Lunch! Show Post
This year’s Lunch! Exhibition was a fantastic event for us at The Printed Cup Company. I went down to the show in London from our offices here in Clitheroe, Lancashire. It was a good journey down arriving in London Euston and getting the underground to Angel Station.
The venue was easy to find from this station, the Business Design Centre, had the lunch! branding all across the venue so it was certainly easy to spot.
As the marketing assistant here at the company and being new to the role and the industry I was sent to immerse myself in one of the industries we operate in, catering supplies, and it was a really valuable learning experience.
My first point of call was to meet Tom Gavin, a business associate of our companies who works for Tri-Star Packaging. He was very welcoming and we spoke briefly about our business partnership and about future events. This experience set up the rest of what to expect of the show. Networking.
There was lots of networking.
I had my business cards ready to go and was on a mission. Get the word out about our cups whilst enjoying the myriad selection of free samples which were thrust into my path. More on the samples later!
As I walked around, I saw a lot of stands offering liquid in unmarked plastic and paper cups and I just marvelled at the missed opportunity all around. The waste that goes into the plastic cups, which were going straight into general waste and would never be recycled, if they could be recycled at all. Same goes with the cups, straight to the waste bin.
I spoke to the companies about what we do as a company, offering bespoke printed sample cups for exhibitions like lunch! I explained the great marketing opportunities our cups make for business owners.
The marketing opportunity I presented these companies with is best described with a tailored example. This one from a nice lady I spoke to on Twitter who owns a flower stall at a market. And it goes as follows –
“A customer comes up to your stall and purchases one of your plants. The plant pot isn’t a traditional boring black plastic pot oh no, this is a GOOD FLOWER CO cup. It stands out from all the other flower pots and catches customer’s eyes. They walk over and maybe have a look at the cup, smell the flower. This gives you a great talking point allowing you to make a sale!
Now, usually this will be where you and the customer part ways and the sale is complete. But with a bespoke cup your branding and marketing continues onwards to this customers home/office etc.
They take their plant and display it in their new plant pot, they position it so the sun falls just right and there you have it. You have an advert directly in the middle of someone’s house or office. Their friends/colleagues come round and think wow what a beautiful flower, what an intriguing plant pot. “Oh? You got this from The Good Flower Company? Wow how unique, I’ll have to have a look.”
This new person comes to your stall and rinse, repeat. Growing business!”
As you can see this can be transferred to a lot of situations. Replace customer with potential clients at the trade show, and instead of flowers you’d have your tasty food inside them.
We offer free graphic design on our bespoke cups so even if you’re a small independent shop with no graphic design experience we can help you out with this. We print onto a wide variety of size cups but our4oz sample cups are perfect for shows like this.
The show wasn’t just about making new business, it was to see our existing customers. For example, Shaken Udder Milkshakes. As well as a courtesy call I couldn’t help but take away some samples of their amazing milkshake.
As well as networking I was there for market research, to see what the next big crazes are, and there certainly was a few which I’ll outline for you below.
- Coconut Water
There was a lot of different coconut water stands, all proclaiming to be the best and the healthiest and one of these stands was the first I approached and they seemed really interested in using branded sample cups to hold their products. I tried a few different brands and wasn’t a personal fan of the coconut drinks but I could see how people would be!
- Vegetable & Fruit Smoothies
Now this was a strange concept. Blending vegetables and fruit together and marketing it as a drink. I can certainly see the appeal for people who are having a health kick but personally the drinks tasted too earthy. I tried a few flavours, the worst being beetroot and pomegranate, the best being peach and cucumber. But on the whole I wasn’t exactly a fan.
- Various Tea’s
Tea seems to be making a rise, there’s so many independent coffee shops and big name coffee chains but not so many tea emporiums around. That seems to be changing with a huge push for various flavours of tea. There was green tea, black tea, exotic tea, fruit tea, English tea. So many choices. I tried some from one company that was offering pure green tea powdered then mixed back together with a little cold water followed by the boiling hot water. It was nice for the first couple of sips but it was just too strong eventually. Fortunately they offered milder teas.
There was also a wide variety of food displays with a large selection of noodles, bagels, pies, pasties, cakes, chocolate, sweets etc. The best thing there though has to be the following MASSIVE CAKE DISPLAY.
Aside from food and drink there was a huge push for environmental products. One of the aforementioned coconut products suppliers had a stand of tableware made from palm tree leaves that are heated and compressed down. They are washable and reusable according to the marketing spiel.
The most interesting thing there relating to our line of work was the compostable cups, cups that instead of being lined with plastic are lined with things like corn-starch instead. The industry is slowly moving that way and we will soon be stocking compostable cups as The Printed Cup Company cares about the environmental aspect of our work quite a lot.
At the end of the day I got to have a nice relaxing sit down before getting the train back and enjoy the atmosphere of the show with a very good jazz band playing their music.
A big thanks is owed to the organisers of lunch! and the brilliant event they hosted.
Same again next year? I think so!