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  • Writer's pictureNancy Lewendon

Trade shows, exhibitions and expos… oh my!

Andrew, Nancy and JP at a trade show

I’ve been with Eat PR & Marketing for just over 3 months and wow… it’s been incredible. As a team, we’ve enjoyed a particularly busy few months out and about visiting several industry trade shows; from Casual Dining and Restaurant Show to PSC Expo, HostMilano and more! As a newbie to trade shows and this side of the hospitality industry, here are some of my key takeaways from attending these events.

My experience of trade shows

It’s evident that trade shows are a fantastic hub where chefs, buyers, dealers, retailers and more come together to explore the latest innovations, flavours, and industry trends. While attending these events is somewhat of a professional requirement, it’s also the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of culinary innovation, explore cutting-edge hospitality solutions and surround yourself with industry experts. As someone just starting out in this side of the foodservice and hospitality industry, trade shows are a whole new experience but one I look forward to every time they come up.

Why attend trade shows

Each trade show is different in its own right, dependent on what is being showcased. From commercial equipment like state-of-the-art microwaves and combi-ovens, to delicious consumer products, and industry-leading packing solutions.

For us, while trade shows are a great opportunity to explore the latest goings on in the industry, visit our clients and listen to industry leaders, as a PR and Marketing agency, we have a duty when attending these events to support our clients the best we can. It’s a great opportunity to meet with industry journalists, introduce or re-introduce them to clients and showcase their current and latest offerings.

For our clients, trade shows are a crucial sales and marketing tool. They are the perfect opportunity to showcase the next big thing and offer a glimpse into the future of foodservice and hospitality, demonstrate their expertise and discuss industry trends directly with their target audience. From this, it offers the chance to make sales, capture leads, engage with existing customers, analyse the competition, introduce new products and keep track of emerging trends.

Industry trends

An industry trend hard to ignore is the increasing focus on health and sustainability. The era of greenwashing is shifting, and brands are demonstrating a genuine commitment to sustainable, environmentally friendly and energy efficient products. As technology has evolved, we are increasingly seeing that sustainable products can reduce costs and help operators do better business and therefore make the most business sense.

Equipment brands demonstrated their innovative technology to improve energy efficiency and as a result cost reduction. From low oil fryers, such as the Henny Penny F5, oil filtration equipment like VITOConnect, inverter microwaves and data driven combi-ovens. On the consumer side, products like protein bars, water, low/no beverages and sugar free substitutions, were in abundance. Packaging centred around reusable alternatives and plastic free.

Trade show highlights

Education and conversation are a cornerstone of the industry and trade show keynotes led by industry experts and culinary maestros are the prime opportunity to get a masterclass on the industry. There were a number of great talks I was able attend in between the whirlwind of everything else going on, and a highlight for me was listening to Anna Haugh, Head Chef/Owner at Myrtle Restaurant in discussion with Kris Hall, Mental Health Advocate and Founder of the The Burnt Chef Project at Commercial Kitchen. It was a wonderful opportunity to gain an insight into Anna Haugh, her story and her thoughts on the future of the industry.

The remarkable world of foodservice and hospitality

So, whether you’re a chef seeking unique ingredients or a restaurateur searching for equipment solutions, these events are a valuable place to be. I look forward to attending many more trade shows, exhibitions and expos with Eat PR & Marketing and exploring the remarkable world of foodservice and hospitality.


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