As we find ourselves closing another virtual tradeshow and recapping the experience, we are motivated to share what we learned as a team. We feel so fortunate to have the opportunity to participate as a company and learn more about the effects that COVID-19 has had on the foodservice sector of our industry. As marketers, we left the show feeling empowered to continue to share our ideas and our helpful content to keep suppliers informed and continuing to navigate more changes that are likely to come.
The Overall Experience
For the team at DMA Solutions, our goal for attending foodservice was 100% education based. We made it a goal to not only learn more about the state of the foodservice sector of our industry, we also know that our marketing colleagues in the industry are counting on us to understand the ins and outs of various virtual tradeshow formats as we face future shows in 2020 (and maybe beyond).
The DMA team was unanimously in agreement that the tradeshow portal offered ease of navigation when exploring the various facets of the show. A jammed packed schedule is a hard one to manage during a virtual tradeshow and we were pleased that the team at PMA timed the educational sessions appropriately offering both long and short versions of learning opportunities. To top it off, most sessions were pre-recorded or available "on demand" allowing our busy team of marketers the opportunity to learn at their leisure.
Our hearts were struck with empathy for the leaders and the team members that continue to make the foodservice world go round, especially in light of the continued reality of the pandemic. From a marketing perspective we were inspired to put ourselves in the shoes of a foodservice operator and what they might be going through at this time.
As marketers, we can offer recommendations to suppliers that put them in a better position to serve the foodservice segment of our industry. And as we conclude and recap the virtual show, we believe that suppliers are in a unique position to serve the needs of this audience if they lead with empathy and develop solutions unique to this segments' needs. More specifically, we recommend suppliers consider catering to this audience in need with product innovation offering a range of fresh-cut, pre-cooked, prepped and packaging solutions that promote sanitation while promoting inspired menu items to attract diners to eat out!
Truth be told, diners are seeking inspiration and when they take the time and mask up to go out to dine in or pick up food to-go. Trying new things that they would not normally make at home is a ticket to success - that and to-go cocktails for the win! If we look at the bright side, now is a great time to inspire demand of specific types of food products and exotic cuisine with new, inspired, and fresh flavors on menus.
Now after having the opportunity to attend two virtual tradeshows during the pandemic, I think the number one lesson for marketers in our industry is that we need to be prepared to adapt to the changes we will likely be exposed to between one virtual show to the next. On that note, Fresh Summit is right around the corner and what would've been hosted in our home town of Dallas, Texas, is now being hosted virtually (major buzz kill for the team at DMA Solutions). We do not have all of the details around the plans for this show as of yet, but will be dedicated and working closely with PMA to elevate insights and details, right here on The Core and in our webinar series, Marketing Matters.
Stay tuned and in the meantime, if you have any questions or comments to share about your experience at PMA Foodservice: Delivered, we invite your comments below.