I was in business for 10 years before I went to my first trade show. It changed my life. For all those years I was busy working in my business. Going to that trade show was the start of me working on my business.
I met so many like-minded people: mad bakers with all this passion. This was 30 years ago. I still enjoy catching up with these people today. And I love meeting the specialists and suppliers. These people have a real commitment to our industry.
I was in awe of so much shiny new equipment. There was so much innovation. Today, with all the different technology, I’m still in awe. I get excited by the huge range of equipment and ingredients.
And it’s all under one roof. Wow.
I hear people say they can’t afford to go to trade shows. I believe you can’t afford not to. Going to trade shows is one of the best investments I have ever made.
They rekindled my passion for my business. They made me think outside my four walls. I get more creative and innovative by going to these shows. It makes me set goals, because I always see things I want.
I have found that if I stay at home and talk to myself, I am liable to get bad advice. I become shop blind, community blind and blind to the opportunities that are right at my feet. By getting out of my comfort zone and talking to other bakers and suppliers, I’m able to see my business with fresh eyes.
Trade shows are often held inter-city or inter-state, so we’ll take advantage of a few extra days for a holiday. You learn so much just by
checking out restaurants, cafés, and bakeries: what’s working, what’s not, what new trends are happening.
You will get some great marketing ideas. The secret is to put them into action when you get home.
If possible, we get quite a few of our staff to go to trade shows too. They always have a great day. They get inspired, see product I might have missed and pick up lots of ideas. It’s a great way to reward staff. We need them to be ambassadors for our business. If you reckon your staff is your greatest asset, invest in them.
Hopefully I will see you at the Melbourne’s FoodService Australia in June.