Sorry for the delayed answer - Sam is right, the manufacturer sponsored events are invite only, and have gotten "tighter" over the years. You might try asking some of your manufacturer reps (not the broker reps, but the ones who actually work for the manufacturers). Try the big potato and protein companies.
There are no free sponsored after events hosted by the NRA. The NRA's major event outside of the trade show is the Michael E. Hurst Student Forum and the Salute To Excellence Gala.
The other types of events you mentioned are private invite only. The alcohol manufactures actually do not have the major events that you would imagine. In addition the alcohol industry is spread pretty thin because NABCA is going on the same time as our show. For a listing of events during the show check out www.restaurant.org and select the show tab.
Hope that helps.
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