Throughout the course of the pandemic individual restaurants and foodservice operations have been forced to learn as they go, adapting to the changing world. Excitement is brewing as the industry is set to reconvene in person once again. The International Restaurant and Foodservice Show of New York will be held from March 6th through March 8th at the Javits Center. At the show, attendees will have the opportunity to build the framework for their “Post-Pandemic” strategy.
The show floor will provide aisles of exhibitors with the very latest food, beverage, equipment and supplies that simply cannot be demo’ed or tasted on the internet. The International Restaurant and Foodservice Show of New York also will offer a comprehensive educational track, with a wide variety of topics. To guarantee a successful and educational show, trade show expert and Clarion Vice President for Food and Beverage Portfolio Rita Ugianskis has been charged with directing the show’s planning.
“I have been in trade shows virtually all of my professional life,” said Ugianskis. “I started at Reed back in the 90’s, where I worked across a multitude of industries. I was then recruited to what is now called Informa, to run their waste and recycling portfolio. After 15 years at Informa, I ran a membership driven company for the promotional products space. For their members the company produced multiple trade shows, buyer events and road shows. After running that company for 7 years I began working at Clarion.”
As to what the show looks to focus on, Ugianskis has the answer. “Now the question is what will the show look like and how will it deliver what our customers need? To answer that question, we have developed three pillars for the show,” said Ugianskis. “The first pillar is information, that means information from subject matter experts but also from peers, especially peer to peer networking which comprises our second pillar. Our third pillar is product sourcing. We will be using a brand-new conference program that is organized into summits.”
“Three of the summits center on the identity of the individual foodservice provider. The other two summits are more topic based, with focuses on technology and health and wellness,” Ugianskis continued. “Another part of my vision for the show is that there are abundant ways for people to participate. If you are a buyer or an attendee, we’ve got ample opportunities for information, ample opportunities for networking, and want to help you product source. Additionally, we can help you get in front of the people you want to meet with. If you are looking for one-on-one or small group meetings, we can help you with that. What we want to do is create curated experiences. For example, if you attend the show and self-identify as belonging to a certain category of business, we will provide our recommendations on the most beneficials ways for you to go through the show.”
The NY Seafood Summit will make its debut at the Javits. A group of enthusiastic professionals with vested interest in seafood will meet to foster active communications and build relationships among the various seafood producers and users in New York. This year’s summit will focus on Seafood and Health.
Among the show highlights will be honoring the work of World Central Kitchen and its’ CEO, Nate Mook. They have provided resources and food to those needing emergency relief. Mook will receive the inaugural Humanitarian Spotlight Award which is presented to a company or individual who exemplifies philanthropy and gives back to the foodservice and hospitality industries.
The show’s TechBytes Pavilion will focus on the full spectrum of technology driven innovation. Topics will include: How to Acquire More Customers, Increase Guest Frequency and Beat the Third-Party Delivery Apps at Their Own Game, and 5 Secrets to the New Table Touch.
The show’s new Food and Beverage Academy will include four educational summits on the show floor providing access to the full scope of hospitality-based education for independent, multi-unit and chain operators, foodservice, specialty beverage, and café owners. Show guests will be treated to culinary demos with noted Chefs Maria Loi (Loi Estiatorio) and Stephen Yen (Tao Group) to the latest coffee trends from the co-located Coffee Fest.
Once again, the excitement of competition cooking will come to the show floor. This year’s Rapid Fire Challenge theme is plant-based meals! Bring on your favorite dishes minus the meat! Chefs are encouraged to get creative and be ready for your one shining moment! The winner will be crowned the International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York Rapid Fire Champion, receive $1,000, bragging rights and gain exposure to over 100 media outlets including local television, radio affiliates, and industry publications as well as thousands of industry professionals!
As for individual’s willingness to attend the show, Ugianskis says that there is a strong desire amongst past attendees to return to the show. “These are unprecedented times for the restaurant industry and for foodservice, these are unprecedented times for the trade show industry, and most importantly unprecedented times for us as human beings,” said Ugianskis. “For me this show is about restaurateurs and foodservice professionals evaluating and reevaluating everything we have done and why. Are we doing it because we have always done it that way, or because it is the right thing to do, as well as being what our customers want and need?”
“With the Delta and Omicron variants greatly subsiding, we know that people want the show to happen. We’ve done our research and 70 percent of past attendees said that they were either ‘very likely’ or ‘extremely likely’ to attend the show.”
Leading up to the show Ugianskis says she is focused on making sure there will be a place for everyone who wants to attend. “From the exhibitor standpoint this show is breaking all of the rules, it used to be that if you wanted to be in a trade show that you had to be an exhibitor,” said Ugianskis. “If being an exhibitor makes sense for you, we will find a home for you. If you cannot be an exhibitor for any number of reasons, we will still find a home for you. Yes, the show will be smaller than in years past, but we are still going to have thousands of people. If you want to target the industry, network with people, build a brand, we can help you. If you want a booth, great. If you can’t have a booth, we will put you in front of people. If your goal is to have five really great meetings, we can help set up those meetings and help you achieve those goals.”
The show will require all attendees and exhibitors to be vaccinated and wear a mask while indoors.
Registration is now open for the 2022 The International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York and Coffee Fest New York. Both events are produced and managed by Clarion Events, and sponsored by the New York State Restaurant Association. For information about exhibiting, sponsoring, or attending visit www.internationalrestaurantny.com or https://www.coffeefest.com/.
Clarion Events (us.clarionevents.com) produces 37 events across 13 sectors of both trade and consumer events. The Clarion Events Food & Beverage Group include the Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo, Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show, Coffee Fest and The NGA Show. Clarion Events acquired PennWell in early 2018, bringing 4 Tradeshow 200 events into the U.S. portfolio and super-charging the already rapid growth. Clarion Events has offices in Trumbull, CT; Kennesaw, GA; Boca Raton, FL; Tacoma, WA, and Fairlawn, NJ.