Get pumped! The biggest trade show in foodservice is right around the corner. The NRA Show, held in Chicago and this year from May 21 to 24, is gathering the greatest in the restaurant and hospitality industry in one place. From innovators to brand executives, from exhibitions to education sessions, from new products to new ideas, every aisle is ripe with opportunities.
But at the McCormick Place — the largest convention center in North America at 2.6 million square feet, and every inch filled with all-things trade — it can be a little overwhelming to decide where to go and what to see. No fear! To help cut down your analysis paralysis, here are at least three things you need to jot down on your to-do list when at NRA Show 2016.
Kick-start Your Visit at Startup Alley
Lakeside Center | Booth #8427
After its debut success last year, it has returned for an encore. Startup Alley, a specialty pavilion at the NRA Show, features emerging startups in the technology space. As one of tens of thousands of foodservice professionals in the industry, now's your chance to lead the pack by meeting the future face-to-face. Companies offering solutions to social media engagement, office management, interactive digital displays, streamlined food delivery, and more will be a handshake away.
A few featured 2016 exhibitors include: BlazeJobs, a mobile app that will redefine how you find your next employee (Could it be the "dating app" for recruitment?); TRCKED UP LLC, where your restaurant or food truck takes care of the meals and the app takes care of point of sales, social media push notifications, and the rest; VeriSolutions, which is making food safety easier than ever; and Casabots, introducing a general-purpose cooking robot for restaurants. Interested? Take a peek at the others here.
Get Back to the Basics through Foodamental Studio
South Hall, Level 3 | Booth #2388
Foodamental Studio is not only a nifty, clever pun — it's also putting the "pun" in pundits. This NRA Show event highlight features experts leading interactive, hands-on, exploratory workshops on different culinary trends. Attendees will be going back to the basics, hearing from masterminds and then getting to try out their techniques themselves.
Demos range from the proper way to handle a knife, the art of rolling sushi, deboning a chicken, tips on using an animal nose-to-tail, and more. Curious to see what lessons you can bring back to the kitchen? Here's the schedule.
Set the Industry Stage with Foodable
North Hall | Booth #7505, near NRA Main Booth #6600
While you're running around getting lost in a maze of vendors, come relax and refocus at the Foodable Media Stage, where a slew of hosts sit down with a series of industry experts from across the foodservice board and get their insights. If you need a break from socializing and processing everything you've absorbed, watching these interviews firsthand will be a great way to unwind while never stopping your learning.
Enjoy eye-opening interviews almost all around the clock. Whether it's on the the best digital marketing practices, beverage trends, millennial behaviors, or even the origin story of the NRA, you'll learn the best of the best — all from the best. The first interview in the lineup? Hear what NRA representatives have to say on cybersecurity measures restaurateurs ought to know. It only gets better from there.
But if you're not attending NRA Show 2016, you're in luck! Just because you're not on the floor doesn't mean you have to miss out. Stay up to date with Foodable and look out for livestreams and recap video coverage that will be released on the network!
So, are you ready for the NRA Show? This is the best time in the industry to rejuvenate your sense of purpose and re-inspire your sense of vision. Go soak up each day, but don't forget to check out these three things to do. See you in Chicago!