Foodies beware! SIAL 2016 and top food trends

Wonderful gastronomic experiences usually leave everyone on cloud number nine. That’s why we’re over the moon to be building some huge stands at SIAL 2016 in Paris.

SIAL will 7,000 companies from more than 100 countries and see them present their products to retail and foodservice professionals. This 5 day show, starting October 16th, will see many food related products from food to equipment.

It’s no secret that the food industry is evolving. Look a the difference between the food that was served 20-30 years ago and the food that is served today.To gear up for the show, we decided to look into some of the year’s top food trends. Reference

  1. Is the world getting healthier? In the last five years pasta sales dropped by 6% in the USA, 8% in Australia, 13% in Europe … 25% in Italy.
  2. Sandwich of the year: fried chicken
  3. Snacking increased 47% from 2010 to 2014. Good old snackers are leaving sweet for savoury and shifting from high-carb to nutrient dense high-protein indulgent snacks. Sour is also replacing sweet and plant based protein snacks are gaining popularity, particularly amongst millenials.
  4. Good-for-you, good-for-the-earth packaged snacks are getting commanding space on supermarket endcaps … often near the fresh vegetable aisle … suggesting that consumers will pay premium prices for products that cover both bases.
  5. Savoury yoghurts are getting popular
  6. there is a growing consumer interest in the health-enhancing role of specific foods, or what experts call “functional foods.” (Ref)
  7. Brands are “healthifying” products and their positioning In response, some brands are trying to “healthify” foods by adding functional ingredients. (Ref)

Dr. Frank Lipman, the founder of Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in Manhattan points to digital as a major catalyst for our growing health food fixation. “There’s no question it’s coming from the web,” says Lipman. Reference

If you need a trade show booth in Paris or around the world, contact us at to discuss a customised booth your whole industry will be talking about. To see our work, visit

Food experts gather in Bangkok today for the commencement of VIV Asia 2017.  The show will run until March 17th and aims to bring together professionals active in the production of meat, eggs, dairy and fish. Over 900 international exhibitors will be present at VIV Asia, being held at BITEC in Bangkok.

Under one roof, you will see animal feeds, breeding tools, farm equipment, organic food products and much more displayed enticingly to catch the attention of VIV Asia visitors. Issues facing the industry and topics of interest will be discussed at seminars where experts will share their knowledge and come together to examine key topics in animal husbandry and processing. The fair will also present the latest trends and solutions in animal breeding and processing.

Opening doors and extending opportunities, VIV Asia has opened doors to the emerging markets in the region. The show offers companies an excellent opportunity to showcase their products to the right audience. VIV Asia 2015 brought together almost 40,000 professionals in the food industry with over 55% of these visitors coming from outside of Thailand.

Maximising Opportunity – Tips for Trade Show Sponsorship

Trade show sponsorships are so tempting! As a marketer, paying money to have your brand name and logo plastered all over a venue with all the right people seems so worth it. Sponsoring a trade show can take a toll on your annual marketing budget so you need to make sure it will have the impact that you’re looking for.

Premium sponsorship packages for national shows are a huge investment and here are some tips on how to choose what to sponsor.

Don’t do it on the cheap – if your budget allows, look into the options that offer more visibility. Sometimes one big sponsorship is better than three or four small ones, in terms of visibility. Think of tote bags, lanyards, badges and registration desks. With a phenomenal booth to match your sponsorship, your presence might just dominate the show!

Traffic – although focusing on shows with high volumes of traffic is important, you need to make sure that the people you are targeting fall within that traffic. There is no point in choosing a show that has 30,000 visitors out of which no one is interested in your product or service. You need to find a trade show that will give you the maximum exposure to the largest amount of people that are in your target market. Do your research and if you cannot find enough information on the internet, , aslrequest the show organizers to send you statistics and demographics of visitors in previous years.

Exclusivity – trade shows are a bonanza of opportunities and to maximise profits, many organizers sell shared sponsorships. This also lowers the cost of the sponsorship but could end up diluting your message. Although your goal is probably to have your brand plastered throughout the trade show, it might not work as well if it is mixed with many other companies or competitors. If your budget allows, find spots that are prime and exclusive so that your brand sticks out.

Plan for the next show – as an exhibitor, you should constantly be looking for opportunities to maximise your brand exposure at future shows. Walk around the show and look for opportunities for the next show, you can even come up with ideas and discuss these with the show organizers to see if they would be open to it. Pay attention to the areas that attract the most people and see which areas are relatively empty.

Engage trade show visitors – sponsorships today are more than just logo placement on banners. With such diverse platforms on which you can engage people, think creative and do something outside the box. Create an experience that people will remember or give out something that people will use all the time. Do something engaging that will encourage people to jump on social media and share right away.

