While looking back on our preparation for the Northern Restaurant and Bar 2018, we are taking the time to reflect on the experiences that came with it. It's already been a month since our directors made their way down to Manchester and with it being our first time attending as an exhibitor, we thought we'd include it in a blog.
The process of getting ready for the event was both exciting and alarming; but despite having limited expectations, we were confident. The team was looking forward to getting out there and talking to all the different businesses, especially when knowing they'd be inside our sector.
The homework wasn't too hard, it consisted mostly of a trip to Ikea, beer purchasing, beer labelling and playlist making. We wanted to stand out from the crowd and what better way to do it than having our business cards in the form of beer bottles? We wanted our space to be friendly and approachable, much like the agency it was representing.
While there, we were lucky enough to see the chef live stage demonstrations done by the likes of Gareth Ward, Paco Pérez and Ellis Barrie etc. The team also had the pleasure of seeing Fred Siriexi in action along with the rest of the speakers throughout the experience. It made waiting for a lunch break harder, but very impressive none-the-less. We even got the chance to speak to some of the chefs afterwards!
After talking to our Strategic Director, he made a few comments on his time at NRB18:
“The Northern Restaurant and Bar conference was a huge risk, it was unusual to go to a trade show aimed to only a specific part of the client market, rather than the more traditional trade show where you sell all of your services. It was also a risk to go to a different geographical area, where there are different potential headaches. But that said, in my opinion it was a great success, there are lots of things to check up on afterwards, lots of people who hunted us out specifically which was positive, and there was also some great potential referral partners. It was nice to spend some time with people who understood our market and who had similar visions on creativity.”
As the expedition went on, our team got the chance to speak to some of the other exhibitors around them and hear about the previous NBR events they had been a part of. It was a good opportunity for our directors to get to know what to expect from the next two days and speak to a few other companies in our sector.
With this in mind, I dropped in on our Managing Director to hear his impression on the event and his comments towards exhibiting in future.
“As a business this was a big step forward for us because we have not exhibited to this extent before. We have met some great people, seeing as we were in a collection of over 400 exhibitors including some of the biggest brands you will have heard of. With events like these, it’s the case of selling our services to the hospitality industry and the NRB gave us the opportunity to do that. In terms of exhibiting next year, we probably will, and we are also looking at other events for the future.”
After looking back through each aspect of the show, we've been able to tweak our process in ways that may not have happened without the NRB to reflect on. Since attending back in March, we've made quite a few changes to our process already, ranging from developing a new system inside our website all the way to perfecting a new set of brochures with more targeted information.
To us, the main advantage of attending an event specifically suited to our speciality, is that we have been able to use this to further develop our services, all while keeping in mind what it is our customers need and why they come to us.