fbpx
BLOG

Top US Food & Beverage Industry Conferences

Conferences and trade shows are great for keeping up with industry trends and innovation, connecting with industry leaders and peers, and meeting new prospects to grow your foodservice business.  A wide range of foodservice professionals can gain value from attending food and beverage conferences, including:

In this article, we will cover the top food and beverage conferences taking place in 2024. We’ll also share some tips on how to get the biggest bang for your buck when attending, including how leveraging market intelligence can help you get ahead before you’ve even left for the airport.  

Top US Food & Beverage Industry Conferences in 2024

Here are the top food & beverage industry conferences taking place in the US in 2024 (in chronological order). 

1. IMFA COEX (Chain Operators Exchange)

Date: March 3 – 5, 2024
Location: Kansas City, MO
Best for: Senior leaders and decision-makers from national and regional chains, operator leaders in culinary, marketing, insights, and supply chain, manufacturer leaders, and industry partners/providers

The IFMA Chain Operators EXchange (COEX) is a unique conference designed by and for operators in the foodservice industry. Unlike other events, COEX is crafted by a committee of leaders from over 40 chains, ensuring the discussions and sessions are highly relevant and actionable. 

Participants praise COEX for its effectiveness in establishing valuable industry connections and for the quality of its educational sessions. It’s a prime opportunity for establishing long-term relationships and learning from the shared experiences of peers across the industry. 

2. International Restaurant and Foodservice Show of New York

Date: March 3 – 5, 2024
Location: New York, NY
Best for: Restaurant owners, managers, chefs, and industry professionals

The New York Restaurant Show is the prime venue for restaurant professionals to explore the latest innovations and ideas in the foodservice industry. This three-day event packs world-class education sessions, various new product categories, and competitive culinary demonstrations. 

It’s a dynamic space for comprehensive learning and networking. With a focus on enhancing operational efficiency and exploring new culinary techniques, attendees have the unique opportunity to engage directly with leaders in the industry, gaining insights that can directly impact their businesses. 

3. MURTEC

Date: March 11 – 13, 2024
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Best for: Restaurant technology executives, operator leaders in technology, marketing, and operations

MURTEC 2024 is the exclusive gathering for executives and decision-makers in the restaurant technology industry. Designed by operators for operators, this event dives deep into leveraging technology to enhance restaurant efficiency and experience. 

The conference boasts a packed agenda crafted by a committee of influential chains, ensuring that every presentation and session delivers practical insights directly applicable to attendees’ businesses.

Prominent keynote speakers and industry leaders will discuss strategies to harness the full potential of AI and tech innovations, emphasizing the fusion of human intent and ethical consideration. 

4. Bar & Restaurant Expo

Date: March 18 – 20, 2024
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Best for: Bar and restaurant owners, managers, and industry professionals

The Bar & Restaurant Expo 2024 is the premier gathering for bar and restaurant industry professionals, taking place at the Las Vegas Convention Center. This event is tailored for those looking to explore the latest products, technologies, and strategies to excel in the hospitality industry. 

The expo will showcase innovations in drink and food service, new equipment, and emerging customer engagement and management trends. 

With interactive exhibits, live demonstrations, and educational sessions led by industry leaders, this expo is an invaluable opportunity for networking and growth for anyone in the bar and restaurant business.

5. Pizza Expo

Date: March 19 – 21, 2024
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Best for: Pizzeria owners, pizza chefs, and industry suppliers

The International Pizza Expo 2024 is the ultimate event for pizza professionals worldwide, held at the Las Vegas Convention Center. It is designed for anyone who operates within the pizza industry, from restaurant owners to pizza chefs and suppliers. 

Attendees can participate in events like the International Pizza Challenge and the World Pizza Games, enhancing both their skills and their businesses’ marketability. Additionally, there are numerous networking opportunities, including Scott’s Las Vegas Pizza Tour. 

This expo is a vibrant venue for experiencing new flavors, learning innovative techniques, and meeting other pizza industry professionals.

6. Restaurant Franchising & Innovation Summit

Date: May 21 – 24, 2024
Location: Kansas City, MO
Best for: Franchise owners, technology and leadership executives, and industry providers

The Restaurant Franchising & Innovation Summit focuses on driving franchise growth through the latest in technology and leadership strategies. Held in Kansas City, MO, this summit is essential for those looking to expand and innovate within the restaurant franchise sector. 

The summit provides a platform where franchise owners and operators can learn from over 40 industry leaders who speak on transformative practices and new technologies.

