NAFEM, the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers, has been forced to cancel its 2021 exhibition.
The NAFEM Show was due to take place in just 3 weeks, on 26-28 August at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.
The event has fallen victim to Florida’s rising Covid case numbers, with local media outlets reporting that the Delta variant has seen 14-day rolling positivity rates rise from under 4% a month ago to nearly 19% today.
NAFEM confirmed the news last night on its website and the show’s individual site, writing: “The NAFEM Show scheduled Aug. 26-28, Orange County Convention Center, is cancelled.
“If you booked a hotel room through onPeak, your reservation has been cancelled for you. We ask that you do not call them.
“Details to follow.”
The event was expected to attract up to 9,000 foodservice industry professionals, around 50% of the number typically attending in pre-Covid times.
Having been first moved from its original February date due to the pandemic and now called off for this year, the NAFEM Show is expected to return next year.
The Orange County Convention Center issued a statement about the cancellation, with executive director Mark Tester saying: “We value our longstanding relationship with NAFEM. We understand the unique circumstances facing The NAFEM Show and look forward to their return to the Orange County Convention Center in 2023.
“We remain committed to the safety of our employees, clients, attendees and exhibitors and continue to adhere to the CDC’s guidelines and our comprehensive health and safety protocols in our Recovery and Resiliency Guidelines.”