Harrogate Speciality Food Show ....a real gem of a show!
I headed up to North Yorkshire at the weekend to exhibit at Harrogate Speciality Food Show – held at the Yorkshire Show Ground. It’s a two day trade event orgainsed by the Guild of Fine Food and targetted at [though not exclusively] farm shops, delis and fine food retailers.
I set up my stand on Saturday….I was SO proud, it was the first time that I had put the stand up all by myself [my wonderful husband has helped me on previous occasions]. The show itself was just great – small enough to have a really intimate feel, but large enough to have a really diverse range of products and of trade visitors.
I’ve not done masses of trade shows [just a handful] but Harrogate had an atmosphere all of its own – I absolutely love it! Being a big Twitter Fan I had used Tweetdeck to chat to some fellow exhibitors prior to the event, so it was really great to meet them in person – @Womersleyfoods @ecobagsltd @Winebox @thetiffinfoodco. At Food trade shows the atmosphere is always fab, but at Harrogate it was really cosy and intimate……….I made some really good friends over the two days.
The Guild had organised an event called ‘Feed the Dragon’ on the Monday where five producers ‘pitched’ to a panel of five retailers. Yours truly was one of the producers who pitched as potential ‘dragon fodder'[!] It went fine……the dragons were very constructive and kind with their comments on my ‘Ginger Beer with Chilli’. The panel included buyers from Harvey Nichols, Harrods as well as some top notch independents. I was really glad I did it, and what made it even more special was having some of my fellow exhibitors come by to cheer me on…..that was really kind.
As with all trade shows, the hard work is in the days and weeks after the actual show….following up on conversations and actually doing business. Here goes…………