Spring Trade Expo Eyes Ocean City Return March 6-7

OCEAN CITY — Everything to make a business run more efficiently will be found March 6-7 at the Ocean City Convention Center during the 48th Annual Ocean City Spring Trade Expo.

The 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 and engage existing ones through data generation and marketing.

Last year, the expo held a Facebook Live session featuring hospitality leaders. The session drew great interest and will be returning in an in-person format. Coined the “Hospitality Power Panel” this session will be held on Monday, March 7 and feature leaders from the hotel and restaurant associations of Maryland and Delaware. Beginning at 10 a.m., it will take place in Room 210 at the convention center and be moderated by Worcester County Tourism and Economic Development Director Melanie Pursel.

Beverage industry experts will also convene and explore the latest trends and techniques in the beverage world. Moderated by the Maryland Breweries Association leader and founder of Grow & Fortify Kevin Atticks, this session includes craft beer pioneer Hugh Sisson of Heavy Seas and local Danny Robinson whose Hoop Tea invention was just picked up by Anheuser-Busch. The panel will be featured on Sunday, March 6th at 1 p.m.

New this year, the expo partnered with the Restaurant Association of Maryland and Maryland Seafood to host the seafood qualifier for World Food Championships. The competition takes place on Sunday, March 6 on the Showcase Stage and will include two rounds of three chefs cooking their best seafood dish. The winner of each round will then go head-to-head for the finals live on stage with the winner receiving $500 and a Golden Ticket to compete for $100,000 in the World Food Championship in Dallas Texas in November.

The Delmarva Chefs & Cooks Association, Smithfield and Roso & Pakula have partnered to bring the “Pig Puzzle” to the expo on March 7 at 1 p.m. Smithfield’s Southeast Director will walk through everything from the “the rooter to the tooter.” The Pig Puzzle is half of a hog, already cut into primals. and Smithfield will share how the hog was raised, where each cut of meat is located and basic uses.

Exhibitors are eager to return to face-to-face selling, noted event organizer Susan Jones of the Ocean City Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association. “We’ve had zero trouble selling booths this year,” said Jones.

With the expansion of the convention center, the entire tradeshow will be on the Lower Level and feature close to 400 exhibit spaces showcasing new products and innovative services. Additionally, several exhibitors will offer special deals only available at the Expo. These can be found online at www.oceancitytradeexpo.com under the Attend tab.

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. Industries include hotel, motel, restaurant, catering, concessions, bed and breakfast, condo/property management, campground, coffee house, ice cream store, nightclub, liquor store, convenience store, cafeteria, nursing home, schools/colleges, hospital. Expo management reserves the right to determine if your registration fits these parameters. If you sell to these types of businesses, you would be considered an exhibitor and must purchase a booth to attend the expo.

Expo hours are Sunday, March 6 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and Monday, March 7 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. After March 2, on-site registration is $25 per person with proof of being in the industry. For complete Expo information, check out www.oceancitytradeexpo.com or call 410-289-6733.