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Big show or no show? How foodservice trade shows factor into purchase decisions

Before social media and mobile. Before videos and blogs. Before all of today’s countless ways to connect there were foodservice trade shows. And for busy industry decision makers, these events were an essential source for keeping up with trends, innovations and colleagues.

Foodservice trade shows were also the place to learn about new products, menu options and technology. These purchase decisions were important enough that operators needed to do a little homework, ask a few colleagues, and compare choices first hand.

But times have changed. This is an age of instant information and online research. Does that mean foodservice trade shows no longer influence decision makers’ purchase decisions?

The answer to that important question is among the revelations of a new foodservice industry research study conducted with operators nationwide.

The “Media Consumption Behaviors and the Decision-Making Journey of Foodservice Operators” Study was developed by Boomm Marketing & Communications to help foodservice marketing professionals make better-informed choices when creating communications strategies. The research was conducted by leading foodservice research firm Product Evaluations.

In order to the make the research study truly actionable to foodservice marketers, the findings were aligned to a decision-making path that follows the sales funnel. Using this structure, marketers can pinpoint which sources had the most influence at different purchase decision stages.

Show and tell: Who attends the events?

One of the more compelling findings of the study was which foodservice trade shows are being attended by commercial and non-commercial operators.

foodservice trade shows

As the graphic above reveals, distributor shows are the most attended industry events by a large margin. But that was only one of the findings that’s explored in a new infographic.

New foodservice trade shows infographic

To learn more about the trade events that foodservice operators use to guide their purchase decisions, check out the new infographic. In addition, a series of white papers from the new food industry research study are available for download now. They follow the buyer’s journey for a number of important purchase decisions aligned to the sales funnel and show where different segments of the industry turn for information. Contact Gary Mattes to view this valuable research.