What is a Food Fair?

What is a Food Fair?

Food glorious food – there is nothing better than food and drink as a way of gaining consumer attention. Countless surveys show that people are increasingly conscious of the need to eat healthy food, and demand for local food is booming. According to YouGov 2021 records, 98% of people questioned knew of Masterchef, 93% The Great British Bake Off, and 90% Ready Steady Cook.

Alongside such media and consumer popularity, the number of food festivals and food shows has grown fast. These range from standalone festivals such as the Malton Food Festival, Yorkshire through to festivals that are part of big events like Glastonbury and Latitude. Agricultural shows, sporting events, charity events even village and craft shows are hosting food fairs. Big dedicated events such as the UK Festival of Food & Drink held at venues like Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire and Sandringham Norfolk always attract thousands of visitors keen to explore the delights on offer from street food traders, watch celebrity chefs, sample new dishes and products, and buy, buy, buy from the massed retail stands. And it is not just food & drink that is sought after, it is also gifts, cookery items and kitchenware as well.

Then there are the food fairs aimed specifically at the trade such restaurants and retailers. Shows such as the International Food Exhibition and Speciality and Fine Food Fair attract vast numbers of media and industry participants keen to discover new trends, new ideas, new products and services.

Such events offer an incredible opportunity for participants to publicise their products and services to a vast array of customers, many of whom they will not otherwise have met. It is the perfect way of gaining publicity, promoting a business among discerning customers who want good value, variety, are keen on food and want to know more.

But making the most of that opportunity is another matter. Simply booking a stand and turning up on the day with your products is not enough. While you will certainly attract some attention and sales, the results can be even better with a little thought and preparation.

Make sure that your participation is publicised in advance on your social media channels, and via your website. This will immediately encourage people who have already purchased from you come and see you at the event. Widen out this pre-publicity by working with the show organisers to make sure you are mentioned in the show’s publicity material. Send out press releases to relevant media and think about any special promotional activities or deals that you could offer to customers at the food fair. This could be in the form of money off vouchers, product sampling of new dishes, competitions and prizes.

Consider too the opportunities for carrying out market research. Do you have a new product, new menus or a service you are thinking of launching onto the market? Food fairs are the perfect way to discover whether potential customers actually like the services or products. Talking to people coming to your stand will provide valuable information, and even highlight ways of improving such experimental products.

Hire temporary staff to help at your food fair

Ensuring adequate staffing to match the potential demand is essential. There can be nothing worse that having long queues and not enough staff to cope, resulting in sales being lost. Hiring temporary event staff to focus on handing out samples, capturing names & addresses, distributing promotional literature, serving customers and keeping the stand clean and tidy will make a tremendous difference leaving you time to concentrate on the important tasks of ensuring customers are happy and buying your products.

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nichola