How to work a tradeshow

Even if you don’t attend Trade Shows, work a stand or have to mix with other humans… you can learn from this.

Last week Mrs H and I attended the London Taste Festival in Regent’s Park.  It was huge.

Dozens of stands and tents all focused on fleecing fanatical foodies.

For someone like me who loves people watching, studying service and great food it was heaven.

Here’s what I learned.

Make Free Genuinely Free

If you are offering something for free make sure it really is free.

Top marks to Innocent Drinks who were giving out gallons of coconut water to attendees without asking for anything in return: others wanted your life story!

Innocent simply had a stand and fun young folk with trays saying, ‘You look thirsty, would you like some coconut water?’


Make People Feel Special

We had VIP tickets (yawn) which meant we could go to a special VIP area, listen to chill-out sounds and act like… (Well that seemed to be what the other ‘VIPs’ were doing).  Honestly, it was pants.

However… just next door were Chase (the gin and vodka producers). With a tiny budget, a bit of creativity and some amazing service their area was packed.

The energy was set by one person, the Marketing Manager Lorna Hollings.

She was brilliant.

We attempted to headhunt Lorna (along with almost everyone else who met her), but she wasn’t going anywhere. She loved the brand and it showed.


Big Budget Doesn’t Equal Big Crowds

Balvenie Whisky had one of the biggest stands at the Event. It must have cost a fortune. Classic cars, posh tables, uniformed staff and a full interior set.

Only challenge – it was empty.

Meanwhile BTW a new tonic water start-up had a tiny stand but pulled in the crowds. Mainly down to the founder of the business and his brother being full of banter and engaging the masses.


We also loved the guys at Audemus who had perfectly crafted and were promoting their Pink Pepper Gin. Great fun, great banter and great product with an interesting story.



Ask For The Business

We met two super ladies who had a unique drink – Pickle Juice.

I know… that’s what I thought.

However, there appears to be a market for bottles of acidic onion essence and this delightful duo were there to own the market.

Yes they had samples, yes they were fun and friendly, but no, they didn’t ask anyone if they’d like to buy a bottle.

Even after we commented that we knew someone who would love their acidic aperitif there was no close. In the end we had to ask if they were actually selling Pickle Juice that day.

They were.

We bought.

It tastes like… (use your imagination here) but we know someone who’ll love it.

Be Brilliant!




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