Brad Barnes, CMC, the first NAFEM endowed professor at the Culinary Institute of America, says getting the most out of attending The NAFEM Show starts with doing your homework and creating a plan well before your plane touches down in Orlando. It also takes being proactive on the show floor. Here's his one-two punch strategy for working the show:
Go with an agenda.
Know why you're going and what you're going to see. Look up who's exhibiting and plan your days. "These shows can be overwhelming. If you don't have a plan, you're not going to be able to figure it out on the floor. You'll go home with a big bag of swag and no more information than you had when you got there."
Meet the people who matter.
"Don't just wander around picking up flyers. Talk to the right people and get their expert insights. Manufacturers spend tons of money to be at these shows and to interface directly with end users. They're not there to stand around chatting with each other. Introduce yourself; tell them about your operation, your menu and your needs. Pick their brains."