Or, customer engagement in an age of virtualization. Sometimes there is just no substitute for meeting with a customer or business partner face to face.
Business people today have more ways than ever before to reach tens, hundreds, or even thousands of customers with the touch of a key. And yet, in the end, business is still about people. And people tend to do business with people they know and trust.
The 2013 NAFEM Show offered a tremendous opportunity for all segments of the foodservice equipment and supplies community to come together for some very valuable and much-needed face time. It remains to be seen whether 2013 will become the year the E&S industry finally emerges from the post-recession doldrums or if it will be just another year with steady improvement over the previous year. But there's no denying that attendance at the biennial foodservice equipment and supplies event was up and the mood was upbeat. Why the positive atmosphere in such uncertain economic times? It's simple, really. The NAFEM Show represents an opportunity to meet with the people who are important to you, no matter where you fit into the E&S industry, from manufacturer to operator.
Here at FE&S you will never hear us talk about the E&S industry as "our" industry. We think it is essential to remember that we are charged with covering and interpreting the industry for our readership. Further, we see the engaged readers of FE&S, the professionals who buy, sell, recommend and/or service foodservice equipment and supplies, as our true end-user customers. Of course, we are ever mindful that our advertising partners pay to keep the lights on. We rely on these important business relationships to fund our continued reinvestment into the award-winning editorial content that our readership has come to expect. But these advertiser relationships are all predicated on having engaged readers who rely on us to cover the E&S industry in an honest and objective manner.
The 2013 NAFEM Show was a chance for us to say thank you to our readers and advertisers with a booth celebration marking our 65th year in print (check out the picture below)! This is an anniversary celebration that we look forward to continuing at our Dealer of the Year Gala on May 18 at The Four Seasons-Chicago. We hope that you will be able to join us there.