"We like coming to this show because it’s a casual atmosphere. You can actually sit and talk to people, unlike when you’re at a big trade show you can have 20 people at your booth and you’re trying to talk to everyone at once. At this show, you can sit and talk to them during your meetings, out in the hallways, when you’re sitting for lunch and when you’re going to dinner. You’re constantly able to meet with people in a casual atmosphere. We find that this is a very good show for us. We enjoy the companies that we have had meetings with because when we put a meeting together we know that they have a need for us and we have a need to show them our product. The type of people that we are seeing here are a lot of restaurants, convenience stores and universities."
Lynn Setlich, Sunkist Foodservice Equipment
"We’ve been coming to ECRM now for, I want to say for the last 8 years and I have to say that ECRM is one of the best purchasing conferences that we have ever attended. For us, that first year is really the year that you are going to get your feet on the ground and try and figure out what you’re looking for. ECRM is going to get to know you and you are going to get to know them. After that first year they focus like a laser on the products that you need, and we’ve walked away from every show with at least some product that we find that we need, and that we’d like to pursue. Even when you meet with vendors that maybe it’s not a perfect match for you, there’s still that feedback that they really appreciate. So when it comes to the give and take between the vendor and the buyer, a lot of times the vendor will come with questions and maybe a product not a perfect fit for your institution. Maybe the packaging’s not quite right or maybe there’s an issue with distribution. Vendors are great about taking that feedback and maybe reworking a product and there’s been examples like for us, The University of Illinois, maybe the products changed in the next year or two and then it becomes a fit. But it’s a great working relationship between all parties, they appreciate what we have to say and we certainly appreciate everything that they do and the products that they show to us."
Christopher Henning
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
"ECRM events are awesome. I’ve stopped attending large food shows because I get so much more out of the ECRM sessions and knowledge from regional vendors with their product innovations and quality with clean ingredients . The meetings are relevant and focused, and everything is scheduled in advance."
Cecil Palanna
SYSCO Canada
"Being a company that primarily operates in the retail bakery industry, we were not sure how much value we would get out of participating in the Campus as well as the Commercial Foodservice event. As soon as we completed our first 20 minute meeting, we knew the week was going to bring value to our organization. The campus and the commercial buyers came in with a lot of energy which allowed for great conversations. I would highly recommend attending this event; the collaboration that happens within 20 minutes is amazing. If you don’t think you can get things done in 20 minutes, I would highly disagree. If you come prepared, know your product and bring good positive energy, you can get a lot accomplished. We actually started receiving orders that week directly from our 20 minute meetings."
Chadd Schurr
DecoPac, Inc.
"Many of the shows we go to just let you loose without any help. ECRM was so helpful every step of the way! We were very impressed with the support and customer service provided by the ECRM team from initial planning, all the way to the time of the show. We also found the private meeting format and the quality of the attendees to be a great match. We look forward to our next ECRM show!"
Olympia Foods
"After you attend an ECRM session, you will never want to attend a regular tradeshow again! We had a productive and great experience at this event, primarily due to the intimate nature of the show. While 10-minute meetings may seem short, it was all the time we needed to obtain a clear and focused discussion, especially since there isn’t the noise and distraction of a traditional tradeshow. I also give kudos to the ECRM team for bringing in great buyers who we typically don’t get to meet at regular shows. Overall, the relaxed and professional vibe and the small scale of the event allows for super productive meetings and a fun environment for all attendees. Huge thanks to the ECRM team for making our experience great!"
Andy Aussie
Earnest Eats
"My first time at an ECRM show, and it exceeded my expectations! I’ve done many typical tradeshows and found ECRM to be much more efficient and effective. I had great meetings and accomplished in one week what would have taken 6 months of cold calling and traveling to meet buyers around the country. The execution of the show and the staff was very professional. I am very happy with my ECRM experience and will definitely be participating in future shows."
Danny Grossfield
HotShot USA
"Overall, we loved ECRM! We were able to meet with critical decision makers from industry leading companies. We had insightful and impactful meetings in a very efficient manner. We look forward to seeing these connections drive our business forward. Also, the ECRM staff is incredible. They ensured we had a smooth, set-up process and a great time during our meetings."
Annie Finfrock
"This was my first event and it was a great experience! At first, I was skeptical about the format, however, I am surprised and happy with the results from the Foodservice session."
Aakaar Gandhi
Caffe Di Artisan Inc.
"Terrific organization & logistics! The show runs like clockwork. Wonderful social environment and getting together enables development of relationships. Buyers are motivated, interested and clear about products that want need/ or don’t want/need so you can prioritize leads easily. Many of these accounts are ones that would have been very hard for us to meet with outside of ECRM. Overall a great show, clearly a more relaxed, engaging and powerfully rewarding experience compared to most traditional tradeshows."
