Hungry for the latest speciality foods and quality drinks with a West Country flavour? Got an appetite for profitable catering solutions and inspired hospitality ideas? Then don’t miss the Source trade show! It’s the biggest and best show of its kind in the South West and an absolute must if you want the freshest recipes for success.
It’s a busy show with an unmistakeable buzz about it – the mix of upbeat exhibitors and eager buyers creates a great atmosphere. The numbers tell the same story, with impressive recent growth and around 90% of visitors saying they intend to return next year and would recommend the show to others.
The timing couldn’t be better - taking place on the 5th-6th February at Westpoint, Exeter, the show gives buyers ample time to prepare for the season ahead. It’s also sufficiently large, with such a comprehensive spread of different offerings, that many visitors don’t feel the need to spend more of their valuable time travelling further afield to other events. They can get everything they need all under one roof – everything from unique artisan produce to innovative catering equipment, trend setting spirits to the latest sustainable packaging and specialist software solutions to logistics, waste management and cleaning services.
Fads, fashions and trends are changing faster than ever and you cannot afford to be serving up ideas that are past their “best before” date. This a ‘must-attend’ show because it gives you the heads up on this year’s coolest ingredients fresh from left-field, far out cuisines that are suddenly centre stage and the latest consumer crazes that are turning things on their head. You’ll have ample opportunities to discover remarkable local products with fascinating provenance stories to tell and spend valuable time with passionate producers and knowledgeable suppliers face-to-face. Comparing different flavours, aromas and textures is easy when everything is laid out side by side. Building relationships with new partners, catching up with colleagues, clients and friends, picking the brains of industry experts – it’s the perfect environment for all this and more.
This industry is driven by innovation and creativity, so the Newcomers area of the show is always popular – it showcases companies from the South West that have never exhibited at a trade show before. If you want to differentiate yourself from your competitors and keep your offering totally fresh, then time spent in this area of the show is certain to pay dividends.
When you factor in all these elements it’s easy to see why the Source continues to be the South West’s biggest and best trade show for the food & drink sector. In 2017 there were more exhibitors than ever before, and visitor numbers were up too on the previous show. In 2018 this run continued with the show growing 35% over those two years. 2019 was equally good, with 40% of the visitors not having attended before and an impressive 230+ exhibitors, as well as a superb selection of Dorset Food & Drink members.
Drink is big and there is a dedicated area that serves as a hub for the on-trade and the off-trade – sample new and exciting beverage products, discover the latest techniques and compare different services and catch up with the emerging trends. It’s also a convivial environment in which to network with industry colleagues and potential partners. There will be local, national and international drinks exhibitors throughout the hall, showing hot, cold, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. It’s going to be very lively with lots of drink tastings and brand masterclasses.
The Demo Kitchen is always a big draw with a variety of renowned chefs, including the winners from the 2019 South West Chef of the Year competition, serving up an informative and entertaining smorgasbord of stories, techniques and inspiration. In previous years the likes of Bruce Cole, Brett Sutton, Robin Rea, Elly Wentworth and Michael Caines have stolen the show – whether demonstrating how to use local and seasonal ingredients, or coming up with unusual menu ideas, they have proved a hugely popular part of the proceedings.
There’s a hearty helping of valuable experiences, knowledge and insights on the side with increasingly popular Westcountry Tourism Conference will be running alongside the show. Last year's conference attracted nearly 300 delegates and achieving delegate ratings of 95% Excellent or Good. The 2020 Conference will follow a similar structure with 5th Feb focusing on 'Tourism Ideas and Excellence' whilst the 6th Feb theme will be 'Marketing, Digital and PR'.
Looking for that hot new ingredient to give your menu an intriguing twist, that unique artisan product to liven up your shop’s offering, or that new item of equipment that’ll take your kitchen to the next level? Then this show is for you. The huge spread of quality speciality produce, inspirational experiences, comparative tastings, networking opportunities and tasty food for thought is a compelling recipe for success – and a lot of fun.