The Top Restaurant Trade Shows and Conferences in North America (in 2021)

Let’s face it, the world has changed, and one of the industries that suffered one of the biggest (and quickest) head-to-toe transformations has been the events industry. While the in-person component of many restaurant trade shows or conferences has gone virtual, most events are still powering through to find new creative ways to educate, inspire and connect—and we all know how much we need a little bit (or a lot) of that these days. While many events moved to the internet in early 2021, others still hope that they will be able to hold in-person events later in 2019. 

It is vital to stay current, be active, and keep up with all the new trends in order to survive the constantly changing world of running a hotel business in 2021. So whether you’re running a restaurant, bar, nightclub, cafe or bakery, one of the keys to sustained success is educating both yourself and your team, which is why we’ve made a list of the best restaurant trade shows and conferences to attend this year. 

No matter what type of establishment you work in, there’s an event below that will help you grow your business—whether you’re looking for new marketing and management techniques, new ways to prep your food, new cocktail recipes or new products from suppliers. 

  1. Restaurants Canada Show (February 28–March 3)
  2. Food Marketing Conference (March 23–24)
  3. Restaurant Franchising and Innovation Summit (May 4–6)
  4. National Restaurant Association Show (May 22–25)
  5. Coffee Fest (June 18–19, July 18–20, August 22–24, November 5–6)
  6. Nightclub and Bar Show (June 28–30)
  7. The International Restaurant and Foodservice Show of New York (July 18–20)
  8. The Northwest Food Show (August 1–2)
  9. Western Foodservice and Hospitality Show (August 22–24)
  10. Canadian Coffee & Tea Show (September 19–20)
  11. HT-Next (December 13–16)

Hospitality for 2021

This year’s new year is a great time to learn how to make your restaurant a success.

Conferences and tradeshows for restaurants

1. Canada Restaurants Show

  • Website: https://www.rcshow.com/ 
  • When: February 28–March 3
  • You can find us online
  • You should come: Restaurant, foodservice, and hospitality professionals.

Psst! Small Biz Sense will be attending with some of our industry experts. Stop by to say hello and receive the most recent information about our hospitality products.

2.  Conference on Food Marketing 

The Conference on Food MarketingThis 55th edition focuses on how to effectively market your restaurant. The virtual conference will be held over two days and feature presentations by restaurant marketing professionals as well as networking opportunities. 

Whether you’re looking to refine your marketing strategy or stay on top of the latest digital marketing trends to increase visibility, you’ll leave the Food Marketing Conference with actionable tips to reach more customers. What’s even better? You can also access all Interactive Sessions Live from the moment they are presented until April 23rd, 2021.

3. Summit for Innovation and Restaurant Franchising

You are thinking about expanding your restaurant. Multiple locations? Do you have an interest in opening a franchise? If you’re an executive that’s responsible for franchise development, marketing and branding, then the Restaurant Franchising and Innovation Summit is the place to be.

This event focuses on improving your marketing skills and helping you implement tech that can help your company grow. It’s time to get inspired and take the next step in growing your business.

*This event is an in-person event. You can check the website for updates and changes about attendance, or virtual events. 

4. National Restaurant Association Show 

Anyone who manages or owns a bar or restaurant should attend the National Restaurant Association Show.  Since 1919, this show is a must-attend event for professionals in the foodservice and hospitality industries. The National Restaurant Association Show will be here this year to assist you in discovering the latest innovations, ingredients and insight to help your overcome new challenges, prepare for the future, all at one location. 

Register now and get exposed to the latest equipment in the food and beverage industry,  attend information sessions and keynote presentations where internationally-recognized chefs and mixologists share their secrets. 

*This event is an in-person event. You can check the website for updates and changes about attendance, or virtual events.

5. Coffee Fest 

  • Website: https://www.coffeefest.com/
  • When: June 18–19, July 18–20, August 22–24, November 5–6
  • San Antonio, New York City, Anaheim and Portland
  • Who should attend:  Professionals in the coffee or tea industry—from roasters, baristas and pastry chefs to owners, operators, restaurant buyers and distributors. 

Whether you’re an independent roaster, barista, marketing executive or a coffee shop manager, Coffee Fest IndianapolisThe conference offers a unique opportunity for business leaders to learn and share their knowledge with colleagues. 

6. Nightclub Show and Bar 

  • Website: https://www.ncbshow.com/ 
  • When: June 28–30
  • Las Vegas (NV)
  • You should be there: Restaurant and bar owners, managers, mixologists, bartenders, or operators of nightclubs.

