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At The Table With: Martyn Cox on FHA Match

5 February 2021

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In this edition of At The Table With, we sit down with FHA event director Martyn Cox to learn more about FHA Match. FHA Match is newly launched initiative by FHA that is a series of 6 sector-focused virtual events held across 2021. Powered by our B2B online marketplace, Saladplate.com, FHA Match is powered by an AI platform that will drive connections through data-driven recommendations and bespoke meetings, enabling suppliers and buyers in the F&B community to unlock new business opportunities.

What inspired FHA Match?
It’s quite simple really; our buyers. We’ve all been on various webinars and virtual event platforms which are attempting to replicate the physical show experience by lifting an event brand as it exists in the physical world and putting it online. What we realised through various digital events we ran in 2020 and subsequent feedback from buyers is that in the digital space they desire a focused event that is tailored to their needs.

Why these sectors in particular?
These sectors represent the main product groupings of FHA-Food & Beverage, whilst also having specific sourcing channels or product particularities that makes them unique in nature. They are therefore instantly recognisable to a buyer in terms of the types of product they can expect to source by logging on. The obvious exception to this is Fine Food, which although a general term, is immediately tailored by the exclusion of the products found in the preceding five sectors of FHA Match.

What can I expect as an exhibitor?
As an exhibitor you can expect to meet with focused buyers of your product from across Asia-Pacific and beyond. As well as being able to pre-schedule meetings in the online platform in the week leading up to the event dates, exhibitors can also sign up for our bespoke business matching service where our team would arrange meetings for those exhibitors from a pool of pre-qualified buyers looking for their products. During the show days there would be a range of promotion opportunities throughout the platform and our extensive content schedule to ensure maximum brand awareness, as well as intuitive AI-driven virtual networking which recommends matches based on profiles and interests of buyers and suppliers.

What can I expect as a visitor?
Visitors can finally look forward to a tailored digital event in which they can not only source their target products, but also learn and share the latest industry knowledge and trends throughout two days of premium thematic content and network with industry thought leaders in the breakout rooms and roundtable discussions.

What makes FHA Match different from other digital shows?
This has to be the focal business matching facility. The whole concept is based around connecting buyers and suppliers through one-to-one chat and video calls, whether by instant connections or pre-arranged meetings. FHA Match is not trying to replicate a physical exhibition with a lobby and picture of exhibit booths; instead AI mechanisms facilitate the virtual connections and in addition, the bespoke business matching offering enables buyers and suppliers to receive concierge level service from the organising team to match them together for scheduled meetings.

What are you most excited for with FHA Match?
Being able to bring people together again in meaningful connections. We’ve had so many buyers writing in to us requesting certain product recommendations or suppliers writing in asking how they can meet new business partners like they normally would at FHA events, so it will be fantastic to facilitate these connections once more.

To register as an exhibitor, download the brochure here or visit our website to learn more. Visitor registrations will open soon – keep an eye out on our social channels for more information.