Top Ten BBC Good Food Show Tips


The Good Food Show Winter

On Saturday I went to the wonderful as always Good Food Show at the NEC Birmingham. 

It was amazing! Busy, but amazing. 

If you don’t know what it is, it’s an exhibition full of stands, with everything ranging from Gourmet Popcorn, to Snowdonia Cheese; Xuxu strawberry vodka to deliciously refreshing aloe vera drinks. It’s the place for foodies to go and try everything and anything and just a great day out!

I usually go to the summer show, as the gardening show is also on, but it was nice seeing different foods and new areas at the winter show. New this year, they had a Cakes and Bakes Village as well as an Eat Well section… I hope you know which area I preferred! 

Anyway, introduction over – here’s a link to the site if you want a bit more info or fancy visiting one of their shows :) - but what I really wanted to share with you today was my top 10 tips for visiting these shows – it is of course written for the food show, but they also transfer to other exhibitions I’m sure 

The Winter Good Food Show Top 10 Tips 

Buy heavy things first 

Ok, so you’ve done your research and you are going to the show to grab a bargain, right? You decide that you will leave this purchase to last. After all you don’t want to carry it around all day so you’ll pick it up last thing…wrong. Buy heavy things first, grab them and take them back to the car. You don’t even have to carry it, bring a trolley from home, one of those little shopper ones like this, plonk it in there and take it to the car. You might think that carting it around all day might not be too bad an idea, but just get it out of the way. It’s busy, people might trip over your trolley and what’s more, one of your hands isn’t free for grabbing samples and general money-goods transactions.

If you want it… grab it 

This is especially true for goody bags and offers. It isn’t guaranteed that exhibition stands will reduce their prices at the end of the day, especially because they have already got some great deals on so don’t miss out on the things that you want, grab them while you can. Furthermore, stock is managed so that there is enough for each day of the show. Saturday is usually the busiest day so you would expect stall holders to account for this, but that is not always true so it is so important to get there early and get those offers! If you want the magazine goody bags I would also grab these first thing with the heavy items, books are also heavy so they are great to put back in the car.

If you are unsure of something, leave it

If you are having second thoughts about an item, come back later. If you forget about it, maybe you don’t want it as much as you thought. It might be a great offer, but what good is something if you are not going to use it? Also, if you do want it after a bit of a walk around, go back and bargain. There is nothing to be ashamed of and if you get an even better deal – that’s great!

Plan meeting celebs at book signings

It is very unlikely that you can catch a celeb at the show for an autograph or picture. It is such a busy place and the celebs have shows to attend and places to be so they often can’t stop for large groups. The best way to catch your favourite chef or TV personality is at book signings. Yes, you might have to buy a book, but they are often on offer and you are pretty much guaranteed to have a personal message and photograph!

Charity drop off points are cheaper than the official cloak rooms

If your car is miles away and you’re starting to get a bit tired, a cloak room is a great idea. However, the first one you see is usually in the foyer and will cost you more than the one in the exhibition itself. I dropped off some of my bags at the Guide Dogs Charity drop off point and for a donation of your choice, you can leave your things safely, help charity and take a load off your back

Plan sit down stops around cooking demos

It is very likely that you will get tired. You are walking around all day, shopping and trying to avoid the people that push for a free sample. Plan your day in advance and time some sit downs around cooking demos. These are usually done by well-known chefs and along with recipe ideas and tips, they usually give away free goodies and photo opportunities at the end.

Don’t be afraid to ask for testers and bargain the price

Sometimes, the tasters are reserved behind the counter. Many people see free food, grab it and go. However, if you are genuinely interested in the product, you should be able to taste it and try before you buy. Just ask! Also, if you are looking to buy a few items, say a case of champagne or boxes of items, this is the best time to bargain.

Don’t waste time

I know this sounds harsh, but I saw a lot of people at a popular high street store stand. It had an offer of 10% off Kitchenaid mixers, but other than that there were no other show offers and the stall was heaving! If you are just having a look around, don’t waste your time at an everyday store – grab those things another day!

Take advantage of buy now, collect later

This is a great option for you if you don’t want to carry things around with you like heavier items, but also most effective for foods that have to be refrigerated. People sell all sorts including sausages, so leaving items refrigerated is a great idea, just don’t forget to pick them up!

Grab meals at the show before or after lunch
Lunch time is so busy at food stalls for obvious reasons. The queues are longest at this time, but avoid them by eating a little earlier or later

Try something new

There are so many food stalls and hundreds of tasters on offer. Whether you want to try an oyster, some smoked garlic, truffle or just some artisan bread there is so much to try and it’s free so you might as well give it a go – you might love it!

Research and check price of big purchases before the show 

If you are interested in buying an appliance or a large, expensive item it is best to do a little research before you spend a lot of money on something that you might not later use.

Bonus Tip!
It will be busy, keep calm and don’t wear too many layers as it is hot due to all the people and walking around. Furthermore, large groups are difficult to keep a track of – 2 or 3 people can be found a lot more easily when it is so busy

I hope that you have a look at the shows and consider going to one. I absolutely love them and I am never bored. James Martin has been to every Good Food Show (that’s 20 years worth) and if you are a foodie, that’s surely sign enough that you will love it too!?

If you have ever been to one of these shows I’d love to know what you think of them, have you got any more tips? Let me know

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