Expo workshops are free to any ticketed attendee of the trade show. We do not require or take reservations for the workshop sessions. Simply stop by the workshop venue (located at the far end of the concourse - see lower left corner of exhibit hall map) at the scheduled time of the session you'd like to attend.

11:00 am

Brining and curing and charcuterie, oh my!: Safeguarding Maine’s Creative Culinary Frontier

When it comes to the culinary scene in Maine, there is seemingly no limit to the creativity of our local chefs but when it comes to trailblazing in the food service industry, there comes added responsibility to ensure food safety. Alternative cooking methods like brining, curing, sous vide and making charcuterie require more advanced training than standard food safety courses offer; as they pose a higher risk for exposing diners to food-borne pathogens if not prepared properly.

HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) is a worldwide standard used to prevent food-borne illness. Though HACCP has long been employed as a safety standard by high-risk food manufacturers, it has only recently begun to be widely implemented in the restaurant industry. The Food Code now mandates the use of HACCP for alternative food preparation methods when served at licensed food service establishments.

In this seminar, Jason Bolton, food safety specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension will provide an overview of the HACCP program, discuss the fundamentals of this food safety system, shed light on how restaurants can establish a HACCP plan for themselves, and advise attendees seeking full HACCP training.


12:00 pm

Human Resource Management for Maine's Hospitality Businesses: Complying with tip credit, overtime, child labor laws and more.

Most hospitality professionals didn’t get into the business to be a human resources expert but with the wide variety of wage and hour issues that govern lodging and food service employment in Maine you might feel that way. Patty Colarossi of the US Department of Labor/Wage and Hour Division will provide guidance and support needed to understand the labor challenges and how it fits into your business’ overall success.

With more than 25 years’ experience conducting investigations and providing educational outreach, Ms. Colarossi will guide you through the Fair Labor Standards Act. In this session, you will learn how to prepare for when the US DOL comes knocking for an unannounced audit, including: how to properly apply the tip credit under Federal standards; appropriate classification of exempt employees and accurate payment of overtime to those who are not; and management of seasonal employees and child labor.

1:00 pm

More Than Just A Party: How hosting events can lead to major ROI and brand recognition for your business.

There's nothing like a full book of reservations during the height of the season but what is your plan to increase business during off-peak times?

In this session, presenters Kerrie Tripp, executive director of the Greater Bangor Convention & Visitors Bureau, Elissa English, director of sales and marketing at the Greater Portland Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Lisa Sturgeon, communications & resource manager at Geaghan’s Pub & Craft Brewery will explore the development of a private event strategy that will make your bottom-line shine. From hosting full-scale weddings to packing the house for trivia night, wine tasting events to murder mystery parties – there are countless options to fit your business model.

We'll also discuss best practices for extending the party beyond your four walls and turning participation in community events into follow-on business for your establishment. In Maine, there's no shortage of festivals, fundraisers, and fun-filled fetes in which to participate—and if done right, you’ll build goodwill and positive brand awareness along the way.

2:00 pm

Winning your next customer: Creating a public relations strategy for your unique brand.

In a world with so many media platforms, how do you get your business in front of potential customers? From travel magazines to food shows, blogs to social media – earned media is a great way to get your brand out there. Nancy Marshall, founder & CEO along with Jessica Donahue, account executive of Nancy Marshall Communications will give you tips and strategies about how to catch the ear of travel writers, the eye of television producers and the attention of influential bloggers and buzz-creating social media mavens.

As important as getting this attention is, converting it into paying customers is the goal. So, you’ll also explore best practices for optimizing your web presence ensuring that internet searches lead would-be guests to your website, and eventually, your front door.

Attendee Registration   Exhibitor List    Floorplan    Host Hotel    Directions & Parking

For more information, contact show director:

Rebecca Dill


Maine Restaurant & Lodging Expo is co-hosted by:


Show Logistics

Show Date & Time:

Wednesday, March 29, 2017
10 am - 4 pm

Exhibitor Set-Up:

Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Assigned times: 10 am - 5 pm

Show Venue:

Cross Insurance Arena One Civic Center Square Portland, Maine What types of companies exhibit? Those that sell goods and/or services to Maine's hospitality-based businesses who know that the Expo represents the biggest bang-for-the buck marketing opportunity of the year.

Contact Us

Show Director:

Rebecca Dill

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About the Expo

The Maine Restaurant & Lodging Expo is the premier business-to-business trade show for Maine's premier industry - hospitality!

More than 120 exhibiting companies engage with hundreds of restaurant and lodging professionals in the most efficient and effective marketing event of the year.

Who may attend the Expo?

Owners and employees of licensed food service and lodging establishments are invited to attend the Expo to find inspiration, education and resources for their every business need.

Due to strict insurance regulations, no one under the age of 18 will be admitted to the show.

What types of companies exhibit?

Those that sell goods and/or services to hospitality-based business who know that the Expo represents the biggest bang-for-the-buck marketing opportunity of the year.