Expo is All About Business of Hospitality

Filling three halls of the Convention Center, this Expo has grown to be one of the area’s premier industry events.  Attendees have the opportunity to see, touch, taste and experience the latest trends in every component of the hospitality business.  With close to 400 exhibit booths operators will leave armed with new ingredients, knowledge, equipment and inspiration to successfully run their business.  This face-to-face interaction provides a valuable, efficient, and cost-effective opportunity to do one-stop shopping and product comparison.   
Educational Sessions
The OCHMRA Trade Expo is more than just a trade show; it is a complete learning experience for improving business.  “Industry experts have been lined up to help attendees gain a little extra knowledge to improve their operations,” stated Executive Director, Susan L. Jones.  Online giant, TripAdvisor will deliver a session on how to win guests and grow business, while Comcast Spotlight will delve into behavioral targeting and online conversions during their session “Using Digital Video to Find New Customers.”   The Comcast Spotlight session will teach attendees how to find their target audience, deliver their message and track users as they convert into customers. They will also learn how a behaviorally targeted video ad campaign can be both effective and efficient in converting digital leads.
Other sessions include Cohn Reznick, who will discuss making the restaurant season more fun and profitable.  During his session “Service and Social Media,” attendees will explore the ten most important questions a service team must ask to help improve your service, increase sales and create a social media buzz to get people into a restaurant.  Cohn Reznick will also deliver, “Getting Customers to Return – Regularly,” where attendees will learn the ten most powerful ways you can maximize your in-season throughput. In other words, how to get customers in, make them happy, get them out quickly and make them want to come back.  
Ultra Solar will discuss the difference between solar cells, panels and installer companies, as well as the benefits and ROI of solar energy.  Extreme Heat will delve into the three step process of getting rid of bothersome bedbugs.  Check out the Expo website for times. 
The equally entertaining and informative economist, Anirban Basu, has been scheduled to appear prior to the show floor opening. Basu, Chairman & CEO of Sage Policy Group, Inc., will deliver his message on Monday, March 7th at 10am in Room 208.  Anirban Basu is the Maryland Tourism Coalition’s favorite economic prognosticator and comic.
Culinary Showcase Corner
Bryan Voltaggio has become one of the most recognized and influential chefs in contemporary American cooking.  Starting with VOLT—his flagship, seasonally driven restaurant in his hometown of Frederick, MD—Voltaggio has delivered an electric shock of culinary innovation to the Chesapeake region, which he loves for its rich culinary history and access to high-quality ingredients.
The chef’s passion for cooking was already cemented at a young age, having grown up in an Italian-American family. He served as sous chef and executive chef at two regional hotel restaurants by the age of 20. Aware of his need for more formal training, he attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, during which time he also cooked at the highly acclaimed Hamilton Inn in nearby Millerton. He ascended to the top of the fine-dining world during a nine-year run as executive under Charlie Palmer at Charlie Palmer Steak in Washington, D.C
Voltaggio has been a finalist on Bravo’s “Top Chef,” as well as “Top Chef Masters”—the first contestant to compete on both shows—during which he raised funds for Share Our Strength, a charity he avidly supports throughout the year. The James Beard Foundation Award recognized VOLT in 2009 as a finalist for “Best New Restaurant.” In 2011, Voltaggio and his brother, Michael Voltaggio of L.A.’s INK, co-authored the cookbook, Volt.INK; his second cookbook, HOME, was recently released.   Recently, it was announced that the Voltaggio brothers are collaborating on an upcoming steakhouse concept for the MGM Casino in National Harbor.  You can watch Voltaggio cook up a recipe from HOME during the OCHMRA Trade Expo on Sunday, March 6th at noon in the Culinary Showcase Corner.   Cookbooks will be on sale and a meet and greet is planned for immediately following his cooking demo. 
Also appearing on stage will be a demo and discussion of the invasive Chesapeake Wild Blue Catfish.  Congressional Seafood Corporate Chef, David Fye and Vice President Tim Sughrue, will deliver this intriguing session on Monday, March 7th at noon.  The wild blue catfish is one of the greatest environmental threats the Chesapeake Bay has ever faced.  During a summer study, it was documented that the catfish consumed over 1.5million pounds of blue crabs in just one tributary in the span of 60 days.  Congressional Seafood has dozens of customers, including two James Beard award-winning chefs serving thousands of catfish orders weekly.  This demo will help guide how to market this fish in restaurants.  
On Sunday, March 7th the Culinary Showcase Stage features, Meet Tessemae’s.   Born in Annapolis and raised coming to the shore, the Vetter brothers, Greg, Brian, and Matt, started their company with their Mom’s original recipe.  Join the founders and Chef Kristen Dittami as they showcase these Maryland made dressings, marinades and sauces.  These all natural salad dressings and condiments are made with real, whole, source food ingredients.  During their cooking demo, you can sample some versatile, on trend recipes incorporating these delicious all natural products.  Their brand launched in 2009 at the local Whole Foods in Annapolis.  
On the Red, White & Brew Stage you will find, “Pasta-bilities” ~ Making pasta, sauces and dishes that incorporate wine and beer have never had so many possibilities.   Chef Tony Hilligoss partnered with Market First and their pasta extruder and will demonstrate endless opportunities with pasta.  Come and learn ideas and taste some pasta dishes that incorporate beer and wine. IPA’s, Stouts, Sweet Wines, Dry Wines and Ports. The Pasta-bilities are endless….
