Type above and press Enter to search. Press Esc to cancel.


The Top 20 Restaurant Trade Shows and Conferences in North America in 2024 and Beyond

The Top 20 Restaurant Trade Shows and Conferences in North America in 2024 and Beyond

Staying relevant, active and keeping up with the latest trends is essential in surviving the ever-changing hospitality industry in 2023. The year may be halfway done, but there’s still plenty of upcoming shows and conferences–and even more to look forward to next year. So whether you’re running a restaurant, bar, nightclub, cafe or bakery, one of the keys to sustained success is educating both yourself and your team, which is why we’ve made a list of the best restaurant expos and trade shows to attend this year and next

No matter what type of establishment you work in, there’s a restaurant expo that will help you grow your business—whether you’re looking for new marketing and management techniques, new ways to prep your food, new cocktail recipes or new products from suppliers.

Here are the conferences and trade shows happening in the rest of 2023:

1. The Foodservice Conference & Expo

2. Louisiana Restaurant Association Showcase

3. Western Foodservice and Hospitality Expo

4. Americas Food & Beverage Show & Conference 

5. Natural Products Expo East

6. World Dairy Expo

7. Food Automation & Manufacturing Symposium & Expo

8. FPSA Process Expo

9. SupplySide West

10. Worlds of Flavor International Conference & Festival 

And the events in 2024 you can look forward to attending:

11. Coffee Fest

12. The International Restaurant and Foodservice Show of New York

13. Nightclub and Bar Show

14. Restaurant Franchising and Innovation Summit

15. Food Marketing Conference 

16. Restaurants Canada Show

17. Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America

18. The Northwest Food Show

19. National Restaurant Association Show  

20. Summer Fancy Food Show

Plus, join us at the end of this article for tips on finding the right show to attend, and how to get the most out of your experience.

Hospitality in 2023

Find out how you can prepare your restaurant for short and long-term success this year.


Restaurant trade shows and conferences for 2023

1. The Foodservice Conference & Expo

  • Website: freshproduce.com
  • When: July 27-28, 2023
  • Where: Monterey, CA
  • Who should attend: Professionals, suppliers and leaders in the foodservice and produce industry, leaders who want to build new partnerships

The Foodservice Conference, hosted by the International Fresh Produce Association, was created exclusively for produce in foodservice. It’s a rare opportunity for suppliers to meet with operators and distributors, strengthening existing partnerships and creating new ones. Over 170 foodservice exhibitors will attend. Events include buyer sourcing meetings and a school foodservice forum. 

2. Louisiana Restaurant Association Showcase

  • Website: lra.org
  • When: August 5-6, 2023
  • Where: New Orleans, LA
  • Who should attend: Hospitality professionals, restaurant owners, managers 

Touted as the largest hospitality trade show in the United States’ Gulf South, attendees of the LRA Showcase experience cooking demonstrations, educational panels and more. Foodservice professionals looking to grow their business can launch products, test services and generate new connections with suppliers. If you’re a restaurant owner looking to expand your market share in Louisiana or one of its surrounding states, this is a worthy event to attend. 

3. Western Foodservice and Hospitality Expo

  • Website: westernfoodexpo.com
  • When: August 6-8
  • Where: Anaheim, CA 
  • Who should attend: Professionals involved in the restaurant, foodservice and hospitality industry

With hundreds of exhibitors, The Western Foodservice and Hospitality Show has something for everyone. Managers and marketers can get tips on effective social media marketing while chefs can perfect new food preparation techniques to get even more creative in the kitchen. 

At the conference, you’ll have access to live culinary performances, awards ceremonies and roundtables. You’ll also be able to pick from within their program tracks: Hot Topics, Bar & Beverage, Marketing & Social Media, Operational Excellence and more.

4. Americas Food & Beverage Show & Conference

  • Website: americasfoodandbeverage.com
  • When: September 18-20, 2023
  • Where: Miami, FL  
  • Who should attend: Restaurant owners, vendors and service providers, foodservice suppliers and distributors  

With over 600 exhibitors, this B2B trade show makes a big splash every year. Foodservice buyers and professionals from all over the Americas meet to network, showcase new products and learn about market trends. You can expect regional panels, discussions on imports, and gain exposure to key players. 

