5 Tips To Get The Most Out Of A Local Food Show
The opportunity to meet with small and family farmers doesn’t come around every day.
Farmers in your state work upwards of 50 hours a week to grow and raise the food we put on our tables, which doesn’t leave much opportunity for social calls and networking off the farm.
One of the absolute best ways to connect with your state’s local farms is by attending a Food Show.
When it comes to meeting with your local food community, there really is no wrong way to do it, but there are the best ways. Read on so you can reap all of the benefits of attending a food show with these five easy tips.
Come Prepared and Bring A Pen
Bring enough business cards to share, or, at the very least, visit your local food show armed with a pen and notepad. This will prepare you to make genuine connections with vendors and guests that will last far into the future. A food show is not simply about goods and products -make sure you’re taking time to get to know your state’s farmers and see where there is room to lend a hand or collaborate.
Use Your Time Wisely
With so many things happening at a food show, it’s easy to miss something. The best way to get the most out of a food show is to budget your time wisely. Take at least 5 minutes to get to know the vendor and their business -after all, local farms are an essential part of your community.
Work The Room
Be open-minded going into a local food event and expect the unexpected. Many trade shows have more than just trade-specific booths and vendors. At any food event, there will be plenty of groups and businesses to meet and work with that may not be right up your alley, but are definitely in your neighborhood. Take the chance to meet with even those vendors, to see where they fit into the quilt of your community.
In the same vein, don’t forget who your fellow food show guests are! You’ll be eating, drinking, and browsing with dozens of other chefs, restaurant owners, and agriculturalists. Remember to share a drink with other attendees to talk about tricks of the trade -you’ll learn a lot!
Don't Come Alone
One of the biggest ways you can help your culinary community thrive is by helping it grow! Invite everyone from your workplace and bring your friends that are interested in agriculture. Small and family-owned farms make up 88% of America’s farms, so having a room packed full of them is the perfect opportunity to connect and learn.
Come For More Than Just Freebies and Samples
Yes, many food shows and trade shows offer crazy amounts of free samples, meals, and drinks. You can leave with anything from a book of business cards to reusable water bottles. But at a local food show, you can expect the unique opportunity to sample fresh produce, cheeses, and more from local and family farms in your region.
Bonus Tip: Get a head start before going to the event! If you’re a chef, sign up for Farm’d now so you can set up your account before the food show. That way, you can browse the entire catalog of farmers’ products and buy directly from the local vendors you meet at the show instantly through the Farm’d marketplace.
These five tips will help you conquer your next local food show and leave with more than a bag full of pens. Try out our advice at the Farm’dxATL Food Show this Monday to shake the hands that feed the state of Georgia and learn more about your local food community.