This event is ideal for franchise professionals eager to implement cutting-edge solutions to enhance customer engagement, streamline operations, and boost growth. 

7. Food Automation & Manufacturing Conference & Expo – FA&M

Date: April 7 – 9, 2024
Location: Bonita Springs, FL
Best for: Food & Beverage Manufacturers, Sustainability Experts

The FA&M Symposium and Expo is an annual event for those in food production seeking to cut costs and use resources more efficiently. This event covers innovations in sustainable manufacturing, energy-saving practices, and reducing emissions. It’s a chance to learn from top industry leaders, with a mix of expos and educational sessions to improve your company’s environmental and financial performance.

8. Restaurant Leadership Conference

Date: April 14 – 17, 2024
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Best for: Top executives from leading restaurant chains, innovative thinkers, and industry providers

The Restaurant Leadership Conference (RLC) in 2024 is a key event for restaurant industry leaders. This conference is designed for executives looking to elevate their business operations through innovative strategies and leadership. The conference will feature over 100 thought leaders and draw over 1,700 attendees.

RLC serves as a crucial platform for exchanging ideas and fostering connections among the top names in the industry. Attendees will be able to interact with suppliers, participate in high-level discussions, and gain insights from expert-led sessions covering the latest challenges and opportunities in the restaurant business. 

9. Northwest Food Show

Date: April 21 – 22, 2024
Location: Portland, OR
Best for: Restaurant Suppliers, Foodservice Professionals, Hospitality Industry Leaders

The Northwest Food Show is the largest B2B food show in the Northwest, featuring a comprehensive showcase of food, beverages, equipment, and services. It’s an industry-specific event that covers all the bases from marketing to operations. 

10. Food Safety Summit

Date: May 6 – 9, 2024
Location: Rosemont, IL
Best for: Food Safety and Quality Professionals

The Food Safety Summit is a food and beverage trade show for anyone involved in food safety and quality. It provides the latest information on protecting against foodborne illnesses, compliance requirements, and best practices for food safety management. 

It’s a great opportunity for networking with peers, learning from experts, and finding new technology to help keep food safe from farm to fork.

11. Food On Demand Conference

Date: May 8 – 10, 2024
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Best for: Food delivery executives, restaurant owners, tech innovators, and industry analysts

The Food On Demand Conference, set at the luxurious Bellagio in Las Vegas, is a crucial event for food delivery and restaurant technology professionals. 

Attendees will benefit from over 50 speakers and more than 30 sessions and panels focusing on practical solutions and innovative strategies to enhance delivery operations and customer service. The event gathers more than 800 industry leaders, offering unparalleled networking opportunities. 

12. Sweets & Snacks Expo

Date: May 14 – 16, 2024
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Best for: Confectionery and Snack Vendors, Retail Buyers, Marketing Professionals

The Sweets & Snacks Expo is an annual conference for those in the confectionery and snack industry, blending the world of sweets with savory snacks. It’s the perfect stage for discovering new products, food trends, and retail strategies. It also helps food professionals learn about packaging and marketing while networking to build sweet and profitable business connections. 

13. The National Restaurant Association Show  

Date: May 18 – 21, 2024
Location: Chicago, IL
Best for: Foodservice Professionals

The National Restaurant Association Show is the top trade fair for foodservice professionals, offering unlimited resources and networking opportunities. Spanning an enormous 700,000+ square feet exhibit space at McCormick Place in Chicago, it brings together over 2,240 exhibitors from all facets of the foodservice industry, including 600+ international exhibitors. 

Over 55,000 industry professionals worldwide attend annually to connect with exhibitors and learn about the latest innovations in the industry. If you’re in the foodservice industry, the NRA Show is not to be missed!  

14. Smart Kitchen Summit (SKS)

Date: June 4 – 5, 2024
Location: Seattle, WA
Best for: Innovators in food technology, culinary professionals, sustainability advocates, and industry leaders

The Smart Kitchen Summit (SKS) is the leading event for exploring the convergence of technology and cooking. The event focuses on the future of food, including sustainability, personalization, AI, robotics, and on-demand food services.

SKS 2024 will feature an extensive lineup of more than 50 influential speakers and sponsors from leading companies in the food tech sector, like Whirlpool, Breville, and Samsung Food. Attendees will have the opportunity to engage with cutting-edge innovations and strategies that are shaping the future of how we cook, eat, and think about food. 

15. Summer Fancy Food Show

Date: June 23 – 25, 2024
Location: New York City, NY
Best for: Foodservice professionals

Summer Fancy Food Show is a hub for the latest and greatest in specialty foods and beverages, drawing many makers, buyers, brokers, distributors, and industry professionals from the U.S. and worldwide. 