For restaurants looking to expand their consumer base and market offerings, rest assured that there will be over 5,000 buyers–plenty of exposure. It’s an essential event to connect with buyers and distributors. 

5. Natural Products Expo East

  • Website: expoeast.com
  • When: September 20-23, 2023
  • Where: Philadelphia, PA
  • Who should attend: Emerging businesses in the natural organic food market, industry foodservice professionals 

At the Natural Products Expo East conference, businesses can exhibit their products to thousands of attendees in the natural and organic food space. You’ll also gain valuable insights from industry experts, with events like The Creator Summit: Empowering Equity and Social Change Through Food & Wellness Media and The Innovation Experience, a place to explore new technologies and advancements in the market that you can use to further your business

6. World Dairy Expo

  • Website: worlddairyexpo.com
  • When: October 1-6, 2023
  • Where: Madison, WI
  • Who should attend: Dairy producers, industry stakeholders and organizations, other dairy professionals  

In its 56th year, the World Dairy Expo is the place to be for anyone in the dairy industry. The show continues to grow, with thousands of people attending every year. Events include dairy cattle shows as well as the Trade Show, where more than 600 companies showcase the latest technology and equipment. 

7. Food Automation & Manufacturing Symposium and Expo

  • Website: foodengineeringmag.com/food-automation-symposium
  • When: October 11-13
  • Where: Bonita Springs, FL
  • Who should attend: Food manufacturing and supplier professionals, hospitality sustainability leaders, industry stakeholders, engineers and managers

The FA&M Symposium is a valuable opportunity to hear from world leaders in the food and beverage manufacturing space. Attendees benefit from panel discussions, educational sessions, insights into competitor behavior and technology showcases. 

8. FPSA Process Expo

  • Website: fpsa.org/fpsa-events/process-expo-2023
  • When: October 23-25
  • Where: Chicago, IL 
  • Who should attend: Food and beverage processors, manufacturers, equipment managers, industry professionals 

Held by the Food Processing Suppliers Association, this event brings together all kinds of market leaders to discuss food and beverage technology, innovations and trends. Exhibitors can meet new clients, strengthen existing relationships with suppliers and network with buyers. For businesses looking to expand, this expo is a great place to showcase your products to the right people. Gain industry insights with their Food for Thought series as well as other educational sessions. 

9. SupplySide West

  • Website: supplysidewest.com
  • When: October 23-27
  • Where: Las Vegas, NV
  • Who should attend: Industry manufacturers, distributors, healthcare professionals, foodservice professionals

For those in the health and nutrition industry, this event is a great learning opportunity. Featuring extensive sessions on supplements, food science, and other presentations, there’s a wealth of knowledge being presented at this expo. According to its website, exhibiting your business at this expo can help boost your sales and increase revenue. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to network with industry professionals. Other standout features include the FiNA Theater for interactive topical sessions and the GOED Omega-3 Resource Center, where you can learn more about the market for these supplements.

10. Worlds of Flavor International Conference & Festival 

  • Website: worldsofflavor.com
  • When: November 8-10
  • Where: Napa Valley, CA
  • Who should attend: Professionals in the hospitality industry, including chefs, management executives, menu decision makers and suppliers

For its 25th anniversary, Worlds of Flavor will bring together top chefs and other industry experts from around the globe to create a forum on flavor and menu trends, cuisines and more exciting topics. It will take a long look at the future of food traditions and expected innovations. 


Restaurant trade shows and conferences for 2024

11. Coffee Fest 

  • Website: coffeefest.com
  • When & where: March 3-5 (New York, NY), June 14-15 (New Orleans, LA), August 6-8 (Anaheim, CA) and November 10-11 (Orlando, FL) 
  • Who should attend: Professionals in the coffee or tea industry—from roasters, baristas and pastry chefs to owners, operators, restaurant buyers and distributors

Whether you’re an independent roaster, barista, marketing executive or a coffee shop manager, Coffee Fest is an incredible business-to-business conference where you and your team can learn new skills, taste new blends, connect with other coffee aficionados and ultimately take your business to the next level. 

