In today’s ultra-competitive marketplace, it’s never been more important for owners and managers of speciality food and drink stores and eateries to maintain an exciting point of difference that keeps their customers coming back for more. But how do you ensure that they spend their hard-earned cash with you and not your competitor? Well, here’s where attending a trade show can really help boost your bottom line and keep your food offering full of the best tasting food and drink products.
According to the latest research by the Association of Event Organiser’s FaceTime magazine more than 1.75 million people attended UK trade shows in 2010. So, what is it about them that attracts so many people out of their businesses for the day and onto the show floor?
100’s of new products all in one place
Last year, over 92% of all surveyed visitors to lunch! cited sourcing new products as their key reason for attending. Leading manufacturers and suppliers often use trade shows as a launch pad for their new products and services, whilst smaller start ups get an opportunity to showcase their innovations right alongside brand leaders. It’s a win-win for attending buyers as they get to see all the latest products coming out of R&D and the widest choice of products for their customers all under one roof.
Your time is valuable and any time spent away from your business has to be cost-effective. Event organisers work hard to ensure that the right mix of product categories are covered by companies exhibiting at their shows. Think of how many countless hours that you could save calling for quotes and attending appointments over the coming year, if you could meet both new and existing suppliers – for all your product, equipment and packaging needs – all in one day. Many exhibitors also offer special ‘show only’ deals on their products, which means the potential savings you could make for your business far outweigh the small investment of your time.
Face to face networking
Whilst the internet, email and social media have transformed the way we communicate with each other, nothing beats face to face meetings for getting business done. A product may sound absolutely great on paper but how do you really know if it’s the right one for your business, for your customers, until you’ve seen it, touched it, or tasted it for yourself? Trade shows offer a unique opportunity for retailers to see the innovators behind the ideas, to enjoy live product demonstrations and to meet new contacts face to face – leading to a host of successful business relationships forged through engaged conversation rather than a deluge of one-way information.
Keep up-to-date with industry developments…
Many trade shows often host Keynote and seminar programmes alongside their central exhibitions, and lunch! is no exception. Since successful retailing is as much about equipping yourself with the right kind of knowledge as sourcing the right new products, it’s definitely worth taking some time away from the show floor to benefit from the expertise and experiences on offer. Session topics usually include news on the latest market trends, plus insights and information from high-profile brands and industry leaders that could revolutionise the way that you do business.
Want to find out more?
If you’re ready to see a trade show in action for yourself – why not come along to lunch! – the UK’s premier event for the out of home food and drink industry – on 20-21 September at Business Design Centre, Islington, London… It’s always worth coming prepared – so why not check the exhibitor list and venue map on the show’s website first and then put on a pair of comfortable shoes before you leave!
lunch!, organised by Diversified Business Communications UK, is the UK’s only dedicated trade show for the UK’s out of home food and drink market. On 20-21 September 2012, lunch! will be celebrating its 5th anniversary edition at its new three-floor venue – The Business Design Centre in Islington, London. Featuring an unprecedented 228 companies, lunch! will showcase a distinctive array of products, services, equipment and technologies to thousands of speciality buyers from all the major food-to-go chains, supermarkets, contract caterers, wholesalers, distributors, and quality independents.
The show’s principles of encouraging innovation, quality and differentiation in a highly focused, yet relaxed, environment, has struck a chord with many senior buyers who are often quoted as saying that lunch! is now the best show for them to find innovative, new and exciting products.
2011 was a momentous year for the event, culminating in a 41% increase in total attendance (4310 in 2011), 87% more international visitors, plus a 42% rise in exhibitor numbers. Whilst 2012 has already heralded the announcement of a sold out show (over four months before opening day) and a third consecutive nomination for a Best UK Trade Show Award (an accolade which lunch! has now won for two years running) at the exhibition industry’s equivalent to the Oscars – the AEO Excellence Awards.
Bringing the industry together under one roof, lunch! is the most important date in the calendar for all food-to-go buyers. …» read full article