Boncafé teams up with Thaifex

With his company already established as one of South-East Asia’s leading coffee companies, Boncafé Thailand’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing Charles Kutner says that, at first, he was not convinced of the value an alliance with a trade show could bring. But when he was approached by Koelnmesse in 2014 with a proposal for Boncafé  to partner with their Bangkok-based food trade show, Thaifex – World of Food Asia, he was soon convinced otherwise. “Frankly I barely took the meeting,” Kutner tells GCR Mag. “We had not participated in a trade show for several years and felt there was likely no need.” However, once he heard what Koelnmesse had in mind, he changed his mind. “They were very compelling and professional,” Kutner says. “They were very focused on education, and providing value to both attendees and exhibiters.” Boncafé  is now the educational partner of Thaifex in the show’s coffee and tea section, a partnership that has brought benefits to both sides. “It’s a true partnership,” Kutner says. “We have put on over 16 different workshops at Thaifex over the past two years and will be continuing with new topics that our customers and those potential customers will be even more interested this year.” Boncafé  is one of Thailand’s leading gourmet coffee roasters,as well as a provider of one-stop coffee solutions for hotels, offices, restaurants, and coffee shops. With 17 showrooms across Thailand, as well as a presence on the shelves of major supermarket and department store chains nationwide and throughout the South-East Asian region, Boncafé  is also the leading retail brand of fresh coffee in South-East Asia. The company also has offices in Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, and the United Arab Emirates. Now approaching its 13th year in operation, Thaifex – World of Food Asia is one of South-East Asia’s leading trade shows for the food and beverage industries. Covering more than 70,000 square metres over four halls at Bangkok’s Impact Exhibition and Convention Centre, Thaifex attracts more than 1600 exhibitors from 11 different segments of the food and beverage industries. Thaifex draws in more than 35,000 visitors annually, with the mix of exhibitors and attendees coming from 125 countries around the world. The World of Coffee and Tea section of the Thaifex event features more than 300 exhibitors and is at the forefront of driving new trends in the rapidly developing coffee industry in South-East Asia. As the show’s education partner for the coffee segment, Boncafé is responsible for organising events that both inform and entertain visitors, giving people an extra incentive to seek out the World of Coffee and Tea section of the bustling trade show, which this year will run from 25 to 29 May. The two marquee events as part of this partnership in 2016 will be the series of Boncafé  Seminars and the Celebrity Coffee Bar. At the series of seminars, which will run from 25 to 27 May in the Jupiter Room, Boncafé  will be educating attendees about the finer points of areas such as recipes for frappes, smoothies, and mocktails, as well as sharing their tips for entrepreneurs looking to open coffee shops in Thailand. The Celebrity Coffee Bar will give attendees a rare chance to meet star baristas live in action. Visitors will get a close-up look at creative techniques, tips, recipes, and secrets to move their business forward. Kutner says that while his company brings great value and insight to the attendees of Thaifex through their scheduled activities, the show is also extremely valuable as a development tool for his own team. “Thaifex is a great training tool for entire team,” he says. “We bring in total about 70 team members to work the event and it’s a superb training event for our organisation.” In addition to this, Kutner says, Boncafé ’s participation in Thaifex has opened up a range of new opportunities for his company. “Although we feel we have excellent sales coverage and marketing we did meet major new customers we likely we never would have met,” he says. “In addition, the exposure even brought us to suppliers worldwide that have provided some excellent product solutions.” With the coffee industry going from strength to strength throughout Asia, Kutner says Boncafé  is focused now on growing into new segments of the market. “Like most parts of the world the biggest growth is single serve capsule business,” he says. “While it is still relatively new to South-East Asia, we are the first company and brand that has their own capsule manufacturing facilities.” This area of focus extends across both Boncafé ’s own business and that of its customers in the hotel, office, restaurant, and coffee shop segments. “It’s about our customers being more successful,” Kutner says. While Thaifex may be one of the leading shows of its type in South-East Asia, it is also part of a much larger stable of events run by German trade fair specialist, Koelnmesse. Koelnmesse is one of the world’s leading organisers of trade fairs in the food industry and related sectors. Its European trade fairs such as the Anuga, the International Sweets and Biscuits Fair (ISM), and Anuga Food Tec are established world leaders. Koelnmesse not only organises food trade fairs in Thailand and Germany, but also in further growth markets around the globe, such as Brazil, China, India, Japan, Turkey, and in the United Arab Emirates. Kutner says that this level of expertise from Koelnmesse is key to the success of Thaifex and Boncafé’s partnership with the organisation. “I have done many shows both in the US and Asia and without a doubt, this as well organised and professionally run in every way as any other world class show,” he says. “When you combine a world class city like Bangkok, that people love to visit, with the professionalism of the Koelnmesse team, it’s an unbeatable combination.” GCR

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