Research conducted by UFI earlier this year has shown an increase in the importance of food amongst exhibition organisers looking for new ways to attract and keep audiences. Lime Venue Portfolio has supported these findings, with its own insights that also demonstrate changing attitudes towards food amongst exhibition audiences.


In the UFI research, when asked about the main factors for attracting audiences and delivering on their expectations, the overriding feedback was the importance of talks and presentations which scored 86%, followed by informal networking at 71%. Unusual venues came in at third with 57% of organisers looking for new environments for their events. However, the surprise mover in the research was exhibition organiser’s desire for ‘Informal catering and street food’, which came in at joint third with 43% of organisers seeing this as a major draw.


Jo Austin, Sales Director, Lime Venue Portfolio commented “This is really encouraging research for us, as both a venue and a food business, with the findings being in-line with our own consumer data. Content should always be a priority, in terms of the conference programme, what is actually on the exhibition floor, and of course the networking opportunities the event offers.


We’re clearly delighted that this sector of the industry is also looking to embrace unique or unusual venues, and really believe that this sort of venue can be adapted creatively to embrace creative exhibitions. However, the importance of food to an exhibition experience underlines a growing sophistication in this market, and it’s great to see. Food is a brilliant accompaniment to great content, networking and a dramatic venue. It can support the tone of an event and be incredibly rewarding for audiences who are taking valuable time out of their diaries to be at the event.”

You can view the Exhibition Venue and Event Sector Report here.


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