What is a Virtual Food Exhibition and Why Should You Host One?

Over the last 12 months, we’ve seen a dramatic shift in the global food industry. One of the world’s
most lucrative industries – food service – saw delays in manufacturing, disrupted supply chains and shutdowns in dining establishments.

On top of that, in-person food expos aren’t feasible or safe. Many companies rely on such events to expand their networks, get products into new markets, and offer the best in food and beverage to their customers. However, is a way forward that might just be more effective than in-person events: virtual food exhibitions.

What is a virtual food exhibition?

Virtual food exhibitions offer food manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, and vendors a place to strengthen global sales channels. The virtual event offers many spaces for all participants across the supply chain to meet, learn more, and build leads. Virtual auditoriums host virtual webinars and live demos, and companies can sell products on a virtual trade show floor. Buyers can learn about new product and service offerings quickly and efficiently by browsing through providers’ resources. Likewise, sellers can easily provide pricing sheets and product information. 

Food exhibitions are sensory experiences by nature. Part of the draw is that people can interact with products in real time. This doesn’t have to go away at a virtual food exhibition. Attendees can still interact with products through live demos, interactive audio and video chat, and product info sheets.

In short, a virtual exhibition platform offers a fully immersive experience. This includes a 3D virtual venue that feels just like an in-person event. Best of all, virtual events are a fraction of the cost to host, increasing potential revenue!

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Who does it serve?

Food suppliers, manufacturers and producers

If you’re a foodservice supplier looking to expand your customer base, a virtual food exhibition is a great option. You can showcase your products, build new leads, and strengthen your networks all within the platform. Virtual exhibit booths let you post your own video demos, pricing sheets, and links to your products’ landing pages. Use the live chat feature to speak with booth visitors, answer questions about your products, and schedule meetings with new distributors and buyers. 

You can even host live webinars to demonstrate your offerings and interact live with potential customers. Each of these options help create a rich and immersive way to get the word out about your products. 

Foodservice providers, retailers and dining establishments

If you’re ready to find new suppliers and manufacturers, attend a virtual food exhibition. You can watch live, semi-live, or pre-recorded webinars in the virtual auditorium. Live presentations allow you to interact with the speaker as they present, and pre-recorded webinars allow you to ask questions in the chat feature as the video plays. Then, you can head to the virtual exhibit hall to browse suppliers. Learn about their products through product sheets, demo videos, and live chat. Additionally, you can request samples from suppliers as needed.

Global distributors

If you’re ready to be the distributor of choice for suppliers and buyers worldwide, make connections at a virtual food exhibition. You can view virtual webinars where you can interact with presenters live, or through the webinar chat. When you’re ready to build connections, visit the virtual exhibit hall to browse exhibitors. Virtual exhibit booths will provide everything you need to understand what each company has to offer. You can also search the database to connect with restaurants, retailers, or any other foodservice providers you’re looking for. Then, you can chat with suppliers and buyers using our live chat feature, and even conduct audio and video calls within the platform. 

How have others used virtual food exhibitions?

Virtual food exhibitions aren’t a new concept. In fact, we’ve been hosting them with innovative organizations for quite some time. 

In 2019, Centennial Foodservice hosted their Annual Seafood Extravaganza with vFairs, featuring exhibit booths from each service area’s branch. Attendees could interact with their respective area representative, browse product and pricing sheets and learn more about the branch. This allowed attendees to understand which branch to reach out to for their region, familiarize themselves with the team, and see what products they had to offer.

As well, Jake’s Finer Foods hosted a virtual food exhibition where attendees could watch webinars by industry experts, touching on topics from social media to restaurant licensing protocols. They also hosted an exhibition floor where brands like Campbell’s and McCain showcased their products and allowed attendees to create order sheets. Similarly, Harbour Wholesale used their virtual event to connect their target retailers, convenience stores, with large suppliers such as Coca Cola and General Mills. 


Virtual food exhibits are a safe, cost-effective, impactful way to promote your products, find new providers, or help the two establish stronger distribution channels. If you’ve been hesitant to take your show online, our team at vFairs is here to make the transition easy, effective, and enjoyable. To learn more, check out our Virtual Food Exhibition page here.


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What is a Virtual Food Exhibition and Why Should You Host One?

Brianne Snell

Brianne is a Content Manager at vFairs. She has over 8 years of experience planning and creating content for IT and SaaS organizations. When she isn't sharing her excitement for virtual and hybrid events, you can find her doing Pilates, bingeing pop culture podcasts and hanging out with her dog, Charlotte.

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