FirstSource Events’ MainCourse1on1 is coming up Nov. 2-3 at the Renaissance World Golf Village Resort in St. Augustine, Florida.
Bill Doherty, director of MainCourse1on1, says the event targets high-volume retail and foodservice buyers and suppliers of all “main course proteins,” including meat, poultry and seafood.
Referring to surveys of past participants in MainCourse1on1, Doherty said, “I was overwhelmed by the enthusiastic and positive response the new launch received. MainCourse 1on1 will deliver to our suppliers a lower cost to participate and a much broader audience. This is especially true since seafood buyers are often responsible for sourcing other proteins such as meat and poultry. The efficiency of one meeting is a big plus, and the new warmer destination should resonate well with our guests.
“In addition, we are changing the format to include a conference program within the event, adding value for both suppliers and buyers that attend—while shortening the number of days from three to two,” Doherty added.
FirstSource’s Seafood 1on1 took place June 15-17 in Providence, Rhode Island.
Richard Stavis, CEO of Stavis Seafoods, said, “This is a great event. Seafood 1on1 provides buyers with up-to-the-minute content that enhances their buying ability and provides vendors direct access to buyers who want to do business.”
Seafood 1on1 now will be held every other year; the next event will be held in June 2018.
MainCourse 1on1 will continue to be an annual event.
Deli&Cheese 1on1—scheduled for Feb. 8-9 in St Augustine as well— is primarily for specialty cheese, deli, prepared foods and charcuterie buyers and suppliers. It also will continue to be an annual event.
“The idea is to keep the event small enough so you can learn everyone’s name, but large enough that companies find a variety of new partners,” Doherty says.
The 1on1 format features a conference program, buyer-scheduled one-on-one meetings, closed-door supplier presentations and product tastings. In addition, supplier products are featured at many of the event’s meals and receptions. Hotel and meals for invited buyers are covered by FirstSource. A limited number of pre-screened vendors pay a modest fee to take part.
“Suppliers have told me that it reduces the time it takes to get a new account. Buyers have told me that they learned more in two days than in the previous two years,” Doherty said. “The meeting is very casual, and it’s a no-pressure environment. At the same time, the networking opportunities are highly productive and allow buyers to efficiently identify and source innovative products.”