Make the most of every Morsel – BBC Good Food Show London Posted by: by Andrew Pocock The success of TV’s The Great British Bake Off is proof that Brits are more deeply in love with food than ever before. With tummies rumbling and mouths watering, more people than ever are set to burst through the doors of Olympia between 13-15 November for this year’s BBC Good Food Show London. Celebrity chefs now have rock-star status and there’s a stellar line-up cooking on stage at the Kenwood Supertheatre including Michel Roux, James Martin, Paul Hollywood and, drum roll please – Mary Berry. Famous hands signing books, a tasting theatre sponsored by Lindt Excellence, pop-up restaurants, street-food vans, shops, craft beers and cocktails… it’s all part of the fun of the fair. This is also your chance to check out the competition, showcase your latest products, listen to invaluable feedback and gather new leads. Are you properly prepared to greet the visitors who will make their way to see you? Are you confident you can offer them an unforgettable exhibition experience? Here are a few basic ingredients to help… Make sure your stand has enough staff to handle the volume of visitors. Train them well – the face of your organisation needs to smile. Never ask ‘can I help you?’ The answer will almost always be ‘no’. Use open questions such as ‘How would you describe the taste of this raspberry beer/organic Cheddar/chocolate-coated locust?’ When manning a stand, never eat, swig a drink, use a mobile, sit down or turn your back on the public. ‘Food proof’ your stand. Protect your stand against spillages and stains by using easy clean materials. Keep surface areas and floors clean to avoid injuries such as burns and twisted wrists. Know your way around your workstation before embarking on a live demonstration of any kind. Have several practice runs and memorise where everything is. Provide a survey. Whether you opt for a paper and pen or an iPad, it’s a great way to gauge just how tasty (or not) your dish really is. Have a dedicated area for taking contact details and making sales. While being in the mix is great, taking money across a sugar-covered counter will not make the best impression. Promote yourself! Pre-show promotion and staying connected during the event is crucial or you risk being overlooked. Provide branded bags. Visitors will be happy to have something to carry their freebies around in and they’ll act as unpaid advertisers at the same time. Win-win. Tease the taste buds BBC Good Food Show visitors know their onions (especially if they’re caramelised) and they’ll be eager to try old favourites as well as new flavours. Make sure your best-selling products are displayed beautifully whether they’re on sale or samples. If you’ve done a great job, the food on offer will disappear as fast as you present it. Make sure you have enough supplies so that you don’t run out. Don’t waste this unique opportunity. Clearly list all of the ingredients in whatever you’re serving. People will ask anyway but, most importantly, you’ll avoid the risk of an allergic reaction. DO NOT attempt to eat super spicy food in a live demonstration if you can’t handle it… Finish it off with a cherry on top Entice the crowd with a deliciously-colourful stand. Choose shades that reflect your brand and products. Don’t be afraid to accessorise. Whether you choose an iPad stand, literature stand, or banner stand, use accessories to bring everything together and boast your USP. Entertainment can also be important and as long as it’s relevant to your brand, include it. Whilst you might be doing a live demonstration inside of your stand, what’s stopping you from bringing it into the crowd? Think outside of the box. See more tips on images and (stand) design. After the show, follow up on leads to make the most of your investment. Remember, the way to this nation’s heart is through its stomach. So chop all of the above in equal quantities, cook well, and garnish with style – that way, your customers will be coming back for seconds, thirds and more… *Mary Berry cake image from beautyandthedirt.com.