So before you jump right in and sponsor the first thing you think will get you visibility, ask yourself a few simple questions. What is the target market for this event? Will this give me direct access to the right audience? Does it help me to achieve any of our marketing or business goals? Can I get the same amount of exposure in another way without making an investment?

Tips for saving at trade shows – get the most bang for your buck

Trade shows can really take the lion’s share of your marketing budget. If planned efficiently and well in advance, you might be able to cut costs and get more bang for your buck.

Be on the lookout for early bird offers – many trade show organisers have early bird discount deadlines before which you can avail of discounts for registrations, booth spaces and even sponsorships. After this deadline, the prices usually hike. It’s best to make sure that you are in regular contact with the show organizers and that your email is in their mailing list so you can stay informed.

Book travel well in advance – as soon as you decide which employees will attend the show, make travel arrangements to avoid paying last-minute expenses.

Advance orders and bulk material purchasing  – Try to have all your gift items ready so that you are not paying rush fees and dealing with expensive shipping costs. Try to order all your items and print materials at one time so you can get quantity discounts from your suppliers.

Exhibitor Manual – although it can be quite taxing to read through an entire exhibitor manual, the show organizers have put together this information because they know it will be of use to you. Read through the manual, figure out what services you need to order and see if there are any discounts for ordering any of these services early. For most companies, their contractor handles service orders so clarify this with your contractor so that you’re both on the same page.

Staff – don’t just bring employees to fill the booth. Choose staff that will play an essential role at the trade show. Where possible, use local temps (for roles such as receptionists) and see if any employees can adopt a double role.

Catering – do not over order food and beverages. Not only will your kitchen space most likely be limited, a lot of food at shows ends up going to waste. Decide on how much you need to order based on booth-visitor statistics at your last show.

DIY – flowers and other items that are ordered on-site can be a lot more expensive than local florists or furniture rental companies. See what you can do yourself and you will be surprised at the difference in price.

Transport – at most big conventions, free shuttles run from hotels to the show. See if there are public transport routes and free shuttles that staff can take to attend the show so you can cut down on taxi expenses. Otherwise, arrange a car for employees to avoid each person taking separate taxis.

Necessities – ask yourself whether something is a necessity before ordering it.

What to include in your RFP (Request for Proposal)

Before you send out an RFP for your trade show booth, there are a few critical factors that you need to finalize. This includes your budget, booth size and exhibit needs. Sending out a very general RFP will either turn contractors away, have them chasing you for details or end up with a pile of proposals that don’t match your needs.

Next you need to decide if you want to hire a design company to create the final concept then send it out to contractors to build it for you (this helps when comparing costs) or if you want to receive design/build proposals from contractors.

Next, decide which contractors you are going to contact. If you don’t already have a list of reliable companies, ask the show organizers for recommendations. You can also ask your industry peers for contacts. Read here for tips on choosing a reliable trade show contractor.

Things to include in the RFP

  • Your RFP should include as much information as is needed for the designers to understand your company’s style.
  • Name, date and location of the exhibition
  • Size of your booth
  • Your company logo, brand guidelines, website URL and other marketing materials that you think would be relevant when designing a concept for your trade show booth
  • Who your competitors are and what differentiates you from them. Also, who your customers are
  • Your show objectives – sales, product and communication objectives for the show
  • What you liked and disliked about your previous exhibits
  • Special elements that you would like to see in your exhibit display
  • Be specific – if you have certain requirements for flooring, furniture, meeting rooms, etc. be specific from the beginning of the process
  • The services required from your contractor – do you want a full show campaign including marketing, PR, swag and your exhibit or just the booth? Do you need a member of their team present at your booth throughout the show?
  • Areas within the booth – how many people do you need seating for? Do you need a kitchen with a sink and fridge? Do you need meeting rooms? Will you have products on display and do you need a demonstration area? Think about your reception, storage areas and anything else you might require.
  • Lighting, audio-visual equipment and graphic requirements – you can ask for their suggestions if you don’t have anything specific in mind.
  • Timeline and budget – your budget is probably the most important thing to include in your RFP. Without this, it is close to impossible to design a suitable exhibit display. Also include the deadline for submission of proposals.


To ensure that you remember to add in the details every time you send out an RFP, create a template that you can follow. Some contractors send you their own template to fill in so that they can ensure they receive all the necessary information from you.

Trade Show Checklist

Author: Komal Qaiser

Being in charge of a company’s entire tradeshow presence can sound extremely daunting! Yes, there is a lot to handle but with the right amount of planning, it can be a great experience.

