How to make the most of your marketing at food and drink events this summer

Earlier this month we celebrated at the Taste of Grampian, the biggest local food event hosted in Aberdeenshire. Just before that, a number of Scottish businesses received their Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards marking the beginning of a glorious season of food and drink events.

The Summer brings a great number of food and drink festivals, expos and events UK wide and businesses from home-made jam manufacturers to international whisky brands will be taking part in such events including the Great British Food Festival, the Royal Highland Show, or local highland games and summer galas.


This month, Genoa Black has compiled a list of tips and recommendations based on our experience in the food and drink sector and events we’ve helped our clients prepare for. 

  • If it’s a busy event and you have the resource capacity, try to have more than one person on the stand at any one time, as it will increase your chance to capture sales and interact with other stand visitors.
  • If sourcing branded shopping bags is not possible, consider using clear plastic bags – your product will be visible while customers are navigating the stalls at an event and therefore will promote itself naturally. Alternatively, use eco-friendly paper bags, tie a few colourful ribbons that are consistent with your brand and rubber-stamp your company name on the bag. It will be unique and cost effective for your budget!
  • Use promotional offers to sell without having to spend too much time looking for change – form your prices according to pound denomination notes – be that 3 for £5, 5 for £10 or 3 for £20 – depending on the value of your product; don’t bother with price tags that will require your or your customers to waste precious time looking for coins.
  • If you have a wide variety of products, consider putting together taster packs – so that a range is included, giving your customers the opportunity to love at least one of them and come back for more.
  • If possible, partner with other exhibitors to cross promote your products. If you are a baker, ask if someone from a jam or oil stand might like to have samples of your bread to go with their products and equally, if you sell various types of bread – pairing with complimenting sweet and savoury food items might help your customers make the choice about what they should buy from you.
  • Make sure your website is mobile-friendly. Google has confirmed that mobile-friendly sites will rank better in search results and if you want to capture leads and sales, not to mention reduce shopping cart abandonment rate, make sure your online presence is up to date. You can check it for free here:
  • If you are too small a business to have ecommerce in place and rely on social media to engage with your customers on a daily basis, make sure they know how to find you quickly and easily. Include links and account names of our social media accounts to Facebook, Instagram, etc on your leaflets, brochures, recipe cards and other give-aways, but also have large signs ‘find us on Facebook’ where they can be spotted easily.
  • Announce your event attendance across your social media channels in advance. Use free email distribution software such as mailchimp to notify your contacts about the event you are exhibiting at. Keep it short and simple – tell them where you’re going to be (including stand number and/or location), when you will be there and remember to promote any offer you plan on having. Don’t forget to include a Call to Action (where they can find out more about you) and tell them to stop by/forward this info to a friend or get in touch with you even if they are unable to attend the event!
  • If your products can be ingredients in a recipe, consider printing them on cards that you can give away or at the very least you and/or your sales team can share those recipes while promoting products on the day. Better yet, if your stand allows for a product demonstration, show them how it can be used and engage with anyone stopping by for a look.
  • Make sure you capture data at the event – mailing lists are valuable if you want to promote your products, target them on social media and drive traffic to your website at any point after the event. Use your creativity to encourage potential customers to sign up for your newsletters – be that through prize draws, competitions or give-aways. Keep it simple and fun!
  • If you don’t have celebrity brand ambassadors – don’t despair! Consider using a brand mascot. It might not be Alexander Orlov, but if used properly your own mascot, can help you develop brand recognition and free extended reach in social media. Think of Dean’s and their Shortie. For more info about brand ambassadors and mascots, read our next blog coming soon!
  • Know your audience - if it’s an event that’s attended by families with children – think of what you could offer them that’s engaging and memorable or if you know that many dog owners come to your regional highland games, put a water bowl next to your stand so that you have a chance to engage with the pup’s owner for an extra minute or two and perhaps make a sale!

If you need help making the most of your event attendance or just want to run your ideas by us, don’t hesitate to get in touch: You can download the complete a printable version of this list here.