12. The International Restaurant and Foodservice Show of New York

  • Website: internationalrestaurantny.com
  • When: March 3-5, 2024
  • Where: New York, NY
  • Who should attend: Professionals in the restaurant, foodservice and hospitality industry

Join thousands of industry peers and enjoy samples, culinary demonstrations and more at the largest food and beverage experience in the northeast. Don’t miss their Education Program, providing industry-leading educational content and the latest information on trends and best practices in the market. On the floor you’ll find the latest products and equipment from an exhibitor list boasting 550+ vendors and top restaurant suppliers.

13. Nightclub and Bar Show 

  • Website: ncbshow.com
  • When: March 18-20, 2024
  • Where: Las Vegas, NV
  • Who should attend: Bar, nightclub and restaurant owners, operators, managers, bartenders and mixologists

Connect with knowledgeable vendors and top brands to test, taste and learn about the latest trends and products. Attend training sessions and learn how to run your restaurant in light of new regulations, staff your bar and make guests feel welcome.  

If you’re a bar owner, this event will let you get on the ground floor and network with suppliers to grow your business, and hear from industry leaders. It’s time to meet the biggest venues in the world and learn tips and tricks from some of the most established managers in the business. 

14. Restaurant Franchising & Innovation Summit

  • Website: franchisinginnovation.com
  • When: March 24-26, 2024
  • Where: Kansas City, MO
  • Who should attend: Restaurant owners and executives.

Are you thinking of expanding your restaurant to multiple locations? Are you considering starting a franchise? If you’re an executive that’s responsible for franchise development, marketing and branding, then the Restaurant Franchising & Innovation Summit is the place to be.

This three-day restaurant trade show puts emphasis on elevating your marketing and implementing tech that will support your establishment as it grows. It’s time to get inspired and take the next step in expanding your business.

15.  Food Marketing Conference 

  • Website: wmich.edu/foodmarketing/fmc
  • When: March 26-27, 2024
  • Where: Kalamazoo, MI
  • Who should attend: Marketing professionals and restaurant owners

The Food Marketing Conference, now in its 57th iteration, focuses on effectively marketing your restaurant. This two-day virtual event is centered around presentations from restaurant marketing experts and networking opportunities with industry experts. 

Whether you’re looking to refine your marketing strategy or stay on top of the latest digital marketing trends to increase visibility, you’ll leave the Food Marketing Conference with actionable tips to reach more customers. 

16. Restaurants Canada Show

  • Website: rcshow.com
  • When: April 8-10, 2024
  • Where: Toronto, ON & virtual
  • Who should attend: Professionals in the restaurant, foodservice and hospitality industry

Now in its 79th year, the Restaurants Canada (RC) show is one of the largest restaurant trade shows in the country. In addition to the floor show, RC also features industry competitions, thought leadership and networking events, educational sessions and a live conference with industry experts.

17. Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America

  • Website: craftbrewersconference.com
  • When: April 21-24, 2024
  • Where: Las Vegas, NV
  • Who should attend: Restaurant professionals, bar owners, brewery managers and executives, wholesalers

Next April, thousands of industry professionals will gather at the largest brewing trade show and conference in the US. Leaders in the global brewery and beer industry will be present, which is an exciting opportunity for exhibitors and buyers to develop important relationships. Vendors display all kinds of products and services, which restaurant professionals can shop for their breweries. Expect exciting seminars, keynote speakers and wellness sessions. 

18. The Northwest Food Show

  • Website: nwfoodshow.com
  • When: April 21-22, 2024
  • Where: Anaheim, CA 
  • Who should attend: Professionals involved in the restaurant, foodservice and hospitality industry

The Northwest Food Show is the largest and best known business-to-business restaurant trade show in the pacific northwest. Talk with over 300 exhibitors about everything from operations and labor costs to diversifying food and the importance of marketing. Learn how you can increase revenue, experience new technology and participate in equipment demonstrations.

19. National Restaurant Association Show 

  • Website: nationalrestaurantshow.com
  • When: May 18-21, 2024
  • Where: Chicago, IL
  • Who should attend: Professionals in the restaurant, foodservice and hospitality industry

The National Restaurant Association Show is a must-attend event for anyone who owns, operates or manages a restaurant or bar.  This show has been a go-to event for foodservice and hospitality industry professionals since 1919. This year, the National Restaurant Association Show is here to help you discover the innovations, ingredients and insights to help you overcome new challenges and prepare for the future of hospitality, all in one convenient location. 