  • Book booth space
  • If interested, look at sponsorship opportunities
  • Book a press room, if required
  • Hire a contractor to build your exhibition booth
  • Have your exhibition stand design approved by the show organizers
  • Arrange flight/hotel booking for staff attending the trade show
  • Order name badges for employees
  • Prepare a media kit
  • Order your marketing collateral and gift items (brochures, folders, envelopes, etc)
  • Order business cards for the employees attending
  • Order flowers
  • Order water and electricity (if needed)
  • Creatives for your booth graphics and sponsorship
  • Book hostesses
  • Book a photographer
  • Write a brief for the hostesses and photographer
  • Register badges for everyone attending
  • Uniforms for staff/hostesses
  • Social media posts about the event
  • Email your contacts and set up a meeting calendar
  • Follow up with the contractor building your booth
  • Send a shipment of marketing materials to your hotel or straight to the convention center
  • Cash for vendors that need onsite payment – discuss payment methods beforehand
  • Scissors, tape, stapler, fishbowl for business cards, business card holder, phone charger – these things really come in handy!
  • Camera – even if there is a photographer there, someone at the booth should be taking pictures for social media and other platforms so that you can post things as they happen
  • All-purpose wipes – these will be handy for the reception desks and tables as dust gathers so fast and fingerprints don’t help!

Tips for Trade Show Surveys

As a marketer, there must be so many different questions that you wish you knew the answer to. Which publication does everyone in the industry read and how can I make sure my target audience and decision makers see my marketing efforts? Many of our marketing strategies are based on guess-work and optimism. For this reason, being present at a trade show and having easy access to so many people from your industry can be an extremely valuable situation.

Before a show, jot down all the questions that you may have and decide which ones you think will be easy to have answered at the exhibition. Create a survey and approach people visiting your booth to see if they would be willing to spare a minute to complete the survey.

Make it worthwhile – put the names of the people that took the survey in a draw or raffle and give them something for helping you out.

Keep it short – don’t overload the survey with questions. Put some serious thought into the questions you are asking and don’t throw in any old question that comes to mind. Too many questions will mean people will be likely to speed through it and put any answer down to just get it done and over with.

Relevant questions – ask questions like which publication they like to read, how they heard about your company, what perception they have of your company based on your brand image, if they use your product/services and if they would recommend them to others, what trade shows they plan to attend and other questions that will help you retrieve answers to your questions.

Don’t be pushy – if someone does not want to answer the survey, don’t try to push them to take it – chances are they will be the least bit interested in giving you any significant information.

Use the information wisely – once you have collected the information, it is time to analyse the results. Discuss it with your team, see how you can benefit from the information you have acquired and pass information on to relevant departments so everyone can do their part to ensure the survey was a worthwhile exercise for your company.

Was it worth it? Tracking Trade Show ROI

With trade shows springing up across the globe – each more promising than the last, it is easy to get lured into exhibiting at more shows than you had initially anticipated. As a marketing professional, you have probably been asked to measure ROI of your trade show participation to show that it was worth the investment. Unfortunately many events end up over-promising and under-delivering and therefore don’t yield enough business to justify participation.

 Clearly define your goals and objectives before the trade show – without goals, measuring ROI is next to impossible. Plan your goals and create metrics that will allow you to easily track them.

Record trade show leads – you can do this the traditional way by colleting business cards in a fish bowl and speaking to your sales team or use the digital options available (sync directly to your CRM). To effectively measure the ROI, you will need to track and monitor these leads and this could take weeks or months after the show. The leads produced may vary significantly in terms of value. Track leads for greater insights.

Calculate your lifetime customer value using CM software

Tip: To maximise your trade show ROIchoose the right show, get PR coverage, ensure there is adequate pre-show marketing, host an event, stay active on social media, ensure your booth is welcoming and your sales team is trained and have a strong follow-up policy in place for post-show marketing.

To calculate your trade show revenue:

Count the number of leads collected at the show, estimate the average number that will result in a sale (CRP), calculate the average value of a sale from a trade show lead. Next, total your participation cost and use this formula for trade show revenue.

leads x close rate % x average sale value = estimated show revenue

Tips for Trade Show Press Releases

Author: Komal Qaiser

Your company’s presence at a trade show can be a game changer. You can either make or break your brand or, even worse, go completely unnoticed. Big stands, sponsorships and key staff members present will get you noticed but to grab attention from the press, put off important company announcements until an industry event.

Many companies work on deals, product launches and partnerships months before a show begins. However, if you can wait then it is a good idea to coincide the news with a trade show. This way, you can get into the dailies and have your news delivered directly to your target audience.

