Should You Attend?

Attending tradeshows and conferences are an important part of staying at the top of the corporate catering industry. Getting the edge on what’s new, what your competitors are doing, and the opportunity to meet current and prospective vendors can be very beneficial for your business.

Across the US, there are literally hundreds of restaurant, beverage, and hotel shows every year. Catersource, however, is one of the largest catering and event conferences where the smartest hospitality minds get together. But you must come prepared to get the best return on your conference or tradeshow investment.

Inside the 2017 Catersource tradeshow. 

If you have never attended a Catersource Conference & Tradeshow (and even if you have), here are some tips:

• Register early, as it will save you money. If you are travelling to a show, often the show’s website will offer hotel and travel discounts for early purchasers.

• Be prepared to experience “sensory overload” when you first walk through the doors. Take a deep breath, relax, eat, mingle, and enjoy the experience.

• Suggested dress is business casual. Keep in mind that this event is also a great networking opportunity, so appropriate dress is a plus.

• Do not collect brochures and information packs indiscriminately, or you will find yourself weighed down quickly.

• Make a plan in advance. Go online and review the vendors that are exhibiting. Make lists of the booth numbers you want to visit.

• Bring business cards, a camera-phone, a notepad/pen, or electronic note-taking device.

A hands-on class on the Catersource tradeshow floor

• Give yourself at least a couple of hours to walk the floor. You will be surprised how quickly the time passes, especially because beyond the vendors there are also educational sessions you can enjoy. Break it up so that the first day of the show, you walk it to see everything, and then the second day of the tradeshow, you make your purchases.

Tasting product is a big bonus of shopping the Catersource tradeshow floor

• Bring your appetite. You will encounter food samples galore!
 If you have never attended a Conference (and even if you have), here are some tips:

• Review the educational sessions in advance and make a note for those you wish to attend. If there are two or more presentations of interest happening at the same time, inquire about purchasing an audio version of the one(s) you missed. Alternatively, someone else from your organization can attend what you cannot.

• Prepare a list of questions relevant to the topic. There is usually time allotted for a Q & A session toward the end. These are always informative. Additionally, Catersource offers a few "Candid Conversation" sessions that allow those with questions to follow the speaker to a smaller room for one-on-one discourse. I have one on Sunday afternoon, for example.

See Michael Rosman at #catersource 2018

Michael Rosman will be teaching “The Game-Changing 60-second Sales Script” at Catersource 2018. Click here to view his bio and session description.


Michael Rosman

Michael Rosman

Owner/Founder, The Corporate Caterer, Boston, MA

Michael Rosman has over three decades of experience in the catering and restaurant industry. His career began in the management-training program with Creative Gourmets in Boston, where he spent five years working in different corporate dining facilities and catering venues throughout the city. He then purchased an existing café in Boston’s financial district and eventually took ownership of a nearby pizzeria. During this time he began creating the infrastructure for a corporate drop-off catering operation and five years later, he sold his client list to the largest independent catering company in the city.

As Director of Corporate Catering with Via Lago Café and Catering in Lexington, MA, he built an almost two million...