New Products 
Everything to make your business run more efficient, faster, cleaner, better and tastier will soon be found in Ocean City.  One of those new products which is back is Yuengling ice cream bars.  “This product was first created during prohibition when they couldn’t make beer, they made ice cream,” stated George Swayngim of Georgeo’s Ice Cream.   Many new hand-dipped flavors will be on display at the Hershey Ice Cream booth, including salted caramel cookies and cream. Bar Controls of North America will showcase their draft beer monitor which counts ounces of beer by brand and reports them to your PC!  Beside Bar Controls is AC Beverage showcasing JoeTap Nitro coffee.  A new energy drink hits the market as Cannabis Energy Drink makes its debut at the Expo. 
Hotels and resorts are customer centric businesses. With guests demanding the best service available, hotels and resorts need more efficient ways of meeting those demands.  New exhibitor, SYSCALL will feature a complete and reliable Wireless on-site messaging system.  
Dogfish Head Brewery will showcase a new brew; Romantic Chemistry, a 7.2% ABV fruit forward IPA combining mangoes, apricots and ginger beer to drink music to, a Belgian triple clocking in at 9%ABV and has been brewed for Record Store Day.
FRESH Creative Cuisine is a manufacturer and market-leader specializing in fresh prepared artisan food products for your "CUISINE-TO-GO" food operations. They provide all day-part solutions including, Artisan Sandwiches, Signature Salads, Exquisite Entrees, Snacks and Sides, Desserts and other fine edibles for retail and institutional food service.  
DBS will display Avero, a leading provider of web-based and mobile analytics for the hospitality industry.  This system integrates into your POS system and will help to improve server performance, reduce labor costs, increase promotion effectiveness and prevent fraud and loss.
Hague Water introduces Nature Wash Advanced Laundry Solution which reduces energy consumption, water use, cycle times, drying times, and extends fabric life.  Nature Wash transforms cold water into a powerful cleaning agent by oxidizing normal tap water, injecting a controlled amount of activated oxygen into the wash water, nature's safest, strongest oxidant and most effective disinfecting agent. 
In the Dockside Hall, Honey Grail introduces the first and only sweet sparkling 100% honey mead in America, which also happens to be least expensive honey mead on the market.
Charm City Beverage will showcase Boxed Water, Gundalow - Cold Pressed Juices, as well as, Wild Kombucha - Local / Small batch Kombucha.  Kombucha tea is a fermented drink made with tea, sugar, bacteria and yeast. Although it's sometimes referred to as kombucha mushroom tea, kombucha is not a mushroom — it's a colony of bacteria and yeast. Kombucha tea is made by adding the colony to sugar and tea, and allowing the mix to ferment. The resulting liquid contains vinegar, B vitamins and a number of other chemical compounds. Proponents claim kombucha tea can stimulate the immune system, prevent cancer, and improve digestion and liver function. 
With the explosion of the craft beer market, Market First is excited to introduce his Hospitality Glass "REVIVAL AND RENAISSANCE" beer vessels featuring NUCLEATION which enhances carbonation throughout the entire experience.  They will feature 16 and 13.5 ounce styles with optional 8oz and 10oz gauge lines for higher ABV style beers. 
Northeastern Supply will display the new ToddPod Shower Enclosures which provide the ultimate outdoor shower for hotel guests.
Crafted by bartenders for bartenders, Olmeca Altos 100% Blue Agave Tequila will be shown in 
Republic National Distributing Company’s exhibit space.    
Stop by Valley Proteins to check out inside recovery systems for used cooking oil recycling needs.  A complete list of new products and show specials can be found on the Expo website’s Attend Link.  
Latte art will again be created by a local barista and can be viewed in Eastern Shore Coffee & Water’s booth 228-229 on the lower level in Exhibit Hall A/B.  Latte artist, Andrew Wackett noted, “it requires both a perfect shot of espresso, as well as perfectly steamed milk, both of which are very difficult to achieve. My favorite design to make is the design that was the most difficult for me personally, the tulip.”   Demonstrations will be showcased at 11:30, 1:30 and 3:30pm on Sunday and 11:30 and 1:30pm on Monday.  
Red, White & Brew Stage
For those restaurateurs who are ready to grow profits and support a local movement, more than 20 craft breweries, from throughout Maryland, DC and lower Delaware will be featured in the Dockside Hall.  Learn from these breweries how to implement a craft beer beverage program as Brewmasters will be on hand to discuss all the aspects of their craft.  
ShoreCraftBeer.com and the MD Brewer’s Association have partnered to deliver, “Taste This.…How Craft Beer will Attract More Customers with More Money.”   During this discussion, industry veterans will share their insight and offer helpful tips.  
Ocean 98 and the OCHMRA teamed up to develop their newest contest, In Your Face Trivia Challenge. This bracket elimination will take place on Monday, March 7, beginning at 1pm and is sure to test participants’ hospitality knowledge.  The winner will walk away with $300 cash.
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 21.  For example, hotel, motel, restaurant, catering, concessions, bed & 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.
Click here for more information