Can you give some tips for those exhibiting for the first time in London and specifically at IFE?

IFE is the ideal place to launch new products into the market, with the opportunity to showcase your brand to an audience of qualified buyers. They will have reviewed the exhibitor list ahead of their visit and plan to spend a couple of hours walking the show.  Ensure you are always professional on your stand, don’t over-sell and ask for their details straight away, give them time to explore your products. They won’t want to carry around lots of heavy collateral, so consider bringing A4 size sale sheets which include your USPs, RRP, case sizes and most importantly good high-res pack shots that display how your products will appear on the shelf.

I also can’t stress how important your packaging is, its not just there to protect the product, its your brand identity and ambassador and will make your product shine (or not) on the shelf. It’s a key criteria that all buyers are looking for when sourcing suppliers at IFE.

As in previous years, IFE’s is co-located with Waste-Works, the UK’s only waste & sustainability event for the food industry and Pro2Pac, the UK’s only food & drink packaging event. Together the three events cover the entire supply chain, and we are offering a concierge service to bring together packaging brands and manufacturers to maximise exhibitor benefits.

During the show, we can enjoy about different activities and seminars. Do you recommend us an activity in particular?

There’s so much choice, there’s literally something for everyone – but we know that can be a little challenging sometimes. In 2017, we are launching an exclusive online visitor planning tool that will enable buyers to create a personalised itinerary that includes the key seminars and suppliers than they simply don’t want to miss.

We’ve created two new theatres and guarantee a spectacular speaker line up who will address some of the big issues topics facing the industry as well as share their unrivalled insight. The Talking Trends theatre, hosted by Saturday Kitchen wine critic, Jane Parkinson, will shine a spotlight on the newest NPD entering the market.  While the Big Picture theatre, hosted by Andrew D Scott MIH, Owner of Victus Consultancy, will tackle the hard-hitting issues facing the industry.

Can anybody attend IFE?

IFE is a trade only event. Whether you're a multiple or an independent retailer, convenience store, wholesaler, distributor, hotel, cafe, restaurant or contract caterer, you'll discover exciting products and original ideas that will inspire you and ensure your business is bursting with renewed energy.

Lastly, can you give us some participation results from last edition (2015)?

In 2015, 29,000 industry professionals came through our doors and we are confident that we will see numbers expand this year. Across the four-day event, we expect to welcome buyers from more than 100 countries and a range of sectors including multiple and independent retailers, convenience stores, wholesalers, caterers and hospitality.

As ever we also expect to be really busy, hugely inspired by the suppliers large and small and humbled by the effort and commitment that our exhibitors put into their brands. IFE 2017 is the best food and drink show in the UK and we know that buyers will leave definitely having seen something new, something unexpected and heard something from a speaker or a supplier which made them genuinely stop and think! It’s going to be a great show and we’re really looking forward to opening the doors in March.