The London Wine and Food Show is taking place between January 12th and 14th, and is the seventh year that the event has been held. The event is very popular among people who love food and drink and there are many samples on offer as well as cooking demonstrations. The event runs in the evening on Thursday and Friday and during the day and evening on Saturday.
The corporate affairs manager is Heather Blackwell and she has commented, “The event is about more than just food and it has become a popular place for people to network. It is an incredibly social event and people from all around get together. It is popular for people to come to with their friends or family but you will also see plenty of couples at the event as well as people who’ve come by themselves.”
The event was originally established as a trade show but it has evolved into a more social event where there is a lot of conversation about favourite foods and drinks. Ms Blackwell continued, “What many people say they like about the event is that they will often bump into other people they know in the city and it has become such a social hub that they find themselves returning.”
In previous years the event was run from Friday through Sunday but the organisers have taken the Sunday out of the schedule based on feedback from previous years. About the change in scheduling Blackwell commented, “People generally don’t want to attend this kind of event on Sunday so we thought using Thursday night instead would be a good alternative. We tend to get different audiences each day and I’m quite keen to see who will turn up on Thursday evening.”
There are many activities taking place at the events including a cook off between local chefs as well as the appearance of a celebrity chef, Ted Reader. Friday night is called ‘Girls Night Out’ and the first 250 women to arrive at the event will be given a complimentary gift bag. About the Friday evening Blackwell continued, “We get a very different audience on Friday and it is very popular with women, but men are more than welcome.”
The Saturday schedule is rather different and focuses on the sampling of foods. There are also several seminars being held about the food available at the show. One of the highlights of this year’s show is sure to be the cheese tasting room which has always been a great success in the past.
The event has previously drawn around 6000 people over the three days that it operates for. This year Blackwell is hoping that around 8000 people will attend the event and some of the organisers are even thinking this number might reach 9000.
These growing numbers are a testament to how popular the event has become but organisers have stated that they don’t think it will continue to grow much more in the near future. They state, “The event is currently held in the Progress Building and when we started out we did not fill up the whole place but now we would struggle to fit anything more in. We might look at expanding the capacity of the show in a few years but right now we are fairly content with the size of the event.”