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Event Genius is now operated by Lyte
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Best PractiseBest Practise

How to find and secure the best food and drink traders for your festival or event

Luke Nightingale
1 Jun
min read

A key part of any successful event is its food and drink offering. Master it and it can really elevate the entire event experience. Give it little time and attention, and your event-goers won't thank you for it.

But how do you go about finding and securing food and drink vendors that will complement your event? Here are our top tips.

Dedicate time to research

First and foremost, make sure you dedicate enough time and attention to researching and comparing food and drink traders. Draw up a list of requirements you can compare your vendors against, for example a variety of cuisines, experience catering for a large number of people, or operating at similar events. 

Cater to all dietary requirements

An absolute must that it can sometimes be easy to overlook. You can guarantee event-goers won’t miss it though. These days most vendors will offer a mix of meat, vegetarian and sometimes vegan options, however, we’d recommend opting for at least a few that are veggie or vegan-specific. 

Look locally

Sourcing local traders is a great way of connecting your event to the local community and also elevating your brand. We recommend checking out community Facebook groups or other local events to get an insight into what traders there are. Using local vendors will also have a positive impact on your event’s carbon footprint given the shorter distance they will need to travel.

Consider sustainable and climate-conscious traders

In addition to using local vendors, we equally recommend using climate-conscious food and drink traders. All traders should let you know where they source their products and will likely highlight any green initiatives they may be involved in. If they don’t, it’s worth asking.

Look into sponsorship deals

Sponsorship is a great way of boosting revenues and your brand image via association. It can be as simple as a brand stocking the bars, to a fully-fledged activation – think a quirky, immersive bar – that can enhance the experience for event-goers. 

Check your vendors fit with your brand

Your food stalls and bars form a big part of your event’s setup, aesthetic and values, contributing to your event’s overall brand image. We recommend only considering vendors that fit in with your brand narrative, for example DGTL in Amsterdam portray themselves as a sustainable event, and therefore all food on site is vegetarian or vegan.

Use a cashless payments system to track performance of vendors

Going cashless via a system like our own egPay will allow you to track fan spend on site and make informed decisions given the advanced analytics it offers. You’ll be able to see reports on which vendors and products were the most popular, giving you the tools to enhance your event experience from edition to edition. 

You can find out more about our cashless egPay offering by clicking here.

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