Tens of thousands of people flock to food service and restaurant trade shows every year. They’re the perfect place to network with other people in the food industry, learn about new food service trends and technology, and most of all experience new food! So how do you get ready to attend such a show? What are the best trade show booths for a food or restaurant trade show event?
- Create a Food or Restaurant Trade Show Booth That Matches Your Brand
- Focus on Your Booth’s Messaging
- Get Creative!
- Plan for Samples When Designing Your Restaurant Trade Show Booth
- Consider Overall Guest Experience in Your Food or Restaurant Trade Show Booth Design
- Any Questions?
1) Create a Food or Restaurant Trade Show Booth That Matches Your Brand
The most important thing when it comes to planning your restaurant or food trade show display is to stay on brand. Your design, messaging, colors, decor, and giveaways/samples should all be in line with your overall brand messaging. A creative but off-brand restaurant or food trade show booth only confuses your customers and undoes all the previous work you’ve done to build brand awareness. Consider the type of products you are showcasing and the “theme” of your food. Choose colors and materials that match your overall brand aesthetic. You can even consider “supersizing” your product as part of your booth design. For example, you can make a giant model or your product as part of your booth decor. If you want to get creative, do something on-brand that will capture customers’ attention and motivate them to figure out who you are. Use your booth to highlight what makes you unique. Matching your restaurant or food trade show booth to your product will reinforce your brand, catch your customer’s eye, and help you have a successful trade show experience.
2) Focus on Your Booth’s Messaging
If you are like many companies, you have a lot of products and information to give your customers. However, a restaurant or food trade show booth that tries to feature too much often gets lost in the crowd. Too much information makes a booth look busy and confusing. Furthermore, a passerby won’t take the time to stop and take in all of the information if the messaging isn’t clean and concise. To create the best restaurant or food trade show booth possible, choose one product or message to focus on. Your entire booth’s concept and messaging should be created around this theme. This one simplified message will go a long way to draw in customers and pique their interest. This will open the door for you to share your other products with them down the line.
Even a small restaurant or food trade show booth can be a magnet for customers if you get a little creative. When you’re designing a creative trade show booth concept, consider the overall booth look and experience, but also consider the details. Get creative with the flooring, the lighting, your multimedia presentations, and the accessories. Consider creative ways to display your product so that it’s easily visible to people as they pass by. Pops of color, interesting wallpaper, and high-quality graphics are all fun ways to jazz up your booth. Custom trade show displays can also be built to match your vision exactly. Just remember, the size of your restaurant trade show booth won’t matter as much as how creative your display is.
4) Plan for Samples When Designing Your Restaurant Trade Show Booth
The most important part of a lot of food or restaurant trade show booths is the samples. Samples are a great way to showcase your products–especially if you have a unique food item you are highlighting. When it comes to designing the best trade show booth that features food samples, there are a lot of things to consider, here are some common FAQs we get asked around samples:
What size trade show booth is best for distributing food samples?
When considering what size food or restaurant trade show booth is best for distributing samples, think about all the steps involved in serving food samples. How much space will you need for storing samples? Will you need specialized storage areas to keep food hot or cold? Do you need space for food prep within your booth? A lot of people find they need a food trade show display that’s at least 20 x 20 or larger if a lot of food prep steps are involved. How will you plan to distribute samples. Will you need space to set up sampling stations or will company representatives walk around and hand out samples? Lastly, don’t forget to account for space needed for traffic flow, trash cans, and storage for any napkins, dishes, or utensils needed for serving the utensils.
What is the best layout for my food or restaurant trade show booth?
When determining the best layout for your food or restaurant trade show booth, presentation and accessibility are key. You want your samples to be easily visible. Presentation is important. You want them to look enticing. You also want people who are passing by to be able to easily sample your products without having to wait in a long line. Ensure there is plenty of room near food stations to allow for the flow of traffic. Setting up food stations with plenty of samples near the edges of your booth will help you distribute samples quickly without impeding the flow of traffic. You can set up additional tasting stations within your booth to lure customers into your booth for a better quality interaction.
How do I plan for storage when designing my food or restaurant trade show booth?
When planning the layout for your food or restaurant trade show booth, try to place storage for samples near sampling stations for easy access. Any other items needed to hand out samples–such as napkins, utensils, plates, cups–should be stored near sampling areas as well. When planning for food storage areas, make sure to consider where you will put any specialty storage units such as refrigerators, freezers, or warmer to ensure all samples are stored at the correct temperature. Pre-packaged, branded samples can also be stored on shelves or counters in areas visible to customers as part of your food trade show display.
What are the best snacks for trade shows?
The best snacks or samples to serve at your restaurant or food trade show booth are snacks that are on-brand and capture people’s interest. The snacks should also be served in the most convenient way possible. Trade show attendees are on the go much of the day and are often carrying other items as they walk the trade show floor. Anything that will be hard to eat or carry may deter customers from trying it. You also want to make sure that the snacks you serve can be kept at the proper temperature until your customer consumes it to maximize the customer’s enjoyment of your samples.
Is there anything else to consider when serving samples at my food trade show display?
Before you plan your sampling stations, check with your shows specific regulations regarding food. You’ll want to make sure that you follow any rules they may have. Make sure you have a plan to keep your food fresh and safe when you plan your food trade show booth. You won’t do yourself any favors by giving out samples that are subpar. Take into consideration safety and hygiene when planning your food prep area. If you plan to do your food prep in front of customers, make sure the customers can see how you are following all safe handling guidelines with the food samples. Lastly, your design should include a place for trash cans and other items needed to keep your booth clean and functioning smoothly. It’s not so easy to convince people to try your samples when your restaurant trade show booth looks messy and unhygienic.
5) Consider Overall Guest Experience in Your Food or Restaurant Trade Show Booth Design
The best food or restaurant trade show booths create an experience for their guests. Elements of taste, touch, and smell can be incorporated with the visual elements of the booth to create an unforgettable experience. Tactile stations or stations that let customers interact directly with the raw ingredients that make up your product allow you to engage your audience while educating them about your company. Scent goes a long way in creating an experience for your guests. Demonstrations can also make your booth more interactive while capturing your audience’s attention. Lastly, don’t underestimate the importance of a friendly staff to give your customers the best experience possible. An interactive booth along with a friendly staff will make yours the best food or restaurant trade show booth yet.
Now that you know how to design the best restaurant or food trade show booth for your brand, it’s time to start designing. If you need any help along the way, feel free to contact us. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have or set you up with a designer to walk you through the trade show booth process. Happy exhibiting!
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