National Restaurant Association 2011

Chicago!!!! That was the location of this years NRA (not national rifle association) trade show. The venue was McCormick Place in downtown Chicago, which is a beatifully huge convention center. Brands from all over the country attended as exhibitors, showing off what they can offer and people from all over the world attended to see what the exhibitors have to offer such as suppliers, distributors, hotel chains, food chains, and many small restaurants.

Good Health Natural Foods was vendor number 6476. Unfortunately our booth was not located in the Natural and Organic Pavillion (like I wished, having more traffic), even though our company is a provider of natural snacks. I had the opportunity to go to help out a co-worker of mine that lives in the mid-west. This was the first time I met her from our company but she was very patient and helpful and we had a great time.

There were hundreds of exhibitors there showing their products or services. Groupon had a two-story booth!!!! There were plenty of mascots there including a talking Heinz robot that attracted people to their booth. It didn’t necessarily bring customers over to try sample products but it’s a good tactic to stand out in a sea of competitors.

Nice mascot, unlike some others I saw. Their booth had a great cinnamon bun!

I met plenty of wonderful people there. Our company’s booth was located across from La Rosa’s Famous Cannolis. They had so many new potential leads with giving out free cannolis! Had one myself ūüôā Another booth next to our was Rumaino Cheese. Founded in 1921, Rumaino cheese is a leader in organic cheeses. Everyday of my four days there, I sampled their organic medium cheddar cheese multiple times during the day. It is awesome! I also got to meet the fourth generation Rumaino, Coby. He and his uncle were at the show manning their booth. Great people the Rumianos and they gave me free cheese to take back to NC! Everyone that knows me knows I LOVE cheese! #win

My experience in Chicago was long, yet short-lived. Although I was in the windy city, I didn’t get a chance to see as much of it as I’d hoped. My days were filled with working. I did however get to shop the entire Magnificent Mile and travel to the top of the John Hancock Observatory. I was 94 floors above the windy city and it felt amazing knowing I had the best view in Chicago. Two things I wished I could have also gone to were “THE EDGE” at the Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower) and went to The 900 shops. I also had a chance to see the Navy Pier. My co-worker and I had lunch as Riva’s restaurant located on the pier and it was great. Next time, I will get on the Ferris Wheel.

Chicago Skyline from the Navy Pier

The taxi drivers are really nice! They are also the best drivers in Chicago! Traffic, for that particular weekend was amazing and their driving skills impressed me. I also just learned that a childhood friend just moved to Chicago so next time, I will definitely get to see Chicago, at it’s best!!!!

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Author: Cassandra Williams

Public relations and marketing professional. Subscribe to share my journey to fulfilling my dreams as a marketing and public relations professional.

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