19 March 2012
The organiser of IFE11, Fresh RM, has announced an increase in visitor numbers at their March 2011 event resulting in a total attendance of 28,315 (subject to ABC audit). A busy and vibrant show left exhibitors and visitors who attended the event at ExCeL London from 13-16 March 2011 in no doubt that the UK's largest food and drink trade show is still the leading event of its kind in the industry calendar.
During the four-day event, buyers from retailers, wholesalers and food service outlets descended on ExCeL London from all corners of the globe, to source the newest products and ingredients from 1,137 exhibitors, covering 55 countries. The atmosphere in all areas of the show was very positive, with a number of visitors and exhibitors commenting on the "buzz" felt around the exhibition. IFE11 clearly demonstrated that there is renewed optimism in the food and drink industry.
Christopher McCuin, IFE11 Event Director, was delighted with the outcome of this year's show: "The feedback from this year's IFE has been fantastic. There was certainly an air of positivity on the show floor and exhibitors have remarked on the number of high quality business leads they have received from exhibiting at the event and many have requested to increase their space for 2013.With such a broad spectrum of high-quality senior figures from retail, foodservice, manufacturing and wholesale sectors clambering to source new products and ingredients, there was lots of business being conducted on the show floor".
Alongside the exhibition, the Meet the Buyer initiative was a huge success for retail and food service buyers, as well as exhibitors. 130 buyers from Sainsbury's, Asda, Morrisons, 3663, Brakes, Compass, Musgrave Foodservices Ireland, Elior, Sodexo, Aramark and the catering team at The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) conducted 350 meetings over three days.
The organisers of IFE11 received more than 2,000 submissions from exhibitors to take part in the programme, which allowed exhibitors to pitch their latest products to these senior industry buyers. It proved to be an extremely useful experience for both parties as exhibitors were able to showcase their innovations to the people that matter, whilst buyers were able to source the newest products from across the globe in a cost-efficient manner.
Jeremy Rees, Exhibition Sales Director, ExCeL London commented "The IFE team have demonstrated how flexible ExCeL London is as a venue. The Meet the Buyer initiative utilised the excellent meeting room space available in our gallery rooms to create effective meeting space for their VIP visitors, ensuring a high level of business was conducted at the event. Ever more organisers are realising the importance of creating new and relevant content to enable their exhibitors to maximise their ROI and Meet the Buyer events are a fantastic way to do this. ExCeL London is one of the best connected venues in the world; shows that run here continually enjoy increases in international visitor numbers."
McCuin concluded: "IFE11 highlighted that the food and drink industry is planning for growth, expansion and long term development, and we are already looking forward to the next edition of IFE in 2013, which promises to be bigger and filled with exciting new content for the industry."
IFE13 will take place at ExCeL London from 17-20 March 2013. The show will have a new look layout designed to make the most of the show's interactive features and events.