CHICAGO -- The National Restaurant Association entered in an agreement with Winsight LLC, a leading information services company in the foodservice and convenience-store industry, to operate the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show.
The organizations formed an equity partnership, through which the National Restaurant Association will become an equity partner of Winsight. Winsight will now assume operational ownership and execution of the largest annual gathering of foodservice professionals in the world.
The event will continue under the association’s branding, as part of a 45-year sponsorship agreement for the exclusive branding, content and promotion of the show. The National Restaurant Association will take an advisory seat on Winsight’s board of directors. Winsight’s Restaurant Business, a sister publication of CSP magazine and CSP Daily News, will become the official magazine of the association.
"This collaboration will allow us to grow the impact and reach of our show, while also elevating the level of service we provide to our members, including enhanced member benefits, advocacy, training and certification and content," said Dawn Sweeney, National Restaurant Association president and CEO. "The new relationship with Restaurant Business gives us an additional avenue to expand and amplify the stories important to the industry and our members."
Winsight will bring back staples of the show including the “Future of Restaurants” super-session, Innovation Hub and World Culinary Showcase. Mary Pat Heftman will become president of the Restaurant Show Group at Winsight, and the current convention team will move to Winsight, as well. "This strategic partnership accelerates our efforts to bring show attendees and exhibitors better and deeper programing and expedites the digital transformation taking place throughout the industry," Heftman said.
The association’s board and related meetings will continue to be held during the show, which will continue to be held at McCormick Place in Chicago.
The agreement is designed to improve the show experience and provide more opportunities for members, sponsors, partners, exhibitors and attendees. The partnership will accelerate programming and content to improve attendance and help the show target senior-level operators and executives.
This year’s National Restaurant Association show drew 65,000 attendees and covered more than 700,000 square feet of exhibit space. In 2019, the show will celebrate its centennial anniversary from May 18 to 21.
"Collaborating with the National Restaurant Association provides a tremendous opportunity for Winsight and its team. Through products such as Technomic's company profiles, menu insights, and consumer trends, combined with our media business's vast market knowledge and audience intelligence platform, we look forward to serving the ever-increasing needs of the Show and the industry," said Winsight CEO Mike Wood. Technomic is Winsight's foodservice research company. "We welcome Mary Pat and her team to Winsight, and we are confident our resources, combined with those of the National Restaurant Association, have created a partnership dedicated to the success of the restaurant and foodservice industries of today and tomorrow."
The agreement with the association is the latest move by Winsight to expand its reach in the foodservice sector. The Chicago-based company in 2017 received an investment from private-equity firm Pamlico Capital, less than two years after Winsight acquired the data-services firm Technomic.
The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the Sept. 28 agreement. The transaction is set to close in fourth-quarter 2018.
Winsight is a business-to-business information, event and market intelligence company serving the restaurant and noncommercial foodservice, convenience and petroleum retailing and grocery industries. It provides research and analytics, branding solutions, face-to-face opportunities, lead generation initiatives and content marketing services through products including subscription data products, reports, research tools, research programs, fully custom studies, conferences, custom marketing services, meetings and print and digital trade media. Technomic Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Winsight and provides subscription data products, industry reports, research tools, and programs. Its syndicated and custom studies are generated through extensive food and retail industry experience and proprietary data.