National Restaurant Association busy floor.
National Restaurant Association

The show was slated for May 16–19.

National Restaurant Association Cancels 2020 Show

Event organizers of the National Restaurant Association Show announced Tuesday the cancellation of the 2020 National Restaurant Association Show due to coronavirus concerns.

Here is a message from the Association: 

"We recognize the critical importance of the Show to our industry and we know that this will come as a disappointment to the exhibitors, sponsors and attendees who had planned for months to participate. We appreciate the continued support and feedback we received as we explored numerous options to keep it on schedule.  This is not the outcome we wanted.

This result is necessary given the accelerating pace of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.  Protecting the health and well-being of our exhibitors, sponsors, attendees, vendor partners and our own staff is paramount.  This is our community.  We all must be kept safe, and progressively stricter and more widespread prohibitions on public gatherings make clear that cancellation is the only outcome consistent with that goal.  (Just as one example, the Governor of Illinois has issued an Executive Order prohibiting gatherings of more than 50 persons that will almost certainly extend into the period of the Show.)

COVID-19 is also putting our core attendee base—the restaurant community—under tremendous strain, as many are being forced to close their doors or furlough their employees.  Many sponsors and exhibitors will not engage in business travel due to COVID-19, and would be unable to attend.  The industry expects us to deliver a large scale, high-quality show full of robust activities, important education topics, innovative products and solutions offered by exhibiting companies and—perhaps above all—a large number of attendees.  Based on how our attendee registrations have suffered since these developments came to light, it is clear that delivering the experience and attendance that our community expects will not be possible. 

As mentioned earlier, we are so thankful for the support that has already been shown to us.  We know you see yourselves as friends and members of the National Restaurant Association Show family.  Although these developments resulting from COVID-19 require that the 2020 Show not go forward at this time, we are looking forward to partnering with you to make the 2021 Show the best ever.

What to do now:

  • If you booked your hotel reservations through our official housing partner—OnPeak—your reservations will be automatically cancelled; otherwise we suggest contacting your hotel to cancel it immediately to avoid any penalties.  
  • Exhibitors and Sponsors of the 2020 National Restaurant Association Show will be able to credit paid exhibit and sponsorship fees toward the 2021 Show, or to request a refund as per your exhibitor agreement.  Information on how to make your request will be sent to you by April 7.

There undoubtedly will be many questions as we work together through this unprecedented series of events. Please email us at nraexhibitinfo@winsightmedia.com for answers. We check this account actively. "

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News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by FSR, Food News Media, or Journalistic, Inc.