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Top 10 tips for planning a successful food exhibition

01st December '13
  1. Choose your exhibition carefully

 

There are a huge range of exhibitions to choose from. Decide which of those best suits your product. That might be the biggest available event, a small trade show aimed at your sector or a location–specific show to help you break into a new geographic market.

 

  1. Select a purpose for your stand

 

Once you’ve decided where you’re exhibiting – or perhaps while you’re deciding that – you also need to decide why you’re exhibiting. Are you raising brand awareness? Are you targeting a particular buyer? Do you want to boost your networking opportunities? Is it about getting direct sales on the day of the exhibition?

 

  1. Set your budget and a decision maker

 

There are almost limitless options at your disposal. Research the exhibition and set a realistic budget. Then appoint someone who will have the final say on all purchases for the exhibition.

 

  1. Find a stand builder or plan your décor and theme

 

Having settled on what you want to achieve from the exhibition, you can then decide on the appearance of your stand. Many exhibitors will call upon the services of a stand builder. If you don’t, you will need to think about furniture and the layout of your stand well in advance.

 

  1. Plan how you’re going to showcase your product

 

Regardless of layout and décor, the most important aspect of your stand will be your product. Will you be offering taste samples? Or free giveaways? Will you be cooking a meal incorporating your product? Will you be giving a live demonstration?

 

  1. Order your refrigeration

 

Now you know how you will be using your product during the exhibition you can order the best refrigeration equipment to help you meet your business goals at the event. This will include displaying your product, storing enough of your product to last for the entire exhibition and storing any additional ingredients you will be using for cooking. And don’t forget you will need to eat during the exhibition: will you need to store your lunch?

 

  1. Plan travel and transport of your goods

 

As with most of the items on this list, the earlier you can make your travel arrangements the better. Plan how many of your staff will be needed and how long they will be required on–site. Also, plot the best way to get your products to the exhibition centre. Depending on your product, that might be checking your goods onto a plane, arranging refrigerated delivery or using a haulage or delivery firm. Check the guaranteed arrival time to make sure your products will be there when you need them.

 

  1. Invite key buyers

 

If you’re eager to meet particular buyers at the exhibition, why not issue invitations for them to call at your stand? This might be an open offer to drop by at their convenience or it could be an invitation to an organised drinks reception or tasting session.

 

  1. Choose your best staff, and train them

 

Who will be the best representatives for your product at the exhibition? It might not be the most experienced member of staff. Pick people who are personable, approachable and can talk passionately about the product. Train them based on your objectives for the exhibition.

 

  1. Work on PR

 

Capitalise on your appearance at the exhibition by trying to get some media attention. Obviously, it is in the interest of the exhibition organisers to help generate this, so often they will provide guidance or press release templates to focus your ideas.

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