Both attendee and exhibitor numbers showed positive growth at the 91st annual National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show and the International Wine, Spirits and Beer Event (IWSB).
NRA Show 2010 was held at Chicago's McCormick Place May 22-25, and IWSB was held in conjunction with the show May 23-24.
The NRA Show attracted more than 58,000 registrants – a 6 percent increase over 2009 – from 120 countries, up from 107 countries also in 2009. Approximately 1,700 exhibitors, covering more than 480,000-square-feet, showcased the most innovative new products and services on the market today.
"NRA Show 2010 was a tremendous success, and we have received excellent feedback from both exhibitors and attendees about the high energy and wide array of easily accessible business solutions showcased on the trade show floor," said Ira Cohn, convention chair for NRA Show 2010 and president of ARAMARK Business and Industry Group, in a news release. "I'm sure that all attendees will return home energized, optimistic, and ready to implement the solutions they discovered."
This year's NRA Show and IWSB Event were both complemented by an impressive lineup of education sessions — addressing the NRA's industry imperatives: jobs and careers, food and healthy living, sustainability and social responsibility, and profitability and entrepreneurship. The unprecedented number of sessions covered everything from the mobile foodservice craze to word-of-mouth marketing, and from social media to rooftop gardens.
The IWSB Event – the industry's only professional event focused exclusively on growing restaurant and hospitality bar programs – represented hundreds of brands and labels from the world's best vintners, distillers and brewers. IWSB boasted a 17 percent increase in attendee registration over last year with more than 3,500 qualified registrants.
Adding even more energy to the event, the NRA executed the first-ever restaurant industry flash mob on the final day of the show, Tuesday, May 25. The originally choreographed flash mob set to Lady Gaga's "Just Dance" was created by Chicago-based dancer Christina Chen exclusively for the NRA Show. NRA Show 2011 will be held May 21-24 at Chicago's McCormick Place. The 2011 International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event will be held May 22-23.