As the 2005 North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers (NAFEM) show comes to a close, Deirdre Flynn, executive vice president of NAFEM, says she believes this year’s show was a success.
“From the feedback we’re getting from folks on the floor, it seems to be very successful,” she says of the show. “From all I’m hearing, people were impressed by the quality of the exhibitors and were pleased by the venue and location. It seems to have gone very well.”
A new addition to this year’s show was an Access Design Experts specialty pavilion, which put operators in touch with design and management consulting experts form the Foodservice Consultants Society International (FCSI). Attendees were e-mailed prior to the show and urged to schedule half-hour appointments with one of the 16 consultants, and Flynn says she is pleased by how many actually took advantage of this service.
This year’s show was also the second time NAFEM has featured a “Technology Pavilion,” featuring a mix of technology exhibitors demonstrating equipment and software that streamline labor and guest management systems to help run facilities more efficiently and effectively. Flynn says NAFEM hopes to continue this trend in future shows to keep up with the newest industry innovations.
“As technology becomes more integrated into the kitchen, we’re going to continue to expand this,” she says.
Educational sessions at the show focused on issues in food safety, quality, personnel, and overhead, and Flynn says these topics were chosen as a direct result of focus groups where operators conveyed their specific needs to NAFEM.
“We continue to focus our educational sessions to target issues of utmost importance to the operators,” she says.
Though specific attendance numbers are not yet available, Flynn says as many as 20,000 attendees were expected, and she estimates that final numbers will be close to that number.
The next NAFEM show will be held in October 2007 in Atlanta, and Flynn says planning will begin in the next couple of months to ensure another success.