24% increase in visitors to event
The culmination of 18 months’ work, helping to bring to fruition a new show venue, and taking place during Northern Ireland’s Year of Food & Drink, IFEX has exceeded all expectations with a sizzling three-day event.
The event, which took place from 8-10th March, has just recorded one of its biggest-ever event attendance numbers, which have increased by a huge 24% since the last event in 2014. This and other impressive factors meant IFEX won the prestigious AEO Exhibition of the year 2016. The oldest show ever to do so.
Organised by Fresh Montgomery, Toby Wand, Managing Director of Fresh Montgomery and Event Director, IFEX adds:
“The Fresh team and I have worked hard on this show to make it as good as it could be and the vibrancy and atmosphere at IFEX was incredible. In the build up to the sold-out event, the signs were very positive but the visitor numbers have exceeded our expectations and to hear exhibitors reporting that major deals have been done, reaffirms the power of face to face marketing at events.”
Exhibitors were thrilled by the level of footfall throughout the three days and visitors attended the show in their droves, sourcing the latest in food, drink and hospitality products and services.
Many exhibitors reported the event to be the best IFEX to date with exhibitor, Paul Lawless from Foods of Athenry saying: “IFEX has been a very successful show for us – we have got listed with two major food servicing companies and the feedback and reception we have been getting from the customers passing by our stand has been absolutely fantastic.”
From 40 pieces of edible art to a social-enterprise bottled water company from Larne and the first-ever Great Taste Market, IFEX really was the place for all of those in the food, drink, retail and hospitality industries.
With so many quality products and services on offer, Overall Product of the Show was jointly awarded to Holy Grass Vodka from Caithness, Scotland and Glass 2 Sand, from Gorey in Co. Wexford. Showcasing their product for the first time in Northern Ireland, Holy Grass Vodka from Scottish Dunnet Bay Distillers took home the accolade for top food & drink product, whilst Glass 2 Sand was awarded the top non-food accolade for its Expleco Oppressor Recycling Machines which reduce glass bottles to sand instantly.
In addition, one of the main events – the Salon Culinaire – was oversubscribed with over 200 student and culinary chefs taking part, and many spectators cheering on their favourites.
Taking home one of the biggest awards at IFEX was James Richardson from Weavers Lodge who was named DARD NI Chef of the Year. South Eastern College from Bangor secured gold in La Parade des Chefs, and Wayne Elliott from Uluru Bistro in Armagh was named as Young Culinarian of the Year.
Taking place during Northern Ireland’s Year of Food & Drink, many exhibitors and visitors will be reaping the rewards from attending IFEX in the months and years ahead.
IFEX returns in early 2018. For further information, please see www.IFEXexhibition.co.uk