How far would you take your brand, if your sampling roadshows were a lucrative, self funding revenue stream – instead of another marketing cost?

It’s not just a pipe dream! It just takes some careful planning on selecting affordable events that allow direct sales, developing some attractive show deals – and utilising a well co-ordinated team of roadshow professionals.

Here are our top five types of events that all allow direct sales – and some insider tips to set you off on your own journey to see how it’s done:



1. Food & Drink Festivals:

It’s perhaps the most obvious event type; but don’t be fooled – as not all food festivals are equal; especially when it comes to creating a strong and measurable ROI. For example most of us know that the BBC Good Food Shows pack in the crowds; but at what cost? A modest event space is likely to set you back over £5K in site fees before you take your first penny. Is paying for an audience of 50,000 people essential, when you only have a small team on your stall – who are physically limited to interact with a couple of thousand people per day?

We might suggest that they are good events, but newer events such as Foodies Festivalsand the Great British Food Festivals – should be considered too, especially if the aim is to generate profit. They offer similar audience of about 20K to 30K people per event for half the site fee – so if generating a self funding ROI is important, they should be high on your list.


QUICK CASE STUDY: Glorious Soup sampled and sold their tasty soups from a custom built VW Flatbed Camper Van, across Foodies Festivals and other events across the UK.


2. Air Shows:


We love air shows; and not just for the loop the loops, thunder of the engines and eye popping acrobatics! They are great value, great fun – and great for reaching a broad demographic of people of all ages. Enjoy a slice of what makes Britain great, across seaside towns and airfields around the UK.

The largest scale shows attract upwards of 200,000 people; with site fees coming in below £2K for a decent space on average. Some of our favourite events include Southport AirshowSunderlandBournemouth and Clacton. All huge, busy, great fun – and good value.


QUICK CASE STUDY: Yorkshire Tea took their cute converted catering truck Little Urn and mascots on the road to a broad range of Air Shows. At selected events an additional pop up tea room experience was also created – selling piping hot tea and delicious cakes, building on their already strong association with being a Great British cuppa.

3. County Shows:


Everybody say “Oooh Aaaar!” If you think that County Shows are only for farming folk – you’d be about 30 years behind the times. They do attract the green welly brigade, but they’re now all Hunter Boot branded, with luxury Range Rovers lining the packed out car parks.

Each of the big county shows have large food halls which are great for both hot food sales and take home too. You’ll actually get better value per square meter outside of there – in the main show grounds where crowds browse an eclectic array of everything and anything that each region has to offer. Average site fees come in under £2K too, so with the right show deals, you can make a strong return.

Some of the big hitters include: The Great Yorkshire ShowThree Counties ShowRoyal Bath & West ShowRoyal Highland Show, etc. A decent event space at these big names can be obtained for about £2K – but be warned, you need to book ahead for the big shows, as even in open fields – their event space is limited and sites get booked up early in the year. 

QUICK CASE STUDY: Top selling dog food brand Butchers appealed to the Labrador and welly brigade by creating a dog friendly event stand and targeting dog friendly county shows across the UK. The event area allowed the dogs to enjoy the samples of their new range of feed – and generated direct sales with a mix of show deals and discounted treats for our canine friends.

4. Music Festivals


Before you get your glow sticks out and head for the queues at the biggest events, I would first encourage you to question if your brand has the pulling power to tempt people away from the big A list acts on the main stage to see what you have on offer. The largest festivals also have largest price tags; so pick your events wisely. It’s not for the feint hearted – like the expensive shop motto which says if you have to ask the prices then it’s probably not for you!

Far better are the range of regional music events and festivals that offer demographic alignment – and the opportunity to engage with your audiences, in a broad array of civilized surroundings such as castles and stately homes.

There are so many to pick from to suit every audience group and demographic. Some ones to investigate include: Dear Shed FestivalKendal CallingHampton Court FestivalBoardmasters Surf & Music Festival, etc, etc. Be warned that even these second tier events carry a heftier price tag than the above – averaging over £4K+.

QUICK CASE STUDY: Cereal giants Kellogg’s reached thousands of teenage festival goers to launch their new flavour of Kellogg’s Krave. At the most demographically relevant events, roaming teams handed out sample packs around the event and also within the tented camping areas each morning, complete with chilled milk and spoons for immediate consumption.  

5. Motor Sport Events:


We love the smell of burning rubber in the morning! Those screaming engines revving like banshees, the sticky heat shimmering off the tarmac and the thrill of the chase – Britain has an awesome array of motoring events that keep petrol heads drooling throughout the year.  

And they’re great value too – at less than £2K per site on average for most. From the race meets of British SuperbikesTouring Cars and Formula One – to the show and shine events like Bug JamCarFest, Goodwood Festival of Speed and Goodwood Revival – there’s plenty to pick from.

Each have extensive food market areas for people to satisfy their hunger, enjoy some relaxed browsing which is great for take home sales – and time to enjoy some experiential engagement to find out what your brand is all about.

QUICK CASE STUDY: Turtle Wax grew their car polish and waxing brand Ice to the number one seller in the UK, in part by taking it out of the shops and into the hands and minds of petrol heads across the UK’s largest scale motorsport events – for a mix of demonstrations and direct sales.


Sound exciting? It is!!! Get in touch to find out how it can work for your brand.

Let’s start a conversation – and see where your brand ends up!


0113 278 7808


To read up some more insight on what you can be doing with your brand at these events – check out our SHOW TIME ideas guide.