Announce before the show – Dailies are magazines that different publications publish every day at the show. Find out which publications are being distributed at the show, contact their editors and tell them about your news. When your press release is ready, send it to the members of press with a clearly marked release date (mention the show name and date) and let them know it is under embargo so the news does not get out. Let them know you are open for interviews if they would like to come by your booth to meet with key people and offer you an editorial. Even better, try to get an interview with the relevant person at your company before the show so that it can be published in the dailies.

Hold a press conference – most exhibition halls have limited press rooms so it’s important that you make the booking well in advance. Schedule the press conference a day or two before the first day of the show and send an email out to media personnel.

Have a good media/press kit ready – add company information, product and service information, recent press releases and articles, profiles on members of your management team, your contact details and any other relevant company information you want the media to know about. Remember, members of the press receive press kits all the time so it is important to have a good quality, professional kit if you want to get their attention.

Visit the press room – at the trade exhibition, there will be a press room where key media personnel sit and write up their stories. On the day before the show, pop by the room. Outside the room, you can usually find cubby holes dedicated to each publication. Drop a print out of the press release (preferably on company paper) along with a media kit. If you can, go into the press room and see if you manage to catch one of the journalists to see if they can feature your news!

Look for speaker opportunities – many shows have small networking events and conferences where people from the industry gather for panel discussions or as solo speakers. Contact the show organizers months in advance and see if there are any opportunities available where you think your company would have relevant input.

Try to get an editorial with an industry or big publication – speak to the journalists and see if you can score an interview with key people from your company. Most times, journalists would love to hear from you – provided you have credible information that is relevant to the topic in discussion.

Send out a teaser and mail blast – send out a mail to everyone in your database letting them know you will be at the show and that you have some big news for them! Don’t tell them what the news is but perhaps you can give them a hint to keep it interesting.

Hold a press morning or breakfast at your booth – invite key media personnel to your stand for a coffee morning or breakfast. If you are in charge of the company’s PR and media presence, go around and introduce yourself. Hand them your business card and ask them if they have received your media kit. Tell them what news you have recently released and try to get an interview with someone from your company.

Have an email blast ready to send to your database when the news is announced – when the news is released, send an email out to everyone in the database. Let them know what the news is because not everyone will be at the trade show or have access to the dailies.

Inform your team and booth staff – ensure they all have as much information as possible so that visitors to the booth can have their questions answered – you don’t want your staff to find out about the news at the same time as everyone else because chances are people that have read the news in the dailies will stop by your booth for a chat or have questions for your staff members. Make sure they are all prepared to answer clients and prospects.

Throw a booth party – if it’s really big news and your budget allows, throw a booth party! You can have a themed one or a combined one if you have partnered with someone. There are plenty of possibilities – you just need to figure out what your target market would enjoy.

Use social media – reach out to visitors of the show and other industry contacts and potential clients by broadcasting your news across your social media platforms.

Many exhibitions have a press section on their website where you can see which publications are going to be publishing dailies and also get a list of the media contacts that will be present.

Tips for Trade Show Graphics

With many exhibition booth designs, there are empty spaces for graphics. When you are sending out an RFP to stand contractors, you can ask them to leave space for graphics or not – this is entirely up to you. However, depending on the stand, graphics usually serve great purpose by giving you an extra platform for branding as well as adding dimension to your booth.

It is usually the responsibility of the company, not the contractor, to design graphics for the booth but feel free to send your designs to them for their opinion or ask them for ideas on what they think might look good. Here are some tips for trade show booth graphics.

Stick to one theme – make sure that all your graphics are designed in one theme. The same theme you have for the booth, advertisements at the show, sponsorships at the exhibition and trade-show marketing material should follow through in your booth graphics. It might be tempting to play around and make each one completely different but it could end up looking confusing and messy. The colour theme, design and copy should look good together so that the overall design works together. Your graphics should tell a coherent story.

Keep it simple – don’t go and add a huge amount of text that no one will stand and read. Place a headline that will entice people to visit your booth and find out more. Booth graphics are no space for small details, remember less is more. For it to be impactful, your messaging should be concise and to the point. Write something that will attract visitors and try to avoid playing with too many different types of fonts.

Hire a professional graphic designer – one that knows trade shows. Hire someone who knows what they are doing so that they can follow the specs exactly and come up with good quality work.

Image Quality is everything – use high quality images, don’t try to blow up small images and make sure that all artwork is in high resolution so that it comes out well in print. Always give the company printing the graphics your pantone colour so that they can be as close, in colour, as possible.

Rendering – ask your contractor to show you what the graphics would look like in the booth by viewing your graphics rendered on the display. You might think they look great until you see them on the booth so this is a critical step to ensuring your graphics are right for your booth.

Lighting – don’t add graphics in the corners or in dark spots at the booth. Make sure they are placed somewhere where they are highlighted and visible.