The 2023 Chef’s Roll Anti-Convention was a game changer, evolving the experience of trade shows as we know them to reach new audiences. From the moment attendees walked through the doors, we were met with an immersive environment that embraced our passion for all things culinary, elevating the overall experience. Instead of booths filled with sales reps, we were greeted by a massive outdoor space filled with chefs from across the country. There were no name tags, no dress codes, and no strict schedules. The vibe was laid back and welcoming. Not only did the event producers cover current industry topics, but they also used cutting-edge technology to appeal to a more tech-savvy crowd.
Our Food + Beverage team keeps an eye on industry developments to help our clients develop and maintain an edge in their markets. One of the standout sessions was “The Art of Fish Dry Aging”. It was an eye-opening demonstration of how AI technology could be used by chefs. The presentation showcased a variety of fish species, homemade techniques using a cooler, and the use of temperature sensors to monitor fish during the drying process, which significantly improves the quality of dried fish. It was interesting to learn how AI could improve traditional techniques to make them more efficient and sustainable.
Another fascinating topic focused on the use of indigenous ingredients, techniques, and their history. We learned about ancient foods such as the diverse selection of corn and berries indigenous to the Americas and how these can be incorporated into modern cuisine to create unique dishes that honor the oldest cuisine of this continent.
Aside from the unique topics, the use of technology during the event also catered to a tech-driven audience. The Whova app was easy to navigate and user-friendly, helping attendees book meetings, visit different activations, and chat with fellow guests. It helped people stay organized and connected throughout the entire experience and ensured they made the most of their time on the show floor.
The Chef’s Roll Anti-Convention was a laid back, yet highly educational experience, finding several ways to entice a new audience. The content was relevant, the speakers were knowledgeable, and the use of technology made the event run smoothly and efficiently.
Leveraging Culinary Events
To make the most out of culinary trade shows, here are some key suggestions:
- Research the event sessions and attendees in advance: Take the time to familiarize yourself with the event schedule and the topics that interest you the most. This will help you plan your day and ensure you don’t miss out on any sessions or activities. Many events have apps or online platforms where you can see a list of attendees. Take advantage of this and connect with fellow participants, speakers and exhibitors. This will open networking opportunities and potential collaborations.
- Plan your schedule but leave room for spontaneity: While it’s important to have a general plan for the event, don’t be afraid to go with the flow and embrace unexpected opportunities. Some of the best experiences at these events happen when you least expect them.
- Bring business cards or a digital equivalent: Networking is a crucial part of these events, so make sure you have a way to share your contact information. Business cards are traditional, but if you prefer a more digital approach, consider having your Instagram account readily available to share.
- Be open to meeting people and learning new things: Culinary events bring together people from various backgrounds and expertise. Embrace the opportunity to engage with different perspectives, share ideas, and learn from others. You never know what inspiration or valuable connections may come your way.
Attending such events is not only an opportunity to stay up to date with the latest trends and innovations but also a chance to connect with like-minded individuals passionate about the culinary industry. By embracing new technologies, engaging in interactive sessions, and staying open to new experiences, you’ll be well on your way to a successful event. So, prepare, network, and savor every moment of these culinary adventures.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to best engage with culinary events for your products, and how to translate trade show insights into your marketing program, connect with me.