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). The increases underscore the NRA Show’s position as the restaurant and hospitality industry’s premier international forum for the products, services, and information that operators need to grow their business. NRA Show 2010 was held at Chicago’s McCormick Place May 22-25, and IWSB was held in conjunction with the Show on May 23-24.

The NRA Show attracted more than 58,000 registrants – a six percent increase over 2009 – from 120 countries, up from 107 countries 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,” says Ira Cohn, Convention Chair for NRA Show 2010 and president of ARAMARK Business and Industry Group. “The Show provides a valuable, efficient, and cost-effective opportunity to interact, under one roof, with all aspects of the foodservice industry from throughout the world. 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 National Restaurant Association’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 that’s taken the U.S. by storm to word-of-mouth marketing, and from social media to rooftop gardens and much more.

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.

In addition, Nathan Greene of Las Vegas, was crowned the winner of the first annual IWSB “Star of the Bar” competition, sponsored this year by Bacardi, at the IWSB After-Party at Chicago’s Rockit Bar & Grill for his Bacardi Kiwi Berry Serenitea cocktail. Greene received a $5,000 cash prize and will have his cocktail recipe and photo appear in an upcoming edition of American Airlines’ American Way magazine. Nathan will also have his cocktail featured on the Rockit Bar & Grill menu until the end of June 2010.

Adding even more energy to the event, the National Restaurant Association 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.

Participants in the flash mob included show attendees, chefs, culinary students, exhibitors, and many others.

For more information on these and the many other Show features, including photos, videos, and the Floored! blog, visit

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.

The annual National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show is the largest single gathering of restaurant, foodservice, and lodging professionals. The event attracts tens of thousands of attendees and visitors from all 50 states and 100+ countries, and showcases more products, services, innovative ideas, and other growth opportunities than any other industry event. For more information, visit the Show website.

News, NRA Show 2010