From social media marketing to video and streaming presentations, there are now multiple ways to expose your brand without necessarily participating in food expos or trade shows. After all, almost everyone can freely access information online, so why join them?

However, if the 12th edition of the Manila Food and Beverage Expo (MAFBEX) where 60,000 guests attended the five-day run is going to be an important basis of Filipino entrepreneurs, then these trade events will remain relevant for several good reasons.

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Firstly, food expos gather not just trusted brands in the industry but also up-and-coming entrepreneurs looking for more exposure. It is a great way to position a brand in the B2B industry, to find a niche that fills consumer needs. For instance, the Department of Agriculture (DA) is making Filipino produce such as nuts, banana wine, crab paste, and organic cacao more mainstream.

Professionals in the industry would benefit from food expos too in that they are platforms for trends and research. Some of the more interesting finds at this year’s MAFBEX include coconut sugar, a healthier alternative to refined sugar, and a table coffee roaster that has a built-in USB cable data capture to easily record and display real-time roasting data.

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Expos also conduct seminars that tackle relevant issues and topics in the industry as well as competitions that encourage culinary and hospitality students to put their learnings into practice.

Face-to-face interactions also provide a more accurate impression and assessment of brand suppliers and food developers to consider for themselves or their clients. It’s where trust really starts and where relationships are built that can’t be done digitally.

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Finally, food expos are also immersive platforms to pick up industry tips and practices. It’s also an opportunity to meet industry experts and get a better understanding of how they run their business.

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