Over three days, participants can see and sample new products, engage in productive networking, and explore inspiring business opportunities. 

16. Texas Restaurant Show

Date: July 13-15, 2024
Location: San Antonio, TX
Best for: Restaurant and hospitality industry professionals 

The Texas Restaurant Show is organized annually by the Texas Restaurant Association. It stands out as the largest foodservice event in the Southwest. 

Since 1937, the show has become a premier gathering place, reflecting Texas’s bold and unique spirit. It features over 500 booths from more than 300 companies, showcasing the latest in artisan foods, craft beverages, advanced kitchen equipment, and cutting-edge technology. 

17. California Restaurant Show

Date: August 25 – 27, 2024
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Best for: Restaurant owners, food service providers, and hospitality industry professionals

The California Restaurant Show, formerly known as the Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo, is the newly reimagined trade show tailored for the restaurant and food service industry. 

Attendees will be able to explore a vast array of products and services, engage in educational sessions, and participate in networking events designed to foster business growth and innovation. The event will also feature special segments like the Pizza Tomorrow Summit Pavilion, highlighting future trends and technologies in pizza preparation and delivery.

18. Prosper Forum 

Date: August 25 – 28, 2024
Location: Amelia Island, FL
Best for: Leaders in foodservice and hospitality, innovators, and transformative thinkers

Prosper Forum 2024 is set to elevate the future of the foodservice and hospitality industry. This event is designed as a gathering of transformative leaders who are shaping the industry’s future. The forum promises four days of intensive networking, insightful education, and collaborative discussions focused on innovation and growth within the sector.

19. QSREvolution Conference

Date: September 4 – 5, 2024
Location: Atlanta, GA
Best for: Quick service restaurant leaders, tech innovators, marketing professionals

The QSR Evolution Conference in Atlanta is set to redefine the landscape of the quick service restaurant (QSR) industry. This event will feature a lineup of influential keynote speakers, including industry leaders such as Tim Curtis, the CEO of NexSteppe, and Shane Wheatland, the CMO of Olo, among others. 

Participants will gain valuable insights from sessions focused on operational efficiency, digital transformation, and customer engagement strategies. 

20. NextGen Restaurant Summit

Date: September 4 – 5, 2024
Location: Atlanta, GA
Best for: Emerging full-service restaurant brands

The NextGen Restaurant Summit, presented by FSR, brings together leaders of innovative full-service dining establishments. These NextGen restaurants are small to mid-sized chains that innovate beyond traditional casual dining norms. They adapt to changing consumer needs with flexible, hybrid layouts and a focus on off-premises dining. 

The summit provides a forum for these trailblazing brands to network, learn from each other, and shape the future of the industry. 

21. FSTEC

Date: September 16 – 18, 2024
Location: Grapevine, TX
Best for: Restaurant owners, tech innovators, and industry leaders focused on integrating technology in foodservice

FSTEC 2024 is a premier event where the restaurant industry meets technology to explore new solutions for operational efficiencies and customer interactions. 

With over 70 speakers and more than 1600 attendees expected, FSTEC 2024 will cover a range of topics, including back-of-house efficiencies, customer engagement technologies, and the newest tools from top industry suppliers. 

22. Americas Food & Beverage Show

Date: September 16 – 18, 2024
Location: Miami Beach, FL
Best for: Food & beverage suppliers, distributors, and industry buyers

Americas Food & Beverage Show is a must-attend event for suppliers and buyers in the food and beverage industry from over 50 countries. With more than 600 exhibitors, the Americas Food & Beverage Show offers a vast exhibition space to explore new products, trends, and innovations. 

It’s an ideal platform for making international connections, sampling the latest offerings, and watching live demonstrations.

23. The Dairy Show

Date: October 1 – 4, 2024
Location: Madison, WI
Best for: Dairy industry professionals, vendors, and educators

The Dairy Show is a networking event for the dairy industry, featuring the latest in cattle and farm products. You’ll see new tech, learn about cattle care, and connect with experts worldwide. It’s great for keeping your dairy knowledge fresh and finding ways to improve your food business.

24. NFRA Convention

Date: October 5 – 8, 2024
Location: National Harbor, MD
Best for: Retailers, manufacturers, sales agents in frozen & refrigerated foods

The NFRA Convention is the largest event for decision-makers in the frozen and refrigerated foods industry. It’s an efficient way to meet with key players for one-on-one business discussions, providing a focused environment to negotiate and network. 

