Food Shows 2023
Food shows are a topic we’ve written about on a couple of different occasions over the years (September 2016 and April 2018), but as we find ourselves in a mostly post-restrictions world, it feels fitting to reexamine some of the lessons and recommendations we’ve accumulated from past experiences. Plus, be sure to peruse our list of upcoming events. We hope to see you there!
Why Attend Food Shows?
Trade shows can be expensive and overwhelming, but they’re also an excellent marketing opportunity. Participating in an expo means multiple days in the same room as thousands of people who have the potential to grow your business: buyers, sellers, distributors, influencers, packaging experts, marketers, etc. Attendance also provides the unique and valuable opportunity to network with other food companies, see new trends in the biz, scope out the competition, and build new relationships.
5 Tips for Maximum Value from Your Food Show Investment
Plan for success
Trade shows are a marketing tactic. Prior to the show, determine what outcomes you’re hoping to achieve, and align your resources accordingly. Keep in mind the booth is only one aspect. How are you engaging prior to the show and leveraging leads to follow up post show?
On average, you’ve got only about 3 seconds to capture an attendee’s interest. Be concise with your messaging to ensure they quickly understand your unique offerings and value proposition.
Tailor messaging to each audience. For example, the needs of K-12 operators are much different than pizzeria owners. Demonstrate that you understand their challenges by engaging them with channel-specific language.
Make food appetizing
If you’re sampling food or using it as part of your display, make sure it’s delicious and looks appealing. Attendees can taste a lot of items at food shows, make sure they don’t pass yours by.
Booth staff represent your brand, so choose your friendliest, most engaging team members. Avoid overstaffing to ensure visitors feel welcomed but not ambushed.
Ready to Exhibit?
Consider these upcoming shows:
Senior Dining Association — SDA
April 16-19 — Houston, Texas
National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA – Vending)
May 10-12 — Atlanta, Georgia
National Restaurant Association — NRA
May 20-23 — Chicago, Illinois
International Deli Dairy Bakery Association — IDDBA
June 4-6 — Anaheim, California
School Nutrition Association — SNA
July 09-11 — Denver, Colorado
National Association of College & University Food Services — NACUFS
July 19-22 — Baltimore, Maryland
September 18-20 — Miami, Florida
October 01-06 — Madison, Wisconsin
National Association of Convenience Stores — NACS
October 4-6 — Atlanta, Georgia
IN Food Marketing & Design is always ready to help you stand out at food shows and make the most impact possible. Let’s get in touch to discuss your upcoming expo!