Reporter's Notebook

First day impressions from the NRA Show floor

Lots of attendees, educational sessions, hot dogs and bacon samples

And we’re off!

Just back from the NRA Show floor and sneaking a peak at the Kentucky Derby (thus the race reference above) while readying for the fun night ahead.

Some quick impressions:

• Lots of people. It’s crowded, but not so much that you can’t make your way through the aisles and around the groups that stop to snack and confer.

• Lots of languages. This year the world truly appears to have descended on McCormick Place.

• Lots of great educational sessions. In fact, it’s hard to decide which to attend. Many of the rooms were packed, with people being turned away in some instances. Keep an eye on NRN.com to see which sessions the NRN team chose.

• Lots of focus.This, no doubt, is a sign of the economic times, with people earnestly scouting the floor and the sessions for products and insights that will set them apart in the still-challenging business landscape. Which leads to

• Lots of discussions between exhibitors and attendees. Today’s crowd seemed more eager to collect information than food samples — something that might surprise longtime show-goers. Still, there were long lines for the

• Lots of hot dogs, sausages and bacon samples.

• Lots of ethnic foods.

• Lots of gelatos and ice creams.

• And, thankfully, lots of energy drinks because there are still three days to go.

What are your impressions? I’d love to hear what you're seeing and thinking.

Contact Robin Lee Allen at Robinlee.Allen@Penton.com

Follow her on Twitter: @RobinLeeAllen

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Reporter's Notebook is NRN's newsroom blog, where our editors give their points of view on news happening in the restaurant business.

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