This year’s event attracted more than 62,500 registrants from all 50 states and 100+ countries, representing a second consecutive year of growth. The Lodging category saw the largest increase in registrants by more than 10 percent. Restaurant/Foodservice, Retail, and Press registration also experienced growth.
On the exhibitor side, the most substantial sign of growth was demonstrated by the opening of a third exhibit hall, North Hall, Level 1. This additional hall housed more than 400 exhibitors and was a hotbed for innovative products from up-and-coming exhibitors and well-known brands alike. With the additional third hall, exhibit space totaled more than 579,000 square feet, a 6.8 percent increase over 2012, with more than 2,100 exhibiting companies, nearly 40 percent of which were new.
“NRA Show 2013 and IWSB reminded us of the fun and excitement found in the restaurant and foodservice industry,” said Jeffrey W. Davis, Convention Chair for NRA Show 2013 and IWSB and CEO of the United States Beef Corporation. “From serendipitous business encounters to educational discoveries and networking opportunities, no other event provides this kind of access to the ‘who’s who’ of industry leaders, celebrities, brands, products and services. In just four days, industry attendees and operators received a year’s worth of key learnings and industry insights to not only build their business, but also provide solutions to their everyday challenges.”
To continue to serve as the restaurant and hospitality industry’s leading premier international marketplace, the NRA Show 2013 added additional new feature areas and programming such as: the Alternative BiteStyle specialty pavilion for individuals with special dietary needs; free health care consultations from industry leaders at the Health Care Knowledge Center; the action-packed iSculpture competition; the “next big thing” for restaurants–a fully-functioning Hydroponic Garden; the most prestigious line-up ofWorld Culinary Showcase chefs to date; an exclusive, once-in-a-lifetime tour of Rick Bayless’s home garden; a powerful keynote presentation by Starbucks’ Howard Schultz; an uproarious talk with the never-censored chef and culinary personality, Anthony Bourdain; and more.
The International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event (IWSB) was held in conjunction with NRA Show 2013 on Sunday, May 19 and Monday, May 20. The event featured hundreds of world-class beverage alcohol brands and labels and continued to gain traction among key audience segments. The Dealer/Distributors category was up nearly 7 percent and the Retail category saw a 40 percent increase. The two days of pours, shakes, and stirs offered insight into the latest beverage alcohol trends and techniques with interactive demonstrations in the Demo Lounges, stations to marry food and drink at theRestaurant Menu Pairing Program, and more.