Register now and get exposed to the latest equipment in the food and beverage industry,  attend information sessions and keynote presentations where internationally recognized chefs and mixologists share their secrets. 

20. Summer Fancy Food Show

  • Website: www.specialtyfood.com
  • When: June 23-25, 2024
  • Where: New York, NY 
  • Who should attend: Restaurant owners, buyers, distributors and industry professionals

The Summer Fancy Food Show allows exhibitors to show off their exciting menu offerings and flavors. You can expect to be surrounded by the newest and best dishes at this specialty food event. Discover new products, network with other industry professionals and grow your consumer base. Those in the specialty food market shouldn’t miss out on this one. 


Tips for attending conferences and shows

Trade shows are a big investment. Ultimately, you want to ensure that you’ll see solid ROI from your attendance. These are just a few tips for attending trade shows so you can maximize your experience.

1. Identify your priorities 

First, decide exactly why you want to attend a trade show in your industry. What are your objectives? What do you hope to achieve? Here are some of the reasons you may want to attend a trade show:

  • Network with industry professionals
  • Promote your products and services
  • As a thought leader
  • Strengthen existing partnerships
  • Professional development 
  • Boost brand awareness

Your priorities will usually involve a few of these. Think carefully about why you want to go so you can choose a conference that aligns with your goals.

2. Research conferences and trade shows

Now that you’ve outlined your objectives, it’s time to narrow down events. Here’s what you should research when deciding which conferences to attend:

  • Event history
  • Target industry
  • Past event agendas 
  • Past attendees
  • Industry coverage of the event
  • Competing brands in attendance
  • Target consumer audience
  • Costs

Taken together, all these factors will help you determine what’s right for your business. The answers you find in your research should help you reach your desired goals for the trade show.

3. Plan your budget

The costs of attending a trade show can add up. From employee travel expenses, to setting up a booth, to selling brand merchandise, to the tickets themselves, these events are not cheap. That’s why it’s so important to plan your budget accordingly and ahead of time to account for any last-minute additional costs. Make sure you book your space and accommodations in advance as well.

4. Send your best employees

For most trade shows, you have to buy a certain number of tickets in order to attend. Once you decide on a trade show, put together a trusted team to represent your brand. That could include marketing managers, sales executives, industry experts, and others. Your team should cover a wide range of business interests so they can speak to your target consumer, potential buyers and partners. 

5. Market your presence

Take to social channels, your website, and other avenues to raise awareness about your business’ presence at the show. Make sure you do this before, during and after the event (if that aligns with your brand). You want to make sure important industry players, as well as your target audience knows you’re attending. This can help you maximize impact at the event itself. If you can, invite important business contacts–suppliers, buyers, customers, and more. 

6. Prepare, prepare, prepare

Before the conference, do your research on who else is attending. Plan your booth (if you have one) in a way that accurately represents your brand. Plan topics to cover with your team members. Research ways to make your presence stand out. Figure out your target audience for the event, and how to cater to them–whether it’s a wholesale buyer or other businesses. Set up meetings, networking events, dinners and important appointments if you have time. Remember, these shows represent important opportunities to meet with contacts you otherwise wouldn’t be able to see–take advantage of that. 

7. Don’t just “sell”

Trade shows and conferences are a great way to market your brand and boost sales, but it’s not all about that. An aggressive, sales-heavy approach can prevent you from fostering meaningful business relationships and even deter sales. To build a long-lasting network, engage in conversations that aren’t just centered around what you’re selling. Hear people out, ask them questions, and find common ground. 

8. Get to know the venue

If you can, before the show starts, get familiar with the floor plan. Figure out where your brand’s booth (if you have one) is situated before setting up so you can make any last-minute tweaks to your display if needed. Keeping a map handy also helps–especially if you need to make your way over to a contact’s booth fast or need a quieter place to discuss business.

Learn with Lightspeed

While there are many amazing restaurant trade shows and conferences to choose from, you can also check out our Lightspeed events calendar at any time for upcoming and past free restaurant webinars with industry experts or to see which hospitality events we will be attending in 2023 and beyond.

Unable to meet us in person? Book some time to chat with one of our experts to find out how Lightspeed can help power your hospitality business.

News you care about. Tips you can use.

Everything your business needs to grow, delivered straight to your inbox.

More of this topic: Management & Operations