How hospitality trade show, Horecava created a livestreaming experience with lasting strategic benefits


In the time of the Coronavirus, few industries were hit harder than hospitality and events. Now imagine a company that is both. This was the plight of Horecava.

Horecava is the largest hospitality trade show in the Netherlands, held annually in Amsterdam since 1957. How could a trade show with clientele particularly affected by COVID-19 measures (restaurants and cafes) continue during the pandemic?

They needed to get creative.

To abide by local measures at the time, Horecava decided to host their event online. But since hospitality is all about cultivating memorable experiences, the challenge was palpable. They needed to craft a remote trade show that didn’t lose the charm, esteem, or benefits of the traditional in-person gathering.

To cultivate an experience that was both engaging and enticing to exhibitors and attendees alike, Horecava created live online tasting events that combined the virtual conference with an in-person (yet remote) experience.

Here’s how it worked:

Exhibitors came together to create themed Horecava tasting boxes, which were mailed to attendees in advance. Attendees could choose their interests, get their tasting box(es) shipped to them, then tune into the corresponding event live from home where they sampled, rated, and played along as the show’s hosts told them all about the products they had in front of them.

The results were spectacular:

  • Within 10 days, Horecava sold a full roster of tastings for leading brands including Coca-Cola, Nestlé, and Garden Gourmet
  • All tasting boxes were sold to qualifying food & beverage professionals
  • No-show percentages were well below the norm for physical events
  • Viewing times for the tastings were 223% higher than regular live streams
  • Post-conference, participants rated the tastings the highest of the entire virtual conference
  • Exhibitors received a detailed and enriched database with hundreds of warm sales leads from attendees

“The hospitality industry is all about experience. The [Livery-based] tasting games provide a multi-sensory experience in which the visitors stay engaged”

— Florentine Rijkmans, Exhibition Manager Horecava, RAI Amsterdam

Read all about what made this event successful in our full article on the topic linked for you here.

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