will make it easy for restaurant and foodservice operators to find a range of healthful food and beverage products to help develop delicious and nutritious children’s menus. American Food Fair (North Hall, Aisles 7500-8200), organized by the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, features U.S. food producers and processors interested in exporting their quality products. Conserve Solutions Center (South Hall, Aisles, 700-1200) highlights how “going green” isn’t just the right thing to do for the environment, it’s also a smart way to do business in today’s market. Franchise / NRA Show (South Hall, Aisles, 4800-5200) is produced by the National Restaurant Association & Franchise Times and brings together entrepreneurs and concepts to develop new business opportunities through franchising. International Cuisine Pavilion (North Hall, Aisles 6900-7000) showcases traditional foods and beverages from around the world. Organic & Natural Pavilion (South Hall, Aisles 3300-3600) will feature a wide array of products that help deliver on guest demands in this fast-growing market segment. Technology Pavilion (North Hall, Booth #5575) hosts demonstrations, education sessions and exhibits focused on increasing efficiency, guest satisfaction, transaction speed and lowering costs.
• Expert-led education sessions (4th floor, Technology Pavilion and IWSB): More than 70 free education sessions will provide real-world expertise on timely topics spanning multiple interest areas that can immediately make a real business difference to restaurant operators.
The annual National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show is the largest single gathering of restaurant, foodservice and lodging professionals. NRA Show 2012 will be held at its new dates May 5-8, at McCormick Place in Chicago. The event attracts 58,000-plus attendees and visitors from all 50 states and 100-plus countries, and showcases the latest products, services, innovative ideas, up-to-the-minute information about trends and issues and other growth opportunities than any other industry event. For more information, visit the Show website at www.restaurant.org/show, and find the NRA Show on Twitter @NRAShow, Facebook, YouTube and its widely read blog Floored!
Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises 970,000 restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of nearly 13 million employees. We represent the industry in Washington, D.C., and advocate on its behalf. We operate the industry’s largest trade show (NRA Show May 5-8, 2012, in Chicago); leading food safety training and certification program (ServSafe); unique career-building high school program (the NRAEF’s ProStart, including the National ProStart Invitational April 27-29, 2012, in Baltimore, Md.); as well as the Kids LiveWell program promoting healthful kids’ menu options. For more information, visit www.restaurant.org and find us on Twitter @WeRRestaurants, Facebook and YouTube.