Foodservice Equipment Reports
E&S Industry Event & Award Coverage

The NAFEM Show 2017

“Discover a world of foodservice possibilities.” This tagline for The NAFEM Show, scheduled for Feb. 9-11 in Orlando, Fla., is fitting. As the only trade show that focuses solely on equipment, The NAFEM Show truly builds a world of its own, created to give people in the foodservice industry a place to focus on all of the latest trends and developments in equipment and supplies.

This year’s show promises to be one of the largest yet, with about 560 exhibitors taking up more than 372,000 sq. ft. of space. “We are noticing companies taking advantage of more booth space and creating bigger experiences than ever,” says Deirdre Flynn, Executive V.P., NAFEM. Bigger exhibits means more room to showcase equipment and supplies, as well as space to talk with attendees and provide education on all of the new features. “There’s always a lot of education happening on the show floor,” Flynn says. “For that reason, we have decided to discontinue our educational programs, in order to give people more time to spend out on the floor.”

Tools For The Show
NAFEM has some cool features to help take advantage of everything the show has to offer. The What’s Hot!, What’s Cool! Pavilion, returning for a fifth year, features some of the most innovative items in the industry. It’s a place for people to get a taste of what’s on the fl oor, before visiting the exhibits to learn more. New in 2017: Mike Colburn and Mary Esther Treat of Ideas Well Done, Winooski, Vt., will scour the show floor and report on noteworthy equipment debuts on Friday and Saturday of the show, twice each day, in an informal Inspiration Station, a conversation area with seating set up for the purpose.

The NAFEM Show Buyer’s Guide, available as a free download on the show’s website, includes the new rules of foodservice E&S buying, with key considerations such as energy efficiency, how trends affect purchases and analyzing your menu for proper equipment choices.

There’s also an app, The NAFEM Showplace, available for download, that has features including a map, exhibitor lists and a message center for breaking news.

While walking the show floor, be sure to stop by the FER booth 886 to visit with us and to share your favorite equipment finds on the show floor.

People Make The Difference
Of course, a world of equipment and supplies wouldn’t be very productive without professionals, and with more than 20,000 in attendance, the show is a great place for networking. Meet up with friends for a fun night of music and food at the Kick-Off Party on Wednesday night. On Friday night join us at the FER Industry Excellence Awards Gala, an exceptional event where members from every industry channel gather to honor a select group of outstanding leaders in the industry. (See “Save The Date” sidebar for more details.) Everything wraps up with the After-Show Party on Saturday night, with dinner and rock band The Killers in concert. In addition to the events, there are plenty of opportunities for networking on the show floor and in the concurrent meetings and events taking place with allied associations.

Find more opportunities to meet up with industry professionals at these associations’ concurrent events:

• National Equipment & Supply Association. Join fellow NESA members for a pre-show get together on Wednesday at the show from 2-5 p.m. at the Doubletree Hotel to go over strategies on how to make the most out of the time at The NAFEM Show. The association has also organized time on the show floor before it opens to everyone on Friday and Saturday morning from 8-9 a.m. This gives time to meet with manufacturers on a more intimate basis and explore the benefits of the latest equipment and supplies.

• Foodservice Consultants Society Int’l.–The Americas. Come early to attend FCSI-TA’s Symposium, Breaking Bad Habits & Breaking Through, Feb. 7-8. The event starts out with a private party at SeaWorld. The next day is filled with informative educational sessions, including “Away with the Tray—Modern Healthcare Foodservice Programs,” which will discuss trends and challenges for design and MAS consultants when designing dining areas for senior living facilities. And everyone can benefit from the keynote address, “FBI Negotiation Secrets for Breaking Bad Communication Habits,” by Chris Voss, former FBI international kidnapping negotiator. Visit for more information and to register.

• Manufacturers’ Agents Association for the Foodservice Industry. The 2017 Membership Meeting and Cocktail Party will be held Feb. 10, 5-6:30 p.m. at the convention center. The meeting will cover information on SpecPath specification tracking software, as well as the association’s educational opportunities and events.

• Foodservice Equipment Distributors Association. FEDA members are invited to attend the box lunch sales seminar, Feb. 10, 12-1:30 p.m., at the convention center. The program, “Know More! Relationships,” led by Sam Richter, will help you learn what is important to your clients on a personal level and how to use information to differentiate yourself from your competition. Note: The Commercial Food Equipment Service Association will not be hosting an event in conjunction with The NAFEM Show. Instead it will have a fall conference in Austin, Texas. Visit for more information.

The NAFEM Show
Feb. 9-11, 2017
Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Fla.

Show Hours:
Thursday, Feb. 9, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 10, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 11, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Attendees: 20,000 Exhibitors: 560

Kick-Off Party: Wednesday, Feb. 8, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Hilton Orlando. Tickets: $30.
After-Show Party with The Killers: Saturday, Feb.11, 7-11 p.m., Orange County Convention Center. Tickets: $125 through Jan. 15, $150 after. Registration: $75 through Jan. 31, $100 after. Register at

Save The Date!
Foodservice Equipment Reports’ Industry Excellence Awards Gala
Friday, Feb. 10, 6:30 p.m.Hyatt Regency Orlando
Tickets: $349 per person for FER advertisers and customers; $649 for non-advertisers. Reserved tables of 10 are available.

Young Lion Awards honoring the E&S industry’s rising stars age 40 or younger.
Management Excellence Awards for multiunit operators, dealers and consultants.
Industry Service Awards for individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the E&S industry.

Visit for more information, including a list of the 2017 winners. Contact Robin Ashton,, 847/910-5163, or Christine Palmer,, 847/648-0059.

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