Diversified Communications’ lunch! show – the leading trade event for the UK’s £14.9bn lunchtime market – has added another industry title to its mantle after winning Best Trade Show at the annual Exhibition News Awards ceremony last month.
lunch! triumphed in the hotly-contested Best Trade Show category ahead of Speciality & Fine Food Fair, The Toy Fair, DSEI, London Vet Show, Fespa, Bett, The Business Show, 100% Design, and Pharmacy Show.
Already a firm favourite with thousands of food-to-go manufacturers, suppliers, retailers and buyers (a record 5,929 industry professionals visited lunch! 2013), lunch! has also proved popular with exhibition industry judges. Having already won Best Marketing Campaign of the Year 2012 and two Best UK Trade Show Exhibition under 2,000sqm (2010 and 2011) at the Association of Event Organisers (AEO) Excellence Awards.
“We are thrilled to have won Best Trade Show for lunch! 2013,” comments a delighted Chris Brazier, the show’s group event manager. “It is such an honour for the whole Diversified team particularly when you consider the competition within this category! One of lunch!’s real strengths has always been its niche, boutique appeal, so for it to win against such established – and much bigger – events really is an enormous achievement and a real recognition of the impact that lunch! has made within the industry.”
“We talk about lunch!’s fantastic buzz and unique atmosphere every year but it really was incredible for 2013,” says marketing manager Grace Allwright, who has worked on the award-winning show since 2009. “lunch! draws its inspiration from the industry it serves – so we are delighted to share this award with all the extraordinarily dedicated, innovative individuals and companies that keep the lunch market moving forward. Huge thanks must go to our show partners, exhibitors and visitors for their fantastic support in helping to make lunch! the wonderful success it is.”
2013 was indeed a momentous year for lunch!. Its sixth, and biggest, edition attracted a record 5,929 industry professionals over two days – that’s an unparalleled 37% increase in unique attendees (excluding revisits) compared to 4,314 in 2012. And whilst lunch! 2014 is still over five months away, it’s already on track for a repeat performance. According to organiser Diversified UK, its exhibition space – which accommodates around 300 companies – is selling at record speed. At the time of writing this, over 85% of it had already been booked.
Rombouts Coffee, Tudor Tea & Coffee, Taylors of Harrogate, Freshfayre, Equip Line, Adelie Foods, Bagel Nash, Popchips, Crown Foods, Pidy, Tri-Star Packaging, Tom’s Pies, Cawston Press, Joe & Seph’s Popcorn, Butterware, SFD, Simple Simon Foods, Magrini, Craftis, Mr Sherick’s Shakes, and Berry White are just a few of the returning exhibitors confirmed so far.
Meanwhile Tyrrells Potato Crisps, Fracino, Unilever Tea Fusion, Pegarich UK (Stream), Manitowoc Foodservice, Bfree Foods, Cuisine Solutions, Plenish Cleanse, The Brownie Bar, Ancient Recipes, City Pantry, RoughStuff Oak Food Boards, Little Cherry, The Protein Ice Cream Company, Beanworks, and Metcalfe’s Food Company are all busy preparing to make their lunch! debut.
Show features include the Working lunch! Keynote Theatre, Innovation Challenge Awards, Innovation Challenge Showcase, and the British Smoothie Championships.
“It’s essential to know your market place,” says Andrew Sherick, a former senior buyer with M&S Foods, who switched from visiting to exhibiting last year when he launched Mr Sherick’s Shakes. “That’s why lunch! is so key. I think it’s the only trade show that’s 100% focused on the impulse market.”