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NRA Show 2017 will feature a plethora of information sessions and innovative exhibitors

while wowing attendees with its lineup of famous chefs.

By Janice Hoppe-Spiers

The 98th annual National Restaurant Association (NRA) Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show will return to Chicago in May, attracting food and beverage industry leaders to share their insights and world-renowned chefs to share tips and trends in the kitchen. Encompassing more than 680,000 square feet in McCormick Place, NRA Show sold out last year and exceeded the previous show record of 638,424 by seven percent.

“NRA Show 2016 truly reflected the current state of the restaurant, foodservice and hospitality industry,” says Lisa Ingram, convention chair for NRA Show 2016 and president and CEO of White Castle System Inc. in a press release. “The sold out exhibit floor represented major advancements in products and services that will solve a wide range of real-world operator challenges; the 80-plus educational sessions and demonstrations focused on today’s most relevant topics; and the excitement and optimism of attendees and exhibitors alike was unmistakable.”

The NRA Show is the largest annual gathering of restaurant, foodservice and lodging professionals, attracting thousands of attendees from all 50 states and more than 100 countries. The trade show showcases the latest products, services, innovative ideas, up-to-the-minute information about trends and issues, and more growth opportunities than any other event, the NRA says.

Education Sessions

NRA Show 2017 is cooking up some exciting topics for this year’s education sessions. A number of sessions focus on food safety, including “Enhancing Your Culture of Food Safety and Public Health” and “Taking Your Operation from Food Safety Compliance to Food Safety Culture” on May 21 to “Why Large Businesses Can No Longer Afford to Ignore Advanced Food Safety Technologies” on May 22.

As more states legalize cannabis and the $22 billion industry continues to grow, NRA Show will host “Cannabis & Culinary: The New Frontier” on May 23. The session in the learning center will focus on the legality of infusing cannabis into food, how it is being used in fine dining and what to expect the future of edibles to look like.

Although a date and time is yet to be determined, “The First 100 Days of Trump: What it Means for You” we expect will be a popular session. Topics will include how President Trump’s agenda will affect your business, the congressional agenda for 2017 and discussion on policy issues of interest to the food and beverage industry.

NRA Show Rick Bayless copyWe expect another popular event will be “Signature ’17” hosted by NRA CEO and President Dawn Sweeney. Last year, Sweeney hosted “Signature ’16: Turn the Tables” in front a standing-room-only crowd. “Sweeney faced the future of local food with The Kitchen’s Kimbal Musk; talked the evolution of guest experience with Red Robin’s Denny Marie Post; and addressed the benefits of conveniently connecting diners and restaurants with Uber Everything’s Jason Droege,” the NRA says.

The topic for “Signature ‘17” has yet to be announced at the time of publication.

World Culinary Showcase

A favorite among NRA Show attendees, the World Culinary Showcase highlights world-class celebrity chefs and some of the more popular chefs often draw standing-room-only crowds. Each chef is given a time slot and showcase new recipes, teaches different techniques while cooking and often provide insight into industry trends.

This year’s lineup includes: Rick Bayless, Anne Burrell, Maneet Chauhan, Duff Goldman, Robert Irvine, Stephanie Izard, Matthew Kenney, Aarti Sequeira, Ming Tsai, Fabio Viviani and more are to be announced.

As the event gets closer, NRA Show will continue to announce more events, exhibitors and chef appearances. Registration is now open for those interested in exhibiting and tickets are on sale now to attend the show. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

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