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September 4th, 2013

by Total Food Service

Urban Expositions Acquires Food Service Events from Reed Exhibitions


Urban Expositions has acquired the US restaurant and lodging portfolio from Reed Exhibitions, which includes the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show, Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo and Expo Comida Latina.


As part of the acquisition, Urban has also purchased the International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York from the New York State Restaurant Association. This event was managed and produced by Reed Exhibitions. 

Representing the next step in Urban Expositions’ plans to expand its retail/restaurant/hospitality portfolio, these new events join the Atlanta-based show management company’s airport concessions holding, Airport Revenue News (ARN), which services the restaurant/food service and retail components of the airport industry. In addition, these shows offer business growth and synergistic opportunities across Urban Expositions’ entire show roster, including wholesale giftware and souvenir events. 

Urban Expositions will assume ownership immediately although Reed Exhibitions will manage the upcoming Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo, August 18-20, 2013, and the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show, September 22-24, 2013. Management will transition to Urban Expositions upon the close of the shows. As part of the acquisition package, members of the Reed show team will join Urban Expositions, relocating to the company’s newest office location in Connecticut. The new Urban Expositions food service teams will be working closely with the executive leadership of the state association sponsors for each respective show, including the New York State Restaurant Association, Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association and California Restaurant Association.

“We have been searching for strategic opportunities to grow our retail/hospitality sector and these shows perfectly reflect the profile and development potential we were hoping to find,” explains Doug Miller, President, Urban Expositions. “We are proud to take over the reins from Reed Exhibitions and the New York State Restaurant Association, and look forward to building upon the successful track record that they, along with the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association and California Restaurant Association, have firmly established for these shows. By working closely with many of the veteran team members, as well as the management and members of each state association, we will continue to strengthen and enhance the business and professional growth opportunities these events provide to their exhibitors and attendees.” 

“Urban Expositions is ideally suited to take over the management of each of these shows,” said Nancy Walsh, Executive Vice President of Reed Exhibitions North America. “They understand the specialized needs of B2B events. Their management has built a solid reputation over the years for its hands-on management style and commitment to customer service - assets that will serve them well in the restaurant/hospitality industry and contribute to the continued growth and success of each of these events. It was important to Reed that the events went to a customer and employee focused organizer.” 

“The International Restaurant and Foodservice Show of New York was started more than 20 years ago by my father, Fred Sampson, on Long Island at the Nassau Coliseum. The Show grew rapidly and we eventually moved to the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan. In the two decades since, this Show has grown in every measure: attendee numbers, vendor numbers, floor space sold, industry diversity and international appeal. "It has evolved from a small, Association initiative in the ‘70s, to what is today recognized and valued as one of the premier hospitality industry showcases in the world,” said Rick Sampson, President and CEO of the New York State Restaurant Association. “With so much invested in the Show, the NYS Restaurant Association executive leadership has been diligent and thoughtful considering who we’d be comfortable taking this show to the next level. Urban Expositions jumped out at us as the clear choice to take over the Show among the many options considered. Their energy, experience and demonstrated understanding about the deep roots that support the New York Show and their vision for how it can grow in the future, all drove our decision. The New York State Restaurant Association is excited as an organization to work closely with Urban Expositions in the years to come to continue to build and evolve the vision my father initiated more than four decades ago.” 

As the only comprehensive events dedicated exclusively to their respective region’s restaurant, hospitality and foodservice industries, each of the Food Shows has its own personality and style. “We are honored to have the chance to work with the leadership of the three premier state associations serving the restaurant, hospitality and lodging industries,” added Miller. “New York, Florida and California represent such a vast segment of the population and are unquestionably the leaders in the hospitality field and true industry innovators when it comes to food trends and restaurant concepts.“ 

Held annually at the Jacob Javits Convention Center, the International Restaurant and Foodservice Show of New York attracts thousands of buyers from high-end restaurants, multi-unit operators and food service establishments from throughout New York State who come to explore a wide range of products, foods and educational opportunities. Sponsored by the New York State Restaurant Association, the event enters its 21st year when the next edition debuts March 3-5, 2014. 

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