Prior to joining NAFEM as its chief staff executive in 2002, Deirdre Flynn was executive vice president of the Marketing & Communications Division of SmithBucklin Corporation, an association management firm, where she worked with NAFEM for nearly 20 years managing trade show, strategic planning, media relations, communications and branding programs for the association. Additionally, Deirdre held senior marketing and management positions with a wide variety of food and foodservice organizations, healthcare societies and technology user groups.
Total Food Service sat down with Deirdre Flynn to discuss what’s next for The NAFEM Show and its deep connection with the foodservice and hospitality industries.
What are the latest and greatest additions to the NAFEM show?
We are continuing to build on some key show features. Our members have put a lot of time into focusing all activity on the show floor. Friday and Saturday, there’s an extra hour (8-9 a.m.) of training time; the WHAT’S HOT! WHAT’S COOL!® new product gallery is back in its original form, with 143 companies showcasing a product that helps an operator do their job better. Additionally, each exhibiting company has the opportunity to feature a new product on The NAFEM Show 17 mobil app.
How have the industries’ needs changed since the last show?
The industry needs are the same – how to deliver the best experience to a foodservice outlet around the world to build loyalty and repeat customers. Customers want fresh, great-tasting, authentic, healthy, flavorful cuisines, and fast and efficient service. Our members and exhibitors are committed to manufacturing the equipment and supplies that help an operator deliver that perfect dose of hospitality to their customers.
What are the goals as an organization for this years show?
We’re committed to doing everything we can to deliver that quality buyer to our exhibitors. There’s no other show solely dedicated to equipment and supplies and the technologies to deliver the best food-away-from-home imaginable.
What new technologies will be showcased at NAFEM?
Temperature control, labor savings, energy efficiencies, sustainability – you’ll see technologies addressing all of these issues at The NAFEM Show.
As people leave and a new generation comes in, how will our industry be able to attract this new generation of equipment and supply professionals?
So many industries are struggling to find that next generation of leadership, and the foodservice equipment and supplies industry is no different. For NAFEM and its channel partners, it’s getting the word out about the myriad of long-term career opportunities in this industry. The hospitality world is constantly changing and expanding, and where else do you have the opportunity to work with interesting people, products, and brands around the globe.
To learn more about NAFEM, please visit their website.