The 2020 National Restaurant Association (NRA) Show has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The situation was being monitored for a few months now, and on March 24, it was announced that the NRA Show, which was scheduled to be held in Chicago o May 16 – May 19 is cancelled.
The decision was taken after following the guidance of the CDC and the Governor of Illinois, Pritzker. It is quite understandable that thousands of people who were going to attend this event are very upset and disappointed. However, the decision has been taken for their safety.
The organization has issued a statement that said that they are aware of the significance of the Show in the industry/ Though the organizers did not want to take this step the immense uncertainties created by the corona virus pandemic has forced the organizers to cancel the event. The cancellation is in the best interests of sponsors, exhibitors, vendors, staff, and potential attendants.
While this move has surely disappointed some people, it has also been applauded by many people. Most people were not comfortable going in such a public and crowded space during this pandemic. The Association has made it clear that they are thankful for all the support they got from the public.
The good news is that NRA 2021 is already scheduled to be held McCormick Place, Chicago, from May 22 to May 25. The Show is inviting people for partnerships to make the 2021 Show the best one. Exhibitors and registered attendees have already got further instruction through email. It shows the organizers' dedication and commitment as they have already started to plan the NRA Show 2021 to make up for the losses and disappointment caused by the cancellation of the 2020 Show.
It is important to note that the cancellation has caused massive financial losses for the Chicago economy. The NRA show generally attracts more than 60,000 people and makes millions of dollars. The Association also consists of more than 1 million restaurants and food service outlets, representing about 15 million restaurant industry employees. NRA Show has always been one of the most important events of the year that attracts thousands of exhibitors, analysts, ad investors to learn about the latest market trends and establish new partnerships. Its cancellation is a severe blow to the restaurant industry.
However, it is important to note that this decision does not come as a surprise. Many other similar events were canceled around the country. For example, the cancellation of the International Housewares Association Cancels Trade Show at McCormick Place was estimated to cause a loss of about $77 million to the Chicago economy.
Undoubtedly, cancellation of the NRA Show 2020 will have ramifications for the entire, especially considering the fact that the previous Show was a huge success, and every restaurant chain and investor was looking forward to this event.
PathSpot, a technology startup, stated that NRA 2019 Show gave a significant boost to their sales and investment in researching and developing technology for restaurants. This startup was going to showcase its hand-scanning technology for the first time. However, now they will not have the opportunity due to show cancellation.
2019 NRA Show
2019 NRA Show hosted more than 50,000 people at McCormick Place in Chicago. It was the 100th anniversary of the NRA show, and over 2,300 exhibitors participated in this special event. The 2019 Show was one of the best Shows because it explored all the great advancements, modern trends, and the latest technology in the foodservice industry. Some of the highlights of 2019 Show were:
- Voice technology was a big part of the 2019 Show. The skills of Alexa were demonstrated to use virtual assistants in ordering food. Moreover, such technology was introduced, which can help the restaurants personalize the services depending on the customers' voice and mood.
- Safety is a significant issue in the food industry. Studies have shown that many people do not wash their hands properly. Using this data, companies like PathSpot, presented their vision in the NRA Show 2019 about developing a hand scanner, which was going to be displayed in the 2020 Show.
- Sustainable development is critical in every industry. 2019 Show put the emphasis on sustainable practices in the food service industry to provide the best services while protecting the environment. The importance of Eco-friendly food products was also highlighted.
This type of excellent response was expected in the 2020 NRA Show as well. Unfortunately, it is canceled now. But you should be happy that the 2021 NRA show is already scheduled and you have something to look forward to.