The NAFEM 2017 Show

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Whether you’re remodeling, expanding or replacing equipment, this biennial event will show you a world of solutions unlike any other.

They say there’s no other show like it on Earth. That comes from Deirdre Flynn, executive vice president of the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers.

“The biggest highlight is our 500 plus exhibitors offering the latest in prep, cooking, storage and service all in one place,” she says. “In addition, everyone looks forward to our Kick-Off Party, After-Show Party and being somewhere warm like Orlando (Florida) in February.”

NAFEM has hosted its biennial trade show since 1973, making 2017 its 22nd edition. It takes place Feb. 9-11 in Orlando, Florida, at the Orange County Convention Center.

“NAFEM recognizes being a chef is a mentally and physically rigorous job. Not only do you deal with the demands of creating and cooking meals, but you are often responsible for profitably,” says Flynn. “The products and networking opportunities you’ll experience at The NAFEM Show have the power to transform your operations while keeping diners happy.”

NAFEM boasts an exclusive focus on equipment and supplies from industry-leading manufacturers. Whether you’re replacing faulty equipment, opening a new restaurant or renovating, use this opportunity to touch, feel and slam doors; compare products from different brands; see a live demonstration; and chat with other chefs in your space. Chefs can also admire the craftsmanship of heavy-duty construction, good ergonomics and extra features in person. And since it’s a biennial event, you’ll see the latest products to hit market.

Chef magazine caught up with Flynn to discuss how chefs can make the most of their NAFEM experience. Read on to get her best advice for shopping the showroom floor.

What are the highlights that are new for 2017?
A highlight of The NAFEM Show is WHAT’S HOT! WHAT’S COOL!, a new product gallery that showcases some of the most recent and industry-disrupting equipment and technologies. Past WHAT’S HOT! WHAT’S COOL! innovations have included equipment and supplies that enable social responsibility, global food trends, health and wellness, foodservice productivity, and more.

Are there any themes?
Our theme this year is “discover a world of foodservice possibilities,” to emphasize this show is a place unlike any other where foodservice equipment and supplies come first. You can visit www.thenafemshow.org to see what our “world” looks like.

What’s your best advice for planning a trip to NAFEM?
Attendees of The NAFEM Show spend an average of 13 hours on the show floor over three days, and there’s more than 372,000 square feet of ground to cover. The best way to stay organized is by downloading our app, where you’ll be able to view exhibitor lists, plan your schedule, access maps and a schedule of events. Another good way is to download our free foodservice equipment and supplies buying guide.

What are you excited about?
Personally, I look forward to seeing everyone and catching up on what’s new. Everyone in our industry works in such a fast-paced environment that taking even a day off can be tough. This is a chance for us to all get together to share ideas with those that are the best in the business.

Should people attend the after-show party and why?
The week promises to be busy and energizing for all attendees, and the after-show party is a time to celebrate the culmination of another great year and blow off some steam with industry friends you don’t see often enough. Relax and be served a wonderful dinner then enjoy a performance from a Grammy-nominated band The Killers.

What are some hot trends?
We are seeing equipment that opens the door to customization and can easily adapt to new concepts to be key, as well as smaller, more energy-efficient options and automation. Our exhibiting companies always bring their latest products and innovations, and I anticipate those being key themes to product development.

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