25. SupplySide West & Food Ingredients North America

Date: October 28 – 31, 2024
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Best for: Supplement, food, and beverage industry professionals

SupplySide West & Food Ingredients North America is the go-to event for supplement, food, and beverage professionals. It’s a place to learn about the latest ingredients, cutting-edge technology, and packaging trends. 

26. American Food Manufacturing Summit

Date: November 7 – 8, 2024
Location: Chicago, IL
Best for: Food and beverage leadership, suppliers, and manufacturers

The American Food Manufacturing Summit brings together food and beverage executives and suppliers to explore the latest in manufacturing trends and strategies. Network with industry leaders and discuss key themes around process optimization, food quality and safety, and innovative new systems. 

27. Restaurant Finance Development Conference

Date: November 11 – 13, 2024
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Best for: Restaurateurs, culinary entrepreneurs, and hospitality investors

The Restaurant Finance & Development Conference is hosted annually by the Restaurant Finance Monitor. It is a key financial event for restaurant owners, operators, and financial executives. Focused on the business aspects of the restaurant industry, this conference provides a comprehensive update on the latest developments in the restaurant business and capital markets. 

Attendees benefit from expert-led educational sessions that cover a broad spectrum of topics, including finance, economics, accounting, technology, strategy, and restaurant operations. 

Tips for Attending Food & Beverage Conferences

Here are some handy tips to make the most out of your time at food and beverage conferences.

1. Focus on the Right Events

Not every conference will be a “must-attend” despite the buzz. It’s crucial to do your research and only invest your valuable time, money, and energy into shows that align with your business goals. 

Consider how well the event topic and agenda match your interests and business strategy. Is your goal to attend insightful speaker sessions or meet potential clients and hear about their needs and pain points in person?  If you plan to be an exhibitor or sponsor, ensure the attendees are your desired target audience. Careful planning and preparation are necessary to bring attendees into your booth and see a strong return on your investment.

2. Focus on Quality Networking

Trying to meet as many people as possible is tempting, but quality beats quantity. Rather than collecting business cards like they’re going out of style, focus on forming meaningful connections. 

Review the attendee list before going and identify specific people you intend to meet or connect with. Whether they are prospects or partnership opportunities, it goes a long way to research their work or business ahead of time so you can approach the conversation with genuine knowledge and interest. Market intelligence platforms like Brizo FoodMetrics can help jumpstart your sales prospecting before the event has even started.

3. It’s Okay to Feel Awkward

Yes, conferences can be awkward with their forced socializing and endless coffee breaks. But remember, everyone is in the same boat. Use this as an opportunity to step out of your comfort zone. 

Here are some more tips for dealing with awkward moments at conferences:

Looking for some talking points to kick off the conversation? Check out Brizo FoodMetrics and bring the latest foodservice market intelligence to your next cocktail hour.

4. Be Prepared

When attending a conference or event, you should be armed with insights and intelligence on the attendees you’re thinking of speaking with. For foodservice vendors and suppliers hoping to connect with specific restaurants or operators, take the time to plan ahead and research them before the event. Know how many units they have, what’s on their menu, what kind of technology they are currently using, and so on. 

You can conduct this research manually or save time and effort with a market intelligence platform like Brizo FoodMetrics.  Tools like Brizo can provide comprehensive market insights and granular establishment data, from menu details to in-use technology.  

The ability to have an intelligent and informed conversation at these events will give you the best chance of creating and converting leads. After all, events and conferences are expensive to attend; you want to make the best use of the time and resources you are investing.

5. Follow Up Effectively

After the conference, remember to share your biggest takeaways and insights from the event with your team and align on the next steps. 

In addition, don’t let those new contacts go cold. Connect over LinkedIn or email with a personalized message referencing your conversation at the event. Keep track of your leads and leverage platforms like Brizo FoodMetrics to enrich your knowledge and add value to your follow-up conversations. 

With Brizo’s deep market insights, you can adjust your sales and marketing strategies to better meet your prospects’ needs. 

Conclusion

Food and beverage conferences are perfect for meeting new people in the industry, seeing the latest product innovations, and learning about market shifts and insights. 

After attending these events, you may feel overwhelmed with all the new information and leads you’ve collected. This is where a market intelligence platform like Brizo FoodMetrics can be incredibly valuable, offering a comprehensive market view of over 1.9 million foodservice establishments. Not only can you take a deeper look at some of the market insights uncovered at the event, but you can also investigate the granular details of foodservice establishments whose contacts you met.  Don’t let the conversation stop once the event ends. Get started with your free trial of Brizo FoodMetrics today!