While looking back on our preparations for the Northern Restaurant and Bar event, we are taking the time to reflect on the experiences that came with it. It has been a month since our directors have gone down to Manchester to represent the company as one of the many exhibitors, while being our first time being a part of the NRB.

 

The process of getting ready for the event was both exciting and alarming. Seeing as we only had limited expectations and no idea what we would get out of it, we were quite confident. The team was especially looking forward to getting out there and talking to all the different businesses, especially when everything was within our sector.

 

The homework included a trip to Ikea, beer purchasing/labelling and playlist making. We wanted to stand out from the rest, and it couldn’t hurt having our business cards in the form of beer bottles at a bar event. Right from the start, the most important factor to us was to represent who we are as an agency, we wanted our stand to be friendly and approachable with an edge.

 

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. It made waiting for a lunch break harder, but very impressive non-the-less, we even got the chance to speak to some of the chefs afterwards. The team also had the pleasure of seeing Fred Siriexi in action, along with the rest of the speakers throughout the experience.

 

After talking to the 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.”

 

We also had the opportunity to speak to some of the other exhibitors around us and hear about the previous NBR events. It was nice for the directors to get to know what to expect from the next two days and to speak to a few companies in our sector that were there on their own stand. I also spoke the Managing Director to get an impression on the event and his comments towards the future of exhibiting.

 

“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 going through each stage of the convention, the team has been able to develop our approach in ways that may not have happened so fast without something to aim for. In that time, we have developed a new system inside our website, perfected a new set of brochures and managed to print a new design for our roller banners. With meeting an audience specifically suited to our specialty, we have been able to further develop our services while keeping in mind what it is our customers need and why they come to us.