Sitka Salmon with summer succotash

Chicago Trade Shows : from Expo to After Party

Holly Gillis Blog, Corporate Catering, Green Caterer Leave a Comment

People converge in Chicago. As a hub for tech, healthcare, food research, hospitality (and so much more), the city is famous (or infamous, depending on what decade we’re talking about) as a destination for tradeshows, expos, conventions and tasting events. Everything from Greenbuild to the Beard Awards to the Centennial National Restaurant Association Show. Colossal convention centers like McCormick Center, Donald J Stephens, the Merchandise Mart and the UIC Forum bookend the city like castles awaiting merchants and artisans to circle their carts. These days, the modern trade show is far more slick than it’s medieval origins. For tradeshow exhibitors and event planners, there are resources abundant to book hotels, print materials or catch a sightseeing tour.
Mini Lobster Roll - chef recipe, FIG executed

But what if you need help sampling a food or beverage brand to the masses? What if your TV personality chef wants their special recipe to reach a crowd of hungry fans? That’s where a reliable catering partner can help. This is what you came to Chicago to do, after all, and the show must go on. Read on for ways FIG supports food and beverage brands on and off the trade show floor. 

FIG back of house preparing recipes at IDE
  • Daiya Cheezecake styled at the table

    Vegan Daiya Cheezecake styled by FIG, sampled to guests for their media event.

  • Vegan Grilled Cheese Appetizer

    FIG developed recipes using Daiya vegan cheese. It melts perfectly!

SPOILER ALERT : a caterer will make your life easier

Berber-spiced Meatballs sampled at IDE

On the Tradeshow Floor

  • Prep

    Your product handled in a commercial kitchen, by food safety certified pros.

  • Recipe Development

    Your brand should look and taste its best. Find a caterer who is comfortable with customization and knows local produce.

  • Logistics

    Procuring ingredients; because you’re not going to fly with 50# of vegan cheese.

  • Punctual and Friendly Staff

    No frantic phone calls or racing across the exhibition hall before the doors open. Trust that you’ll be able to interact with thousands of booth visitors while professional event staff set up, serve samples, and clean up.

  • Rentals

    Think food service equipment, serving pieces, platters, ice… You’re going to need it all.

  • Licensed and Insured Bar Partnerships

    Avoid potential red tape. Alcohol service laws can be tricky to navigate, especially in Chicago.

  • Food Styling

    Best plate forward, always.

  • Sustainable Event Management

    Trade shows are incredibly wasteful. Consider options like composting and food mile tracking to help make your footprint less like a steel-toed boot and more like a ballerina slipper.

Off the Tradeshow Floor

  1. Skip the crowded restaurants and cut through the noise by hosting your clients and VIPs at an off premise event. FIG can connect you to private venues near a convention center.
  2. Customize a menu to feature your brand, celebrity personality or kitchen equipment.
  3.  Host the party that you would want to attend after a long day! Read also – quality food and a proper cocktail!
  • FIG Drinks at Taste Talks 2017

    FIG poured a signature cocktail featuring Altos Tequila.

  • FIG Bartenders at Taste Talks

    FIG bartenders at Taste Talks.

Learn More about brand support and sampling

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