Chicago to Host 2009 National Restaurant Association Show

The 2009 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show will attract exhibitors and attendees from more than 100 countries to conduct business with American restaurants, distributors and suppliers. Held May 16-19 at McCormick Place in Chicago, NRA Show 2009 is a global marketplace, with programming and features centered on international business, including the International Back-of-the-House Restaurant Tour, International Cuisine Pavilion, International Reception and international buyer programs by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Commerce.

"NRA Show 2009 is the foodservice, lodging and retail hub for U.S.-based and international companies looking to do business, network, exchange ideas, discover new trends and exhibitors from around the world, and discuss best practices," says Lorna Donatone, convention chair for NRA Show 2009 and president, School Services, Sodexo, Inc. "Just a few of the not-to-be-missed opportunities include the Culinary Scene interactive cooking demonstration area, American Food Fair and education sessions led by recognized industry experts. NRA Show 2009 is the largest and most comprehensive restaurant and foodservice industry event in the world."

Show features
The International Back-of-the-House Restaurant Tour provides exclusive opportunities for international Show attendees to visit Chicago-area restaurants to learn about operational trends. There will be two tours this year—each will visit two of Chicago's renowned dining establishments, and will be held on Monday, May 18, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Tour 1 will visit Hub 51 and Custom House; Tour 2 will feature Macy's on State Street and Signature Room at the 95th.

Chefs, owners and other buyers know that the place to locate international and traditional ethnic food and beverage products is the International Cuisine Pavilion (ICP), located at the front of North Hall, Level 3. Visitors looking to spice up their menus with new products and ideas make sure that the ICP is the first place they visit. New-to-market companies will find exhibiting in the ICP is the most cost-effective way to introduce their goods and find distribution throughout the United States. Already established companies will gain market share. All ICP exhibitors benefit from focused publicity received from local, national, international and ethnic press both before and after the show.

NRA Show 2009 is also supported by the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of Commerce's International Buyer Program (IBP), which helps foreign restaurant operators organize their Show visits to explore U.S.-produced goods and services. Interested parties should contact the commercial or agricultural trade specialist at the nearest U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate to learn more about the Show or to join an official delegation.

In addition, the annual International Reception will be held Saturday, May 16, from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in North Hall, room N427. The gathering has grown steadily over the years and has proven to be an outstanding opportunity for international operators and suppliers who export to network in a relaxed setting. NRA Show badges are required for admittance.

To assist international attendees and exhibitors at the Show, the International Trade Center (McCormick Place North, room N227) provides an ideal opportunity for international buyers to interact with U.S. exporters. ITC features include lounge areas with free beverages, private meeting rooms, and international business matchmaking services. Additionally, a multilingual staff is available to assist with interpretation. Languages spoken include Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.
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