Norm's booth at the Western Foodservice and Hospitality Expo 2015
Tim Devine and Tim McGillicuddy at NAFEM 2015
Anyone in the restaurant industry knows that trade shows are a part of the business.
The attendees know that trade shows are exciting and exhausting. The companies showing in booths know it’s hectic and even more exhausting! So why do we spend the time, money and energy to be a part of them each year? This year I attended both the biennial national NAFEM show in Anaheim, CA, and the regional Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo in Los Angeles. There were obvious differences in their audiences, attendees and equipment, but the trade shows had the same goal: to gather and to share.
At NAFEM, the major manufacturers attended which meant there were reps from all divisions of the food service industry in the U.S. and even the world. It was a chance for Norm’s to partake in conversations with other distributors about strengths and weaknesses industry-wide, and then brainstorm on how we can all grow sales. NAFEM is the “Who’s Who” of the restaurant equipment industry. It’s high energy and it lights a fire inside of the sales people. There is always buzz on the floor about the latest and greatest advancements along with the new equipment. Being able to actually see and touch the equipment is a bonus and makes it easier to sell when it’s “real”. As attendees at NAFEM, Norm’s employees could bounce around to network with manufacturers, check out the competition, meet current dealers and chains and who knows…maybe start some new accounts.
At the Western show, it was our turn to haul and set up trucks of equipment and prepare our booth. The Norm’s team demonstrated our equipment and explained the features and benefits to mostly restaurant end-users. A lot of Southern California Reps attended, so it was a perfect chance to hear the trends in our specific territories. Were all of our competitors there? No. Are we glad we made the effort to be at the Western Show? You bet! Nothing can replace the interaction and sharing with all channels of the industry. That’s how we learn and grow as a business.