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Opinion: The importance of catering equipment industry events

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Katie Tyler, event manager of Commercial Kitchen, the annual exhibition specialising in catering equipment, argues that distributors can hugely benefit from the business opportunities only trade shows can provide:

In an industry where developing strong relationships is key, it is important to highlight why face-to-face events are essential for leading kitchen design houses.

Exhibitions provide a wealth of opportunity; from sharing best practice and networking to sourcing new products. They are an unmissable marketplace for discovering these product launches and innovations from both established and start-up companies.

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Commercial kitchen builds often run into millions of pounds, so it is hugely important for buyers to be able to view products, understand their benefits and evaluate the business fit.

With a raft of catering equipment on the market it is vital to experience equipment, to look at what is innovative and what will help your business keep up with the latest trends. Exhibitions offer that perfect sensory arena.

“Commercial kitchens are a minefield, so it’s great to be able to meet those in the know, all in one place. Sense checking all that’s new and being able to compare product innovations directly with the companies saves time and removes so much risk,” said James Douglas, co-founder and director at Red’s True Barbecue after his speaking session at Commercial Kitchen.

Research from AEO’s FaceTime, the marketing body for live events, reveals 93% of marketers and business directors feel face-to-face marketing is the most persuasive media channel. Additional research highlights that buyers are much more likely to recommend brands, products or services seen at an event. There are few chances in business to find out what buyers really require from services ‘person to person’, but trade events offer that opportunity.

Trade shows are also a great opportunity for continued learning from your rivals, customers and peers. When budgets are tight this, often free, content makes attendance a strong proposition.

Exhibitions are about a sense of occasion and recognition of an industry. It’s vital that important parts of our economy have their own annual industry trade show.

As the organisers of Commercial Kitchen, we pride ourselves on creating leading events that are dedicated, targeted and focused to an industry. We want to continue to deliver events purely for decision makers from the sectors we are proud to serve. We are confident Commercial Kitchen delivers on its simple premise of being completely dedicated to the commercial kitchen industry. If you’re a buyer of equipment or kitchen services, you know that every exhibitor has relevant products for you, and every exhibitor knows that every buyer is a senior decision maker (we don’t allow students or public to our events).

Commercial Kitchen is all about the quality of audience, comprising of distributors (we have a brilliant lead partner in CEDA), end user operators (who make up 60% of attendees) and consultants – the whole of the commercial kitchen industry.

Tyron Stephens-Smith, creative and projects director at TAG UK said after his Commercial Kitchen seminar last year: “It’s a great platform to see how the industry is developing as a whole and learn of any new technologies or issues within foodservice design.”

The ability to network and do business under one roof is a critical ingredient of success through turbulent times. Conversation is a catalyst for innovation, and today, attending live events within the catering sector has never been more important.

Tags : commercial kitchenCommercial Kitchen Showeventsexhibitiontrade showvoice of the industry
Clare Nicholls

The author Clare Nicholls

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