Attitudes towards exhibition food are changing, says research

Research conducted by UFI earlier this year has shown an increase in the importance of food among exhibition organisers looking for new ways to attract and keep audiences.

Now the UK’s Lime Venue Portfolio has supported these findings, with its own insights that also demonstrate changing attitudes towards food among exhibition audiences.

In the UFI research, when asked about the main factors for attracting audiences and delivering on their expectations, the overriding feedback was the importance of talks and presentations which scored 86%, followed by informal networking at 71%.

Unusual venues came in at fourth with 57% of organisers looking for new environments for their events.

However, the surprise mover in the research was the exhibition organiser’s desire for ‘Informal catering and street food’, which came in with 43% of organisers seeing this as a major draw. 

jaJo Austin, Sales Director, Lime Venue Portfolio (pictured) commented: “This is really encouraging research for us, as both a venue and a food business, with the findings being in-line with our own consumer data. Content should always be a priority, in terms of the conference programme, what is actually on the exhibition floor, and of course the networking opportunities the event offers.

“Food is a brilliant accompaniment to great content, networking and a dramatic venue. It can support the tone of an event and be incredibly rewarding for audiences who are taking valuable time out of their diaries to be at the event.”

The full list of UFI research results was as follows:

Which of the following do you think are most likely to make a trade show entertaining or enjoyable?

  • Talk and presentations 86%
  • Interactive / audience generated content 71%
  • Informal networking 71%
  • Unusual venue 57%
  • Informal or street food style catering 43%
  • Live entertainment 43%
  • Fun icebreaker activities 43%
  • New technology such as virtual reality 29%
  • Distinctive theming or decoration 29%

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