Onsite Space Selection

All the info you need to select your booth for the 2020 National Restaurant Show.

Circle your calendar – We will be emailing OSSS appointment dates and times on April 24th 2019!

Please contact our team at NRAExhibitorServices@winsightmedia.com with company-specific inquiries.

View the 2020 floorplan
2020 Contract →
2020 Proxy Form →
Premium Exhibitor Listings →

Quick Links:

Selection Order

Each company will be assigned Priority Points equal to the number of years that company has exhibited at the National Restaurant Association Show. Exhibiting companies will then be divided into two product categories – Consumable and Non-Consumable. The first selection will be given to the company with the greatest number of Priority Points, regardless of which category they fall into. From there, selection order will alternate between the two category lists. This will ensure that all areas of the industry are represented throughout the Show floor.

Priority Point Assignment

Priority Points are awarded equal to the number of years a company has exhibited at the Show. You receive one point for each year that your company has exhibited, up to and including Show 2019 as long as your company has not missed two consecutive years since 2016. After Show 2019, maintaining your historical Priority Points becomes dependent upon consecutive years of exhibiting. If your company elects not to exhibit for two consecutive years, you will begin with no historical points.

A contracted exhibiting company may use the Priority Points of an exhibiting subsidiary or operating company, as long as that company still participates as a listed exhibitor. Priority Points cannot be combined – the highest number will be used.

Category Assignment

As noted, companies will be split into two categories – Consumables and Non-Consumables. Category assignment is determined using the product category you selected on your 2019 Application for Exhibit Space and/or your primary product line. Exhibitor product category assignment is as follows:
  • Consumable: Beverage; Food
  • Non-consumable: Equipment; Furniture, Furnishings & Decoration; Lodging; Paper, Plastics & Supplies; Services; Tableware, Linens; Technology & Entertainment; Uniforms


In the event of a tie in number of Priority Points, the following tiebreakers will be used:
  • Tiebreaker #1: Total square footage at Show 2019 (priority given to higher square footage)
  • Tiebreaker #2: 2019 National Restaurant Association® membership status (priority given to members over non-members)

Onsite Selection

Onsite Selection Process for Show 2020

Prior to Show 2019, we will finalize all exhibiting companies’ Priority Points, tiebreaker status and categories and determine the overall selection order. We will then assign you an appointment date and time for selecting your space, which takes place in the Onsite Space Selection Room (S-401) at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois during Show 2019.

At your appointment, you will be able to view the entire Show 2020 in-process floor plan, including which spaces have been selected—and by whom—and which are open. You will be allowed to select from all available spaces at your appointment date and time, and Show management will be on-hand to work with you in securing a booth location, size and configuration that best meets your 2020 exhibiting needs.

At the time of space selection, you will be required to submit a signed exhibit space contract; however, you will not be required to submit your deposit until the summer. The date the deposit is due will be finalized and available by 4/24/2019. You will receive a confirmation of your space selection onsite and we will invoice you for the initial deposit in after the Show.

Onsite Space Selection Frequently Asked Questions

What does the 2020 floorplan look like?

How are Priority Points calculated?

Priority Points are based on the number of years your company has exhibited at the Show, up to and including Show 2019. One year equals one point. In the event of a tie in Priority Points, we will first use Show 2019 square footage and then 2019 Allied Membership status as tiebreakers.

What if one company owns two exhibiting companies?

Priority Points cannot be combined. However, each company will be allowed to use the highest of the related companies’ years in Show. So, a contracted exhibiting company may use the higher Priority Points of a subsidiary or operating company and/or an exhibiting subsidiary or operating company may use the higher Priority Points of a parent company.

What if two related exhibiting companies decide to merge their exhibit space?

Priority Points cannot be combined. If a parent company decides to consolidate its separate exhibiting companies into one space, they will receive the highest of the companies' Priority Points.

What if one exhibiting company buys another exhibiting company?

In the event that one exhibiting company acquires another exhibiting company, we will assign the parent company the higher of the two companies’ Priority Points.

Why separate the companies into categories based on Consumable and Non-consumable?

The National Restaurant Association Show is a horizontal show - representing the entire universe of foodservice segments and products. Our attendees come to see a healthy mix of both food/beverage and non-food/beverage all under one roof. In order to maintain this experience, we must ensure that both product types are integrated throughout the entire floor.

What happens to my Priority Points if I do not exhibit for a year?

Maintaining Priority Points becomes dependent upon consecutive years of exhibiting. Since 2011, if your company elects not to exhibit for a year, your Priority Points will remain with priority points earned up to and including Show 2019. If your company elects not to exhibit for two consecutive years, your priority points go to zero.

What is the 2020 Exhibit Intentions survey?

The Exhibit Intentions Survey was sent to all Show 2019 exhibitors to find out about potential booth size changes. The survey is used to help Show management adjust the floor plan to accommodate changing needs of the exhibitors. Returning the survey does not guarantee the exact size will be available at the time of space selection. Answers to this survey are confidential and non-binding and will help ensure that we draw the floor plan in a way that aligns with our exhibitors’ anticipated needs.

Why do I need to fill out a 2020 Exhibit Intentions survey?

By better understanding what size and configuration booths our exhibitors are interested in, we will be able to create a floor plan that optimizes available space in the exhibit hall and offers the maximum number of desirable locations. Your response to this survey is confidential and non-binding.

Will a deposit be required at the onsite space assignment?

Companies that participate in the National Restaurant Association Show 2020 onsite space selection at Show 2019 will not be required to submit a deposit until the deposit is due in mid-July (deposit due date will be assigned by April 24, 2019) but payments onsite will be accepted. Companies that submit their application after the onsite space assignment process will be required to include a deposit at the time of submission.

Will the contract terms change?

The contract terms have been updated for Show 2020. Please review with your legal representation prior to the onsite space selection.

View 2020 Contract Terms

What if I cannot be present for my assigned onsite appointment?

You will need to fill out a Proxy designation form and submit it prior to your assigned appointment time. Additional details as well as the form itself will be available in April 24, 2019.

Why does the Show do Onsite Space Selection?

This system has been in place since Show 2011. We found that the old system was frustrating to our exhibitors who would like more flexibility around their year-to-year presence at the Show. This system allows exhibitors to scale up and down as needed without penalty each year and will offer Show management the flexibility to redraw the floor plan each year in a way that optimizes the space available within the Halls to meet the needs of our exhibitors. This system adopts the common practices of best-in-class trade shows across virtually every industry.

Who can I contact about membership status?

Please email AlliedMembership@restaurant.org with any questions regarding your membership status.
Email Sign Up

More information on the latest National Restaurant Association Show