Casual Dining, the UK’s only dedicated trade event for casual dining operators, has been nominated for ‘Best UK Tradeshow Exhibition under 2,000sq.m’ for the third time in its first three years of business.
Having won the same award at the exhibition industry’s annual AEO Excellence Awards for the last two years running, Casual Dining (organised by Diversified Communications UK) will now have the chance to defend its title again.
Casual Dining was the first launch show in over five years to triumph in the Association of Event Organisers’ hotly contested ‘Best Tradeshow Exhibition under 2,000sq.m’ category. Since that win in 2014, and again last year, the show has continued to gain widespread support from across the casual dining sector. The 2016 event, which took place just four months ago, enjoyed a 22% increase in unique attendees (up to 4,402) and was called an “essential forum for sharing new ideas, innovations and insights” by Carluccio’s co-founder and Chairman Simon Kossoff.
Whilst Casual Dining devotees will be hoping its winning streak continues for 2016, the show’s marketing manager Grace Allwright is delighted that its highly-targeted marketing has also been recognised by the AEO, having received its first ever nomination for ‘Marketing Campaign of the Year’.
“We’re thrilled that Casual Dining is not only up for Best Trade Show for the third year running, but for the very first time – marketing campaign of the year as well! We do everything we can to ensure that Casual Dining truly serves its industry and recognition like this really is the icing on the cake!” Allwright said.
Group Event Director Chris Brazier added: “It’s a big honour and amazing achievement for Casual Dining to be shortlisted for best trade show once again by the AEO – particularly after already winning this award twice before! To also be nominated for the show’s marketing campaign for the first time really is a great tribute to the talented team we have here at Diversified. I’m so thankful to all the exhibitors, visitors, associations and media partners that support us.”
Looking ahead to the 2017 show next February, stands have been selling at a record rate. With over eight months until doors open, the show, which will boast over 200 exhibitors, is already 75% sold out. That’s even with the addition of a 20% increase in stands, to expand the show into a new area on its Upper Feature Level.
“It’s a testament to the show’s continuing success – and demonstrates just how important and essential Casual Dining has become to suppliers and buyers looking to do business here,” said Brazier.
Returning exhibitors include Reynolds, Lamb Weston, McCain Foodservice, DiSotto Foods, Moy Park Foodservice, AAK Foodservice, Fresh Direct, Nestlé Professional, Gamble Food Service Equipment, Pinguin Foods UK, Pan’Artisan, Pidy, and Rational UK. New companies joining them for 2017, include Tilda, Whitby Seafoods, Design My Night, Farmhouse Potato Bakers, Joe & Sephs Gourmet Popcorn, MacKnight, Lincoln & York, Woodall’s Charcuterie, and Nigel Fredericks.
As in previous years, Diversified UK received multiple AEO Excellence Awards nominations. Among them, ‘Best UK Trade Show Exhibition over 2,000sqm’ for Casual Dining’s sister show lunch!. The UK’s biggest annual food-to-go event, taking place on 21-22 September, lunch! has already won an impressive three best trade show awards – the AEO’s ‘under 2,000sqm’ category in both 2011 and 2012, and Best Trade Show at the Exhibition News Awards in 2014.
The AEO Excellence Awards 2016 will take place on 17 June.