Published: 11 Jan 2016
The International Food & Drink Event managed to attract over 29,000 attendees during the convention in 2015—and that figure is only expected to grow for the 2017 iteration as more and more people recognise the value of this event. Not least exhibitors, who numbered 1,350 in 2015. Conventions such as these are a chance for producers and taste-makers to meet face to face and make the decisions that shape the eating habits of millions of people. Amongst other attractions is the chance to hear industry experts talk about the future and how best to profit from changing trends in food and drink producing. Celebrity chefs are also in attendance, so if you are in the food industry this is definitely the event of the year!
IFE 2017 will take place 19th-22nd March, held in the prestigious surroundings of the ExCel Exhibition Centre in London. The city obviously has a reputation for being at the cutting edge of all sorts of industries, and by locating here the IFE associates itself with them. It's a fantastic chance for producers to exhibit their own innovations. This can take the form of new and exciting products, or perhaps new ways of working that could revolutionise the food industry. Since so many buyers attend the exhibition, there's a decent chance that they might be convinced to stock the product in their stores—often nationwide, since buyers nowadays have such far-reaching influence.
If you are interested in becoming an exhibitor but don't know where to start, IFE actually have several videos on how best to go about it—useful for everyone from seasoned industry veteran to complete beginner. Since this is a chance to introduce yourself, it's important to get it right first time. The encounter with the right buyer might happen without you even realising it. Consumers are getting more and more adventurous, so the IFE can actually reward those who are willing to take culinary risks. Sponsors of the event include Burt's British Potato Chips and even the Welsh Government.
The IFE is split into 7 easily distinguishable sections. These are: Meat & Seafood, Bakery, Ingredients, Drinks, Health & Wellbeing, Speciality Food from Britain and Grocery & Ambient. As an exhibitor this means that anyone visiting you has specifically chosen your sector. No one will waste your precious time here, something that many people have talked favourably about. Exhibitors claim there is an observable bump in profits and consumer awareness after showing off their wares at IFE. It's not just a chance to sell—it's a chance to make your voice heard as a producer in the wider industry, to put forward your ideas to people who could actually bring them to fruition. Imagination is literally the limit, and obstacles can melt away with the right backing and influence.
At the 2015 IFE, attendees were treated to a hosting of the World Food Innovation Awards and saw both finalists and the eventual winners of the awards. It makes perfect sense that these awards should be held at the IFE, since products from the exhibition often go on to 'storm the marketplace'. Chris McCuin, the Event Director for IFE said “This is the first time IFE has hosted the World Food Innovation Awards. It has been great and our visitors have particularly enjoyed being able to view some of the world's best food innovations here at IFE." High praise indeed, but fully justified by the products on show.
If you are thinking of a career in food processing jobs, look no further than yourfoodjob.com. We have compiled a huge range of jobs within this sector that includes vacancies for product engineers, technical assistants and managers. There are positions that suit any level of experience from new graduates to veterans of the industry, and our easy-to-use search function will find them for you.