COLUMBUS, Ohio — The third-annual North America Pizza & Ice Cream Show (NAPICS) will be held Feb. 19 and 20 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. NAPICS will feature exhibits and demonstrations of new products and equipment, seminars and workshops covering tried-and-true "how to" procedures and innovative methodologies. The event, which includes the annual two-day Pizza Pizzaz competition, is projected to attract a national audience of more than 4,500 pizzeria and ice cream shop operators. (Read also NAPICS draws record crowd of pizza and ice cream operators.)
"It's important for small business owners to have a forum where they can network with others in their industry," said Ann Reichle, NAPICS chairwoman, who also is co-owner and operator of Angelina's Pizza in the Cleveland suburb of Olmsted Falls. "Ice cream and pizza shop owners can become isolated and not have an opportunity to see what's happening in their industries. NAPICS gives them an opportunity once a year to share ideas, learn about new products and new ways of doing things that will help them grow their business."
Unique in the industry is the opportunity NAPICS affords owner-operators to interact with and learn from their peers. Panel discussions with operator experts and designated rooms for informal networking will ensure attendees get the practical advice and ideas they need for running their businesses day-to-day.
NAPICS is expected to draw approximately 250 exhibitors to demonstrate the latest advances in equipment for pizzerias and ice cream shops. Samples of new food products, including a variety of products for Italian dishes, coffees and dessert items, as well as pizza and ice cream will be available from exhibitors throughout the show floor.
Educational offerings include seminars and workshops that feature well-known experts, along with peer-to-peer teaching sessions.
"Big Dave Ostrander is a favorite who really knows how to excite and inspire participants," Reichle said. Ostrander is an author, columnist and speaker who is a foodservice management professional and was owner of Big Dave's Pizza, once ranked the 25th busiest pizzeria in the United States. Ice cream and frozen yogurt operators will hear from frozen dessert experts about jumpstarting their peak selling season as well as promoting and maintaining year-round sales.
Friendly competition includes the annual North America Pizza Pizzazz, which drew 84 contestants last year. (Read also 2006 NAPICS Pizza Pizzazz to feature America's best pizza makers.) The group battled for two spots on the U.S. Pizza Team competing in Salsamaggiore, Italy, in the World Pizza Championship, as well as cash prizes. Attendees also benefit from "Ask the Experts" sessions, which are held in the Interactive Pizza and Frozen Dessert Test Kitchens, where attendees can "Ask It, Try It, Test It."
As an added attraction to this year's show, the Ohio Restaurant Association will have a drawing for a large flat-screen TV at its booth, No. 101. All attendees will want to be sure and register for a chance to win.
NAPICS is a show for pizza and ice cream professionals — owners, managers and operators — and provides a forum for meeting a variety of food and equipment vendors while networking with peers and learning from experts. Registration on or before Feb. 10, 2006, is $25 per person. Afterwards, registration is $50 per person. Persons may register by visiting the NAPICS Web site or by calling 740-524-4123.
NAPICS is sponsored by PizzaMarketplace.com, the No. 1 source for pizza news and information on the Internet.