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My 20/Cent on the first Food Innovation Summit

My 20/Cent on the first Food Innovation Summit

Yesterday, the first edition of the Food Innovation Summit took place. Obviously I had to attend the event, as I was given the opportunity to moderate one of the sessions. But as mentioned in my previous posts, I was expecting this event to have a good potential, so I would have gone anyway. Premier Cercle made a very good case, and the build up seemed promising. But did the summit live up to my expectations?


The promises

Internationalism: check

One of the aspects that were promised was that the event would be more than just a local one. That expectation was met fully. French, Lithuanian, German, Dutch, Canadian, Danish, … are just a few of the nationalities I encountered. So I believe Premier Cercle should be happy of the international image of the event.

Networking and attendants: double check

All right, about 200-250 delegates were announced, and the real number was only around 150. But if the quantity target wasn’t fully met, the quality of the delegates was definitely high. I had the opportunity to talk with people involved in R&D, in developing new store formats, and others developing quite disruptive ideas for our industry.

Content: triple check

The retail stream was very interesting. And compared to the usual events I attended lately, the topics were not just focusing on omnichannel.

On top of that, for a retail oriented person like me, I thought it was refreshing to attend sessions about agriculture and food industry for a change.

