As a bakery software manufacturer, we believe in the importance of attending food industry trade shows. Industry trade shows are normally a ton of fun! You get to pick up free swag, try new foods, talk to new people, and learn about up and coming trends. The food industry has the IFT18 trade show in Chicago coming up on July 15th-18th, so we’ve decided to put together a list of the 8 most important reasons you should be attending a food industry specific trade show.
The most important reason to attend a trade show is to stay on top of food industry changes and trends, particularly in the fastest growing segment, technology. Technology is rapidly changing; that means that you need to stay up to date if you’re going to make informed decisions as to whether to upgrade or hold off until the newest change is released.
Viewing software and machinery online is the industry norm, although we may be a little biased since we are a bakery software manufacturer. It is very expensive to travel to different suppliers just to see their products, but most people (when given the opportunity) prefer to see a product in person while chatting face-to-face with the team who supports it.
It’s tough to find time in your busy work and personal life for additional classes and organized discussion groups, but it’s important to continuously hone your skills and learn from others. Attending trade shows gives you the break necessary to be able to fit in an extra class or a thought-provoking discussion.
Meeting new people in your industry can change your business. Having a large network of people to support, advise, and look out for you could be the reason you’re able to find that next big investor or the newest member of your executive team. Industry trade shows are a great place for networking; people from all over the world gather together in order to meet and learn from each other.
Having the opportunity to meet your vendors and suppliers in person is a great way to gauge the companies you work with, their team’s dedication, and other industry professional’s reaction to them. You can learn a lot about a company from chatting with one of their representatives or their president.
Having many suppliers and their products in one place allows you to compare options side-by-side. It’s difficult to go through an hour long demonstration with a company and then try to compare that demonstration with another demonstration the next week. Your feelings or attitude may have changed, you may forget small details, or you may feel like you’ve already chosen and not be attentive. A trade show is a controlled environment to compare products side-by-side.
Competition stirs up the passion we sometimes lose during the daily grind. Competing at trade shows is a great way to show others why you love doing what you do. If you aren’t one for competing, you also have the opportunity to watch other professionals and may pick up new skills or tricks, simply by observing them in their element.
When you are evaluating big decisions like purchasing machinery or switching software, it can feel daunting if you are unable to fully focus on choosing the right product. At a trade show you can fully immerse yourself in research, plus have all the tools in front of you including: the product, the demonstration, other professionals to chat with, and best of all – there isn’t any distractions.