Consumer food event sampling strategy

What was Good and Not so Good – at the 2021 BBC Good Food Show?

What can we learn about creating effective exhibition displays, from these five examples of Not so Good and Good exhibition stands, at the recent BBC Good Food Show?



Allowing customers to reach in and touch an open platter of food samples allows the potential for cross-
transference of germs and bacteria. It is never a good idea; but following a two year Covid Pandemic, it is shocking.

If you are going to display a tray of tasters, provide individual tasting pots. This allows customers to hygienically take one, try the sample and then put it in the bin. At £0.02p per eco-friendly recycled pot, it is not going to break the budget or the NHS.

Bonus Points to Davidstow Cheddar: Each platter of tasters should show the packaged product on display. Without it, you are presenting a platter of tasters. With it, you show customers what you are asking them to buy.



The word ‘show’ in The BBC Good Food Show should provide exhibitors with a basic idea of what their stands should look like. Some of the less experienced displays were like walking into a child’s messy bedroom!

While stock storage and back of house catering support is often essential; it does not need to be seen by everyone.

Bonus Points to Lee Kum Kee: Their fridges, kitchen sinks and stock storage were neatly hidden away behind their stand. No space went to waste; the doors and side walls were all emblazoned with visuals and clear sales deals too!



Q: When is big not better? A: When you don’t have anything to fill it with! An empty stand looks sad. Like a half baked idea that’s not gone to plan. If you don’t have the visual displays or graphics for a 6x3m stand, you are better off with a 3x3m one!

Check out the example below where the brand either booked a space that did not suit their displays or was offered it by the organisers for a last mninute bargain. It doesn’t have to cost much either. Just some drapes, some crates and some product can provide co-ordinated colours and a cohesive design theme.

Bonus Points to Hindleys Bakery: Simple hessian cloth drapes, wicker baskets and wooden crates probably cost less than £100 for the lot. Yet, when combined together to fill their space, works in harmony for a stylish, rustic and appetising display; achieved on a budget.



In a food show with circa 500 exhibition stalls, how are you going to make your brand stand out from the crowds? What is the brand and what is its key message? With so much happening at a busy show, the need for clear and easy
to understand messaging is vital.

If your back wall is a blank white canvas, then so is the viewer’s mind. If your brand name is hidden below waist height when people stand in front of your stand, no one will see it. If your tables don’t match the display graphics, the viewer won’t know (or care) where one stand starts and another one ends.

Bonus Points for Edinburgh Gin: Their attractive floral disigns reflect the botanical nature of their ingredients. The bold clear logo is raised up above head height, making it a beacon   for gin lovers to head towards at a crowded event.





One might think that taste sampling at a food show is a given… BUT…. Some brands didn’t even offer that. How can event goers understand what your flavour range is, if they can’t try the flavours for themselves!?

Sensory engagement can be achieved with taste sampling (via taste, touch, scent, sight, sound). Beyond the basic fundamental of taste sampling, what about FUN? Adding in a fun participatory activity creates emotional engagement for the brand – and adds interest to your stand.

Bonus Points to GoPuff: The new grocery delivery service had constant crowds around it and never ending queue of keen customers. How? A simple spin to win game, with prizes. The activity attracted interest and communicated their brand proposition, as part of a fun and engaging brand interaction.




For effective strategy at your next trade show or consumer event, contact Link Communication in advance. You will receive expert guidance, flexible costings and effective implementation. Check out some examples of experiential exhibition design, event staffing and self funding marketing roadshows.

Explore the links below for more ideas!


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    Campaign mission

    Please rank the below campaign goals in order 1 to 5









    Activity Location Options

    Which types of locations are of most potential interest

    Key Retailers: Major Supermarkets / Convenience Retailers / Discount Retailers
    High Footfall Locations: Eg: High streets / Train Stations / Suburban High Streets
    Targeted Consumer Events: Eg: Food Festivals / Athletic Events / Niche Events
    Exhibitions & Trade Shows: Eg: Lunch! / National Convenience Show / Grocery Aid
    Somewhere else? Eg: Head Offices / National Landmarks / Media Houses / etc

    Key Stockists

    Please list the most important stockists to drive sales uplifts to

    Supermarkets: Asda / Morrisons / Tesco / Sainsburys / Tesco / Waitrose / other
    Convenience & Discount Retailers: Co-op / Iceland / Discount Retailers / Independent



    Fan Oven
    Warming Cupboard
    Commercial Microwave
    Commercial Air Fryer
    Convection Oven
    Pizza Oven
    Deep Fat Fryer
    Bain Marie
    Water Boiler


    Which types of job roles do you expect will be required from LINK?

    Promotional Staff – roaming sampling, consumer interaction
    Catering Chef – takes the lead on food preparation and efficient catering
    Catering Support – sample prep support cleaning, stock replenishment runs, etc
    Social Media Staff – encourages participation and sharing on social media
    Game Play Staff – organising interactions and rewarding participation



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