Fancy Foods Opts for Another Year in DC

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR
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New York, NY – The Summer Fancy Food Show’s hiatus from the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center has been extended to two years due to ongoing construction at the New York venue that organizers fear could spoil the appetites of their attendees.

The board of directors for the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT) voted to hold the 2012 Summer Fancy Food Show at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC. The association previously decided to move the 2011 event to the nation’s capital.

Chris Nemchek, vice president of exhibition management at NASFT, said the 2012 show had not been bound by contract to take place at the Javits Center. The show will return to the renovated Javits Center in 2013. “We feel like we belong in New York,” he said.

Avoiding Construction
The Javits expansion, which is in its early stages, will boost the center’s prime exhibit space by nearly 10% to 840,000 square feet and add additional meeting room, pre-function space and back-of-the-house improvements. The project is scheduled for completion in Fall 2013. The Javits Center was ranked at #16 in Trade Show Executive’s 2009 directory of the World’s Top Convention Centers, with 760,000 square feet of prime exhibit space.

Nemchek said that after consultations with Javits Center management, the NASFT board decided against holding its event in an environment where there was a risk of food exhibits clashing with the inherent untidiness of a job site. “The decision was based on the fact that Javits Center is undergoing a major renovation and expansion,” Nemchek told Trade Show Executive. “Based on the information we received, our chances were better to run the show in the manner we wanted if it was moved.”

Making the Most of DC
In the meantime, the Summer Fancy Food Show will make the most of its relatively brief stint in Washington. “This will put us in Washington for two years and give us a chance to possibly gain some new buyers from the Mid-Atlantic region,” Nemchek said.

Nemchek does not expect problems in securing hotel rooms on such relatively short notice. In addition, lower labor costs in Washington will likely please exhibitors. “We are probably going to experience some cost savings, but that was not the driving factor in the decision,” he said.

Reach Chris Nemchek at (212) 482-6440 or cnemchek@nasft.org