Ideas, tips and reports about event display construction and management

FoodEx 2012

by welkamro

The „Makuhari Messe“-Building (interesting fact: „Messe“ is the German word for „exhibition“) in Chiba normally stands for huge trade shows, business meetings and rock-concerts. But, how I discovered on my visit at „FoodEx“ trade show 2012, it also stands for delicate food.

After some security guards in impressive-looking uniforms eye your bags strictly, you can reach the holy center of good taste.

Nearly every country in the world presents it´s typical stereotype-food: Japan shows it´s best sushi, in France you can taste wine and croissants and in Germany, of course, there is some sausages and Haribo, presented by a poor Japanese guy in a huge bear-costume, plodding through the halls and giving out some goodies.
Target-group-visitors for the FoodEx are mainly catering companies, supermarket chains, hotels and restaurants – and not German interns.
Therefore, the receptionist looked at me quite distrustful when I wanted to buy my ticket. After I told her, that my mission is, not only to observe the exhibition and get some food for free, but doing some important business (she didn´t know that I´m just an intern), I could get in.

Less is more: Especially at European booths, this adage dominates. Most of the boothes were coloured white with only a few colorful deco lines. Apart from that, it looked quite clean.
The Asian booths tied to impress with traditional styles: Many booths were built with bamboo and Asian architecture, with some warm and smooth colours and lights.
Even the booth asisstants were often dressed in traditional, asian clothes. Hostesses from oversea mostly wore some classy business-attire.

Between all these serious-looking booths, I found my personally highlight in exibitionhall 4: A giant, silver-coloured stall from the company „SuKarne“, with some dancing, futuristic-looking women. Around the stall, there were many colorful, flashing lights.
You may think: That´s typical for japan. That was also my first thought, BUT: This is not a japanese company, it comes from mexico.
In my opinion, it´s an interesting way to beat the japanese companies at their own game. While most of the japan stalls at FoodEx were quite modest, this stall should touch the japanese hearts. With success: Many japanese people couldn´t keep their eyes away from this stall, some of them even BOUGHT some mercandising items (there was nothing for free). Clever.

But most of the stalls did things in style and gave away lots of food for free (of course not without giving some business cards and flyers).
You could see the international touch in the halls, there were not many „typical“ japanese styles like bright lights and trashy decoration (like at „Japan Shop). Also, these lightly cladded hostesses were in short supply.

Next time I´ll go to „Tokyo International Anime Fair“, I think there will be a big contrast to „FoodEx“.

the Welkam boys Kojichu, Japanese for 'under construction,' is an ongoing notebook of ideas, tips and discoverys we've picked up over the years building displays and managing events around the world.

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