NCA Announces New Dates for 2012 Sweets & Snacks Expo

Event shifts two weeks earlier to avoid G8 conflict; restaurant show also shifts dates

Published in CSP Daily News

CHICAGO -- The National Confectioners Association (NCA), sponsor of the Sweets & Snacks Expo, announced that the dates of the 2012 Expo have changed to May 8-10, 2012, in an effort to avoid G8 Summit activities happening later in the month.

Last week, NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization) announced that its annual Global Summit for world leaders will take place at Chicago's McCormick Place May 15-22, 2012, coinciding with the 2012 Sweets & Snacks Expo originally scheduled for May 22-24, 2012.

"Chicago has welcomed our annual Expo since its inception 15 [image-nocss] years ago so it is no surprise that city officials, along with leadership at McCormick Place, have gone above and beyond and together we decided on a mutually acceptable alternative," said NCA President Larry Graham. "Due to the comprehensive security and logistics requirements surrounding the G8 Summit, shifting the dates made the best business sense for our industry."

Graham added that despite the change in dates, the 2012 Sweets & Snacks Expo will still be held in the West building and will retain the Tuesday-Thursday date pattern customers have asked for year after year.

"We recognize a huge value to our industry in keeping the event anchored in Chicago and worked hard to secure dates that would not interfere with other industry events both domestic and internationally," said Tim Quinn, vice president trade development at Mars Chocolate North America and chairman of the Sweets & Snacks Expo committee. "The Expo committee along with the NCA executive board believes these new dates will positively benefit the majority of our members and customers."

In addition, the Sweets & Snacks Expo will again overlap with the National Restaurant Association (NRA) Show happening May 5-8, 2012, which also altered its dates due to the G8 Summit.

"The NRA's primary goal is provide our exhibitors and attendees an environment that is conducive to business," said Dawn Sweeney, president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association. "Discussions with the Chicago Mayor's Office, the Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau and the Metropolitan Pier & Exposition Authority have made it clear to us that the security and logistics requirements for the G8 and NATO Summit will significantly restrict movement within Chicago during that time. Therefore, after carefully considering a number of options, we've come to the conclusion that keeping the 2012 NRA Show in Chicago but moving it to earlier in May will provide the best opportunity for our industry to have a productive and enjoyable 2012 Show."

Along with NRA Show, the co-located International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event will also move up two weeks to take place from May 6-7, 2012.

The National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show attracts more than 58,000 foodservice professionals and brings around $100 million dollars on average and more than 60,000 jobs to Chicago to support the show. The NRA Show has called Chicago home since 1950 and is currently contracted to remain in Chicago through 2016.

More than 14,000 industry professionals from nearly 70 countries visit the Sweets & Snacks Expo each year. Occupying more than 140,000 net square feet and hosting more than 550 exhibiting companies, it is billed as the largest confectionery, cookie and snack event in the Americas.