The Top Restaurant Trade Shows and Conferences in North America (in 2020)

The Top Restaurant Trade Shows and Conferences in North America (in 2020)

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 trade shows and conferences to attend in 2020. 

No matter what type of establishment you work in, there’s an event below 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.👇

Trade shows: 

  1. Restaurants Canada Show (March 1–3)
  2. The International Restaurant and Foodservice Show of New York (March 8–10)
  3. Nightclub and Bar Show (March 30–April 1)
  4. National Restaurant Association Show (May 16–19)
  5. Canadian Coffee & Tea Show (September 20–21)

Conferences: 

  1. MURTEC, Multi-Unit Restaurant Technology Conference (March 9–1)
  2. Restaurant Franchising and Innovation Summit (March 11–13)
  3. Food Marketing Conference (March 31–April 1)
  4. HT-Next (April 8–11)
  5. The Northwest Food Show (April 19–20)
  6. Coffee Fest (June 26–28)
  7. Western Foodservice and Hospitality Show (August 9–11)

 

Trade shows

Our events team goes to a lot of trade shows, so we spoke with them to curate a list of the five best ones to attend in 2020.

1. Restaurants Canada Show

  • Website: https://www.rcshow.com/ 
  • When: March 1–3, 2020
  • Where: Toronto, ON, Canada
  • Who should attend: Professionals in the restaurant, foodservice and hospitality industry.

Restaurants Canada Show is the country’s largest foodservice and hospitality event. It’s the place to find innovative products, explore new services, learn ways to bolster your business and network with the industry.

Psst! Lightspeed will be at booth 1244 serving up coffee and showing off our Restaurant POS, loyalty platform and Self-Order Menu. Come say hi and try our free interactive demos! 👋

2. The International Restaurant and Foodservice Show of New York

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 high-level educational programs and one-of-a-kind special events including The Battle of the Modern Bartender, Rapid Fire Challenge and the U.S. Pastry Competition. On the floor you’ll find the latest products and equipment from top restaurant suppliers.

3. Nightclub and Bar Show 

  • Website: https://www.ncbshow.com/ 
  • When: March 30–April 1
  • Where: Las Vegas, NV
  • Who should attend: Bar and nightclub owners, operators, managers, bartenders and mixologists.

The Nightclub & Bar Show caters to professionals in the nightlife industry. Connect with knowledgeable vendors and top brands to test, taste and learn about the latest trends and products. Watch live bar demonstrations directly on the show floor, attend mixology training sessions and network with suppliers to grow your business.

The show also features hands-on management training and boot camps. Get on the ground floor of some of the biggest venues in the world and learn tips and tricks from some of the most established managers in the business. 

Psst! Lightspeed will be at booth 621 to show off our Restaurant POS, loyalty platform and Self-Order Menu. Come say hi and try our interactive product demo! 👋

4. National Restaurant Association Show 

The National Restaurant Association Show is a must-attend event for anyone who owns, operates or manages a restaurant or bar. Get exposed to the latest equipment in the food and beverage industry and sample new products from a huge list of suppliers. 

Attend information sessions and keynote presentations where internationally-recognized chefs and mixologists share their secrets. Also, be sure to catch a tech talk or education session designed to upscale hire, retain employees and market your establishment. 

Psst! Lightspeed will be at booth 6867 serving up drinks and showing off our Restaurant POS, loyalty platform and Self-Order Menu. Come say hi and try our free interactive demos! 👋

5. Canadian Coffee & Tea Show 

  • Website: https://www.coffeeteashow.ca/
  • When: September 20–21
  • Where: Toronto, ON
  • Who should attend: Professionals in the coffee or tea industry—from roasters, baristas and pastry chefs to owners, operators, retail buyers and distributors. 

The Canadian Coffee & Tea Show is the country’s #1 coffee and tea industry event. Thousands of exhibitors and attendees come together under one roof. Discover new products and equipment on the trade show floor while connecting with industry experts and leading suppliers to grow your sales.

Psst! Lightspeed will be at booth 310 to show off our Restaurant POS, loyalty platform and Self-Order Menu. Come say hi and try our free interactive demos! 👋

 

Conferences: 

Our Events team also shared their industry know-how and suggest these following conferences for hospitality industry professionals.

1. MURTEC, Multi-Unit Restaurant Technology Conference

  • Website: https://www.murtec.com
  • When: March 9 –11
  • Where: The Paris Hotel. Las Vegas, NV
  • Who should attend: Restaurant owners, operators and executives.

MURTEC caters to multi-location restaurants and showcases the latest innovative technology in the hospitality industry. This three-day event is jam-packed with informative keynotes, interactive workshops and opportunities to network with fellow hospitality professionals. 

2. Restaurant Franchising and Innovation Summit

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 and Innovation Summit is for you. 

This three-day event puts emphasis on elevating your marketing and implementing tech that will support your establishment as it grows. 

3. Food Marketing Conference 

  • Website: https://wmich.edu/foodmarketing/fmc/
  • When: March 31–April 1
  • Where: Western Michigan University, Grand Rapids, MI
  • Who should attend:  Marketing professionals and restaurant owners

The Food Marketing Conference, now in its 55th iteration, focuses on effectively marketing your restaurant. This two-day 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. 

4. HT-Next

HT-NEXT has quickly become a must–attend educational and networking event for hospitality professionals, focusing on technology and innovation. In a program that combines two leading industry events—Hospitality Technology’s Hotel Technology Forum and HTNG’s North American Conference—HT-NEXT is where the industry meets.

5. The Northwest Food Show

  • Website: https://www.nwfoodshow.com/
  • When: April 19–20
  • Where: Anaheim Convention Center, 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 foodservice event 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.

6. Coffee Fest 

  • Website: https://www.coffeefest.com/
  • When: June 26–28
  • Where: Navy Pier, Chicago, IL
  • Who should attend:  Professionals in the coffee or tea industry—from roasters, baristas and pastry chefs to owners, operators, retail buyers and distributors. 

Whether you’re an independent roaster, barista, marketing executive or a coffee shop manager, Coffee Fest Indianapolis 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. 

7. Western Foodservice and Hospitality Show

  • Website: https://www.westernfoodexpo.com
  • When: August 9–11
  • Where: Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, CA 
  • Who should attend: Professionals involved in the restaurant, foodservice and hospitality industry. 

With over 450 exhibitors, The Western Foodservice and Hospitality Show have 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. 

Attend live demonstrations from some of the world’s top chefs and restaurateurs or step out of your comfort zone and participate in an event yourself. Culinary Clash is a cooking and cocktail competition where teams of hopefuls go head-to-head to prove they’re the best around. 

That already sounds pretty jam-packed, but there’s more. Check out the full itinerary here. 

 

See you there! 

Don’t forget to follow Lightspeed HQ on Facebook to get updates on which events we’re attending and stay up-to-date with the latest restaurant tech, marketing, operations, sales and service trends! 

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Check out the upcoming events our team of retail experts will be attending in 2020. We'd love to give you a live demo personalized to your business's needs!