PAIRING GUIDE AND VENDOR AWARDS

EXPLORE VENDOR PAIRINGS USING A NEW GUIDE CREATED BY A PANEL OF CHEFS, RESTAURATEURS, AND GROCERY STORES WHILE RATING VENDORS

We are very excited to welcome regional panels of chefs, restaurateurs, and grocery stores to help build a pairing guide that will be added to all brochures at the 2018 Festivals. This guide will showcase specific pairings between multiple vendors. Take the guide home and use it to blow your friends away at your next party.

This panel will also be in attendance to rate the vendors’ products along with YOU! Yes, that’s right – we want you to take notes this year so you’re ready to rate the vendors in their respective categories. The most highly rated vendors will be featured in the panels’ stores and/or in their menu creations.

FESTIVAL SITE UPDATES

WATER, SEATING, CHANGES TO ATTENDEES TO VENDOR RATIOS

We were very excited to receive a wealth of feedback from our attendees and vendors. Your feedback will result in the following changes in the 2018 Festivals:

  • Water – We heard you! The Festival will add more water stations.
  • Seating – We plan to increase our seating area at the Festivals where space allows.
  • Vendor to Attendee Ratio – We have been actively building and expanding our vendor selections. We plan on hosting the same capacity at each venue but increase the number of vendors. If we do not showcase more vendors we will remove tickets from our capacity to ensure that the flow is great!

LINEUPS AND VENDORS

OUR PLAN OF ATTACK FOR HELPING VENDORS DISTRIBUTE SAMPLES AND REDUCE LINEUPS

We wanted to take some time and address what has created lineups at the Cheese and Meat Festival in the past. The Festival will always have line-ups for vendors who sample items that they have to assemble on-site, in the heat of the moment. To combat this we ask our vendors to prep most of their samples ahead of your arrival. Because our vendors want their products to be the best, this approach does not work for all. For example, a vendor who wants to ensure you get the juiciest piece of prosciutto possible will shave a slice for you straight from a leg of pork. This adds a few extra seconds on to each interaction, and creates a line – but… oh…is the flavour worth it in the end!

So what can we do as a Festival in 2018 to help shrink those pesky lines? Here is a list of actions we are taking:

  • We have lowered attendee to vendor ratio. This means you will see an increase in vendors in all regions or a lower number of attendees.
  • The layout of each Festival will include a new flow plan. We tested the new flow plan in Vancouver this year and it worked really well.
  • We are focusing on the balance of our vendors’ products against each other. If a vendor does have a lineup we will have an option nearby that you can sample while you explore the vendors that need to prep individually for you.

ADDING RESTAURANTS

WE WILL BE ALLOWING RESTAURANTS TO TAKE PART IN THE FESTIVAL AS VENDORS

It was an overwhelming YES when we asked for feedback on having restaurants or not. We will have a few rules around how restaurants fit into the Festival. Restaurants will be required to provide products that are made in-house and are reflective of something you would see on a charcuterie board. Otherwise, they must use one or more of the other vendors’ products in their samples.