With its 18 free educational sessions, the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers Show is more than your average convention, according to Dennis Romer, chair of the 2007 NAFEM Trade Show Advisory Council and vice president of sales and marketing for San Antonio-based Lancer Corp.
The event is slated for Oct. 11-13 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.
The educational sessions’ content revolves around the central themes of food safety, operating overhead, human resources and quality. Session topics include “Defining the Green Restaurant,” “Accelerate Your Profits and Customer Satisfaction with Speed Cooking” and “Six Steps Toward Successful Facility Design.”
In addition, this year there is a new feature, two Spotlight Presentations on future trends by Steven S. Little, senior consultant for Inc. magazine and master chefs Ron DeSantis, Mark Erickson and Victor Gielisse of The Culinary Institute of America.
In another first, this fall The NAFEM Show and FS/TEC, the premier technology show in foodservice, will co-locate, as part of an agreement continuing through 2017.
How is education session content developed?
We rely on a number of touch points to build the show’s education program, such as attendee and exhibitor surveys from the 2005 show, input from operator groups and NAFEM members, and submitted presentation proposals. It’s important to note that the educational content comes from professionals outside NAFEM as well, which helps ensure better subject matter expertise. NAFEM members are discouraged from presenting sessions to avoid promotional presentations and keep the focus on the issues.
For foodservice professionals, what is the value of NAFEM Show education sessions?
They’re an opportunity for continuing education by some of the industry’s leading experts. For example, attendees can earn continuing education credits from the American Dietetic Association and advancement credits in the NAFEM Certified Foodservice Professional, or CFSP, program. The greatest value is that the sessions allow attendees to learn about an issue and then visit the trade show floor to see equipment and supplies that relate to and reinforce the points they’ve just heard.
How will co-locating NAFEM and FS/TEC affect education sessions in the future?
By working together, NAFEM and FS/TEC have an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the benefits of integrating equipment and supplies with information technology. We’re truly excited. Future educational opportunities can only be enhanced by co-locating with FS/TEC.