The list of industry events rescheduled or outright cancelled due to COVID-19 got a little longer when the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers pushed its biennial trade show to August 26-28 from the original date of February 4-6. In addition to shifting to an August timeframe, the show will move to Orlando from New Orleans.
In a note to association members, NAFEM president Rob Connelly of Henny Penny outlined some of the rationale for the date change:
“As NAFEM’s board of directors considered the business issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, and evaluated information currently available against the time needed to host a successful show, it was agreed conducting The NAFEM Show in February 2021 would not do justice to our members, attendees, industry and NAFEM,” said Connelly. “A successful show will be critically important for our industry as we recover from the effects of coronavirus and return to doing business.”
The NAFEM Show will return to its February time slot in 2023. The event will take place, as scheduled, Feb. 1-3, in Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center.
This is the latest in a series of high-profile foodservice industry events to make changes in response to COVID-19. Most notably, in March organizers of the National Restaurant Association Show pulled the plug on their 2020 event in Chicago. The news came as the city was turning McCormick Place, the site of the trade show, into a temporary hospital to house COVID-19 patients in the event local healthcare facilities became too taxed.
And just last week the National Association of College & University Food Services cancelled its 2020 National Conference, originally set for July 8-11 in Atlanta. It plans to adapt a virtual format and will release more information at a later date.
Events pertaining to members of the foodservice industry supply chain have also felt the sting of COVID-19. For example, the Foodservice Equipment Distributors Association moved its annual conference to September 2020 from earlier this spring. And the Foodservice Consultants Society – The Americas division moved its event to August of this year.