The Source trade show

Date: 6th - 7th February 2019
Location: Westpoint Exhibition Centre, Exeter

If this year's Source trade show is anything to go by, then the UK's appetite for good food & drink is clearly continuing to grow, as the show was even bigger in 2018 than before – again! It just keeps growing! For buyers in the food & drink sector there's no substitute for testing out products in person, and this trade show is the perfect place for producers to meet buyers, and vice versa. There were more exhibitors than ever before, and visitor numbers were up too.  With all the food & drink on offer, and the chefs such as Michael Caines, Richard Hunt and Barrie Tucker cooking up a storm in the demo kitchen, it was busy, bustling, and smelled good too! It proved to be a very enjoyable two days for exhibitors and visitors alike, but Hale Events, the show organisers, know that a great show this year doesn’t guarantee the same next year.  Every year they survey both exhibitors and visitors after the show to get feedback and see if anything needs to be improved.

This year’s post-show survey revealed that 96% of visitors would recommend the show to colleagues or contacts within the industry, and 96% will be back next year – presumably that’s the same people!  It’s probably not surprising, seeing as 90% of visitors found new suppliers at the show, with 66% of them finding found 3 or more:

Everything under one roof displayed nicely offering a worthwhile time out of my own business”.

It’s a fantastic way to meet new people in the South West food and drink scene. I would attend a third day if there were a third day!

The show always seems to introduce new suppliers and producers and subsequently new products. Really enjoyed the demonstration kitchen”.

All our regular suppliers under one roof and plenty of interesting new potential suppliers”.

The show highlights new products and suppliers. It allows us to compare suppliers easily and talk to them directly. The best thing this year was the number of suppliers and their quality

As well as enjoying the show and the chef demos, 62% of visitors placed orders at the show or shortly afterwards, which is great news for exhibitors:

Great show this year; we’ve made some fantastic contacts in both wholesale and direct. It’s been great to meet up with some fantastic chefs and restaurateurs as well as some superb suppliers“. Tom Bonn, Mevalco.

Unbelievable success. Small enough to know you’re seeing everyone, big enough to attract major buying power. 10/10“. Stu, Manilife.

This was our first ever Hale Events show. The venue at Westpoint is superb, the event is clean, tidy and very well organised. We met a wide mix of attendees over the two days, from sole traders to multi-nationals.  Very, very pleased; would definitely exhibit again“.  Nick Good, Dorset Ginger.

All the visitors who completed the survey were entered into a prize draw, and the lucky winner of a £50 John Lewis/Waitrose voucher was Jacqui Blenkinsopp from Aveland House in Babbacombe.

If you weren’t one of the many visitors to the show in 2018, why not go and see what the show is like in 2019?  Next year the Source trade show takes place on Wednesday 6th and Thursday 7th February, at Westpoint, Exeter. For more information about the show, to book a stand, or register to attend, please call 01934 733433, visit www.thesourcetradeshow.co.uk or follow @SourceFoodDrink.