Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

NAFEM Show 2019

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20 Foodservice Equipment & Supplies | The NAFEM Show 2019 Planning Guide Joe Carlson, president of Lakeside Manufacturing Inc., of•cially took the reins as NAFEM president in March 2018 at the association's annual business meeting. Having served in various leadership roles and on the organization's Annual Meeting & Management Workshop Committee since 2001, The NAFEM Show 2019 certainly won't be his •rst rodeo. While the industry faces some tough challenges in the year ahead, Carlson says positive sales momentum and consumer con•dence have set the stage for an outstanding show in 2019. What have been some of the key areas of focus during your term as NAFEM president? One of the key things that we're trying to do is drive more value and member engagement by strengthening and expanding what NAFEM has to offer. The NAFEM Show is a big member bene‚t in terms of supporting sales and marketing efforts, but we're also working to provide more substantive content in areas that go beyond sales and marketing, such as business forecasting tools and resources that support employee recruitment and retention, for example. More than half of NAFEM member companies have less than $10 million in annual sales. Many can't afford to have full-time managers in some of these types of seats so we're trying to assist with strategic connections, provide the resources, and support them in areas that can really impact their business operations. What's your perspective on the biggest ways in which both NAFEM the organization and The NAFEM Show have evolved over the years? When the decision was made for NAFEM to become a self-operating organization in 2002, that move paved the way for the organization to carve its own path and create a sustainable portfolio for long-term survivability. The reality is that when you're self-managed there's only one agenda, and that is for the staff and board to work together to serve members. That change has allowed us to make some strategic decisions that have helped NAFEM along the way and, as a result, the organization is in a great place today. We have the resources, the right people and the right leadership to continue to make NAFEM a very meaningful member-owned organization. As for The NAFEM Show, we've always focused on our channel partners and on education and training. That's only gotten stronger. We've seen increased commitment to ensuring a great experience for learning and networking and to creating a show that brings everything an operator needs to deliver great guest experiences together in one place. Finally, we've also focused on attracting many more operators, and highly quali‚ed operators, to the show. What is the biggest draw for operators to attend The NAFEM Show? There are a couple of key things that set this show apart. If you're an operator and you have a list of capital expenditure projects for the next couple of years, it's a one-stop-shop show for all of your equipment and supplies. There's often a misperception that The NAFEM Show is just an equipment show, but it's much broader than that. It's also a show for tabletop items, supplies, smallwares, furnishings and design Q&A with the NAFEM President Joe Carlson, CSFM, Lakeside Manufacturing Inc., discusses the biggest draws of The NAFEM Show and the industry's mood.

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