The Nightclub & Bar ShowThis event is for professionals working in the industry of nightlife. This trade show is timely as bars and nightclubs are facing closures due to the pandemic. It will help professionals find ways to reinvent and evolve their businesses to thrive in 2021. 

Meet with top vendors to learn more about new trends and brands. Learn how to manage your restaurant, meet new regulations and staff the bar.  

If you’re a bar owner, this event will let you get on the ground floor and network with suppliers to grow your business. It’s time to meet the biggest venues in the world and learn tips and tricks from some of the most established managers in the business. 

*This event is an in-person event. You can check the website for updates and changes about attendance, or virtual events.

7. New York International Restaurant and Foodservice Show

Enjoy sampling, demonstrations, and much more from thousands of peers in the industry at the biggest food and beverage event in northeast. Don’t miss their Education Program, providing industry-leading educational content and the latest information on trends and best practices in the market. On the floor you’ll find the latest products and equipment from an exhibitor list boasting 550+ vendors and top restaurant suppliers.

*This event is an in-person event. You can check the website for updates and changes about attendance, or virtual events.

8. Northwest Food Show

  • Website: https://www.nwfoodshow.com/
  • When: August 1–2
  • Where: Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, CA 
  • Attendance is required for: All professionals in the hospitality, restaurant and foodservice industry.

Northwest Food ShowThis is the most well-known and largest event of its kind in the Pacific northwest. Over 300 vendors will be available to discuss everything, from labor and operations costs to marketing and diversification. Find out how you can improve revenue and experience the latest technology.

In its 2021 edition you’ll be able to experience the best wine, beer and spirits in the northwest in the event’s Tasting Pavilion, check out restaurant, commissary and catering kitchen equipment, food suppliers and much more. 

*This event is an in-person event. You can check the website for updates and changes about attendance, or virtual events. 

9. Western Foodservice and Hospitality Show

  • Website: https://www.westernfoodexpo.com
  • When: August 22–24
  • Anaheim, CA 
  • Participants: Anyone working in the foodservice, hospitality and restaurant industry. 

Over 450+ exhibitors. Show – Western Foodservice and HospitalityThere is something for everybody. For managers and marketers, there are tips for effective social media marketing. Chefs can learn new techniques in food preparation to be even more inventive in the kitchen. 

At the conference, you’ll have access to live culinary performances, awards ceremonies and roundtables. You’ll also be able to pick from within their program tracks: Hot Topics, Bar & Beverage, Marketing & Social Media, Operational Excellence and more. 

If you want to learn more about the event you can even check out their 2020 virtual edition of the conference, “Enjoy Live At Your Table”, for free content like demonstrations and educational sessions. 

10. Canadian Coffee & Tea Show 

  • Website: https://www.coffeeteashow.ca/
  • When: September 19–20
  • Toronto, ON
  • Who should attend: Professionals in the coffee or tea industry—from roasters, baristas and pastry chefs to owners, operators, restaurant buyers and distributors. 

The Canadian Coffee & Tea Show is the country’s #1 coffee and tea industry event. Over 2,000 exhibitors and visitors come together under the same roof. Trade show attendees can find new equipment, as well as meet with leading industry suppliers and experts to help grow their sales. 

*This event is an in-person event. You can check the website for updates and changes about attendance, or virtual events.

11. HT-Next

  • Website: https://www.ht-next.com/
  • When: December 13–16
  • Scottsdale, AZ 
  • Participants: Hospitality professionals, including those in the foodservice or restaurant industry.

HT-NEXTThe event is a top-notch educational and networking platform for hotel professionals. This year’s focus was on technology and innovation. In a program that combines two leading industry events—Hospitality Technology’s Hotel Technology Forum and HTNG’s North American Conference—HT-NEXT is where the industry meets.

In 2020, HT-NEXT reinvented itself to meet the virtual needs of its attendees by creating a simulated hotel experience built for the “new normal” complete with operational areas like a lobby, guest room, back office, plus an exhibit hall, auditorium and more. HT-NEXT is bringing back their in-person hospitality component this year. 

*This event is an in-person event. You can check the website for updates and changes about attendance, or virtual events. 

 

Small Biz Sense: Learn from Small Biz Sense

Although there are many trade shows and conferences that you could choose to attend, we recommend checking out the Small Biz Sense events calendar for upcoming and previous free webinars. Also check out the list of events in our Small Biz Sense event calendar to find which events and speakers will be at your local hospitality events.

Don’t be shy! Visit our webinars or visit us at one of the many trade shows that we host throughout the year.

 

 

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Cyndy Lane