Live events are back with a bang and just as well, too. With Fine Food New Zealand bringing together the hospitality, foodservice, beverage, catering and related industries in Auckland this week, organisers are stressing the importance of doing business in person after the long and lonely months of lockdowns and interruptions characterizing much of the past year.
“There’s nothing quite like meeting real people, seeing real food, having a coffee or a beer, and discussing new or emerging opportunities,” says Brent Spillane, Managing Director of XPO Exhibitions which puts on Fine Food New Zealand.
Before the show opened at the ASB Showgrounds on Sunday, excitement was building and not the least because the biggest show dedicated to the food and hospitality industries had been on forced hiatus. “We’ve put together a stunning agenda with the backing of loyal and new sponsors and support partners along with the widest selection of exhibitors and exhibits you’ll see anywhere,” Spillane enthuses.
In addition to literally thousands of products and services on display, he points to the more than 20 keynote sessions across the event’s three days. “These sessions feature subject matter experts and leaders who will help develop skills and take businesses to the next level.”
This year’s show brings together more than 240 exhibitors and includes multiple drawcard features which have proven popular in past editions of Fine Food New Zealand. Familiar features include the SilverChef Seminar Series, with a theme of getting businesses back on track.
Artisan Alley offers a display and samples of exclusive handmade and small-batch goods, for those looking to expand experiences, flavours, capabilities and ranges. The Networking Bar is the ideal locale and ambience for hanging out with old friends, making new ones, and even working out the finer details of new commercial arrangements.
New features include the Vitasoy Plant Base area, exploring alternatives to meat which are growing in popularity with increasingly conscious consumers, as well as the Gilmours One Stop Shop and NZ Chefs Skills Workshops. A must visit for anyone in the cafe trade is the new Meadow Fresh Café, where you can find premium Goodman Fielder café products and so much more. The Best Cellar is a trade liquor area with the addition of the drinks-related workshops and all of the of finest in local and international beverages.
The New Product Showcase is a hotbed of innovation, both in food and beverage as well as equipment, technology and more. “The show is the only place you’ll find everything from cutting-edge food and beverages, the latest equipment from leading producers, explorations and demonstrations of industry trends, and offers multiple opportunities for professional development,” Spillane points out.
There’s something special about congregating face-to-face, he adds. “We’re bringing you together to see the latest technology and products, to learn and to network with the industry en masse. While we’ve connected digitally with trade visitors and exhibiting customers, there is simply no better feeling than ‘opening the physical doors’ of a restaurant, foodservice outlet or food retail outlet to customers.”
Spillane says Fine Food New Zealand is the best opportunity to rekindle relationships, get some good old-fashioned face-time, grow supplier networks and get products and services in front of the right people.
With the world slowly opening up to travel as vaccines are steadily rolled out in key trading nations, Spillane says the darkest days are over for hospitality providers. “As we move back towards normal, it has never been more important to get involved, come along, see, do, meet and participate. Fine Food New Zealand is a unique forum where you can see and do it all with the widest range of ideas, products, equipment and ingredients. We look forward to welcoming you there.”
Fine Food New Zealand is a trade show and free to attend for all in the foodservice, hospitality, catering, hotelier, supplier and related occupations. The event takes place at the ASB Showgrounds in Auckland from 13-15 June.
For more information and a complete list of exhibitors and what’s on, visit https://www.finefoodnz.co.nz