When you have a new product, you want to get it in front of people as quick as possible. This is what makes exhibiting a new food or drink product at expositions so important – the instant recognition you receive as to whether people like it or not. The buzz you can create could carry the product to the supermarket aisles in a flash.
As far as food and drink fairs in the UK go, they don’t come any bigger than the Food & Drink Expo, which returns to the NEC Birmingham on the 18th to the 20th April 2016.
If you’re interesting in exhibiting, or you’ve already signed up and just want to know more about the Expo, here’s our guide to the whole event.
Why you should be there
The incentive for food and drink manufacturers to attend this event is simple: thousands of buyers and decision makers from the grocery, wholesale, speciality retail, manufacturing, and foodservice sectors are going to be there. And they’re all interested in finding the next big thing.
“The future of food and drink in the UK” is the main theme of this event, and it’s justified. With around 600 exhibitors set to showcase their latest innovations, as well as expert speakers offering advice, debates, and business support throughout the Expo, the products and trends discovered here will no doubt shape the culinary world moving forward.
“As the largest food and drink event in the UK, we want to maintain our position as the number one event for buyers to source new products and forge new supplier links,” says Dan Dixon, Food & Drink Expo Event Director.
“As such, the 2016 event promises to be the best show yet and will provide visitors with a programme that identifies key trends that will drive the future of the UK food and drink market.”
Who’s going to be there?
Confirmed attendees and exhibitors at the time of writing include regional business development agency Invest Northern Island, award-winning company Tudor Tea & Coffee, the Welsh Assembly Government, bread convenience company Vleems Food, sauce manufacturer Lee Kum Kee, and the UK’s leading refrigerated vehicle rental company Petit Forestier UK.
French premium bread, pastries and patisserie supplier, Bridor will also be exhibiting at the show. Erwan Inizan, Sales Director for Bridor UK and Ireland, said: “The Food & Drink Expo is the leading UK exhibition in 2016 with visitors coming from different parts of the country and from a variety of sectors within food and drink.
“Visitors are hungry to network, see the latest trends and search out innovation, which is what makes it a good opportunity to showcase and launch new products for our business, such as our bread partnership with Michel Roux Jr and Frederic Lalos.”
There will also be a pavilion dedicated to international businesses and cuisines on the UK market, featuring produce from Morocco, China and more.
Getting the most out of it
If you are going to exhibit at the Food and Drink Expo 2016, the first thing you can do to get the most out of the event is take control of your website listing. This is likely to be the first point of contact that attendees find your products, whether it’s before or after the show.
All exhibitors get back-end access to the Food & Drink Expo website, where they can add/edit their own:
- Product listings: including copy, with fully searchable images which are integrated with social media
- Press releases: details of your product launches
- Trackable e-tickets
- Web banners and e-signatures
- Order printed tickets at no extra cost
- Company profile: including copy, website links, images and social media
Farm shops and delis should be particularly excited for the event, as running alongside the main Expo is the Farm Shop & Deli Show, which will attract buyers, owners and key personnel involved in the speciality retail and foodservice sectors.
It’s important for all exhibitors to think about logistics. How big will your stand be? How far from plug sockets will you need to be? Which area of the Expo is likely to attract the largest amount of your target audiences?
At the end of the day, it’s your products which will do the talking (although it helps to have friendly, experienced people manning your exhibit when possible!).
To register for free, receiving entry to all co-located shows, visit: www.foodanddrinkexpo.co.uk.