Educational Sessions Planned For Spring Trade Expo

OCEAN CITY — Everything to make a business run more efficiently will be found at the 46th Annual Ocean City Spring Trade Expo.

Beginning on Sunday, March 8 at the Roland E. Powell Convention Center, the industry will unite for non-stop networking as this expo is designed to bring together the hospitality buyers and sellers. The expo is an experience and is the fastest and most convenient way to see, taste, discover and learn about the new product innovations that are sure to inspire. Restaurants are bound to find creative and fresh menu ideas to delight customers and drive profits. Hotels can see the endless in-room technology and learn how to capture new customers engage existing ones through data generation and marketing.

The expo is also designed to spark attendees’ creative appetite for learning by delivering real, applicable business lessons and best practices. Educational sessions are proven to create insightful discussion, amplify knowledge and provide actionable agendas.

Some highlighted educational sessions include Driving Demand Through Digital Tactics, presented by Todd Collins, Restaurant Reputations; ID Class 101: Alcohol Awareness Training, presented by Eric Chaplin, Card101; Safeguarding Your Identity, presented by Michael LeCompte; and Reach The Beach With Mobile Device Targeting, presented by Dave Carberry, Enradius.

The keynote session will be “Adapt & Thrive: How Leaders Can Prepare to Win!” and will be delivered on Monday, March 9 at 9:30 a.m. prior to the opening of exhibit halls.

Every year, the Culinary Showcase Stage features delectable dishes and exciting entrees. This year, Chef Jonathan Hicks will take the stage on Sunday, March 8 to deliver an action packed culinary demo. Hicks grew up in Maryland and is currently the executive chef at Cosima. Already recognized as one of Baltimore’s best new restaurants, Cosima highlights the fresh Mediterranean cuisine of Sicily and captures the authentic essence of traditional Southern Italian flavors through its menu and unique cocktails.

On Monday, March 9, a father-daughter team from Delaware will take the stage to tempt taste buds while showcasing their creative style. Executive Chef Bill Wallen and daughter, Chef Jess Wallen, are from Grain Craft Bar & Kitchen, OMG Hospitality Group.

The increasing popularity of local art and its infusion into our everyday way of life has led to the “Art of Hospitality” feature. Located in the Dockside Hall, this area will be led by Ali and Jamie Jacobs of T.C. Studios, OC’s Painting Experience. Attendees will have the opportunity to test their painting skills by creating a pineapple, the universal symbol of hospitality.

Local baristas will create latte art in Eastern Shore Coffee & Water’s booth 228-230 on the lower level in Exhibit Hall A/B both Sunday and Monday.

Another great reason to attend Expo is to take advantage of all the show specials offered only at the tradeshow. Close to 60 exhibitors are offering great deals and they can all be found on the expo website. New products and the latest innovative services are also rolled out during the expo and include the new Kona Gold & HighDrate CBD infused energy drinks and waters. Handheld POS systems designed to enhance the dining experience for both customers and staff by offering order-at-the-table and pay-at-the-table will also be showcased. Several exhibitors will feature their earth friendly packaging now that Maryland has banned Styrofoam.

For those who are ready to grow profits and support a local movement, close to 75 breweries and distilleries, throughout Maryland, Delaware, DC and Virginia will be featured.

On Sunday, March 8, Smokin’ Mary, Oxley’s Extra and the Fighting 69th Whiskey will take the stage to discuss their unique products and what makes them so special.

The expo is not open to the public, therefore to walk the show floor, you must be a buyer or guest in the industry and you must be at least 21. Expo hours are Sunday, March 8 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and Monday, March 9 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. After March 2 on-site registration is $25 per person with proof of being in the industry; a business card, business license, or letter from employer on company letterhead; paystubs not accepted. For complete expo information, click or call 410-289-6733.