Phil Robbins
Homefree, LLC
"This was our first show, and it was a huge success! It was refreshing to have a show platform that facilitated such genuine connections & opportunities. Not to mention, everyone who works for ECRM is super helpful, knowledgeable and fun!"
Chrissy Haller
Wild Things Snacks, Inc
"I go into my meetings at ECRM Sessions with an open mind. Not everything is a perfect fit, but you never know what may happen down the line. I’ve attended a couple of these sessions now, and I have to say that each year, the meetings get better and better."
Dave Hatcher
Sodexo USA
"As a leader in a very large university setting, I find that it is a time saver for me to speak with multiple suppliers in a few days, and it is an education in new products that may become trends or needed in feeding 25,000 students a day. We have benefited greatly by getting a head start on our menu planning as well as the introduction of products that are focused on our students in terms of healthier items. It is a great venue for networking with our peers as well as suppliers. It encourages me to be more aggressive in launching new products!"
Frank Miller
Western University
"ECRM shows are the best! I have attended for the last 3 years, and it keeps getting better. Speed dating for food service. I am working with companies that I have had meetings with that I never would have been introduced to if it weren’t for ECRM."
Greg Schuck
Chattanooga State Community College
"The EPPS sessions are valuable for both the buyer and seller attendees. As a buyer attendee, we get to talk many times with the owners and the people from the companies that make top level decisions for their companies. This is generally a two way street. The buyer will present what they offer, but many times want to know from us, if they are going in the right direction. So, not only do we see what they offer, we many times help steer them in the direction they need to go to meet our needs. ECRM is also developing events geared towards the university and college foodservice, and this makes the sessions even more relevant and valuable to our market."
Jim Selz
"We truly enjoyed our first ECRM EPPS. I loved how organized it was, and thought the villas were a great way to present our food/concepts. We were also impressed with the quality/participation of the folks in our appointments. We are already looking forward to come back next year!"
Pat Newsham
Arcobasso Foods Manufacturing Co
"I feel this was one of the best shows that I have worked. We met lots of interested key buyers. I am confident that we will gain new business from this show."
Al Salgado
Devanco Foods
"As a first time supplier with ECRM, the event exceeded my expectations on all levels. From the unique format, the quality of attendees, ECRM staff and scheduled events designed to increase supplier/buyer interactions, it was by far the best business building opportunity I have ever attended. ECRM is a professional, well-staffed and organized event planner who truly offers a value added platform to meet with high level buying executives in a comfortable and professional setting. I would definitely recommend an ECRM event to colleagues and I plan on attending for many years to come."
Brian Parpart
Green Wave International
"We attend ECRM each year because we always discover new and unique products that we end up offering in our Dining Halls and Retail locations."
Kit Smith
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
"There’s a reason I keep coming back to ECRM Events. If I review my potential schedule and find at least five different buyers I need, I choose to attend. After the event is over, we always walk away with 10-15 solid leads and I always close business."
Steve Hayes
Cosmos Creations
"I would have to say that this has been the most productive event we have attended to date. We weren't sure what to expect but really appreciated the format both for the 20 minute meetings and the 10 minute meetings. This format forced both the vendor and the participants to stay focused and on topic. We were also able to seek out vendors for more information at the evening and lunchtime meals. Networking with peer institutions was an unexpected but added bonus. Being able to talk with our peers in a small group setting is so valuable. Brainstorming and sharing ideas helps to enrich our programs. Great job too by your staff. You were all so friendly, helpful, and professional. I will highly recommend to my peers who were not in attendance."
Cairon Moore
University of Colorado at Boulder
"We recently attended the April 2014 Food Service ECRM event in Cape Coral Florida. We have attended several Retail Dry Grocery Events but this was our first Food Service Event. All ECRM events are well managed and they attract a good selection of quality, key decision makers. While some of these events are more expensive than exhibiting at "traditional tradeshows", the quality of leads we obtain and the customers gained is worth the time and expense. It is simply a much better use of my Sales staff time to have short quality meetings at ECRM, versus working a tradeshow for three 10 hour days hoping your buyers stop by your booth."
Steve Morris
Atlantic Natural Foods, LLC
"I recently attended the ECRM Foodservice Show in Cape Coral, Florida. The show that was hosted by ECRM was very well planned and informative. I met with a variety of vendors and the products they have to offer were products that I could use in my operations. I am also looking for new and innovative products. The vendors were very helpful and provided the necessary information needed regarding their products. They were willing to send samples so that I could share with my staff and do a cutting with the products I am currently using. The ECRM staff were very helpful, friendly and knowledgeable."
Larry Koay
West Virginia University
"This ECRM foodservice event has been very positive for our company. Because we are small manufacturer, it’s not always easy to get meetings with the big retailers. But, this format allows us to get the return on investment and spend casual networking time with our target customers that we might not usually obtain. The fee to attend is only a fraction of the travel fees it would cost to see every one of these customers at their office."
Gregg Raffensperger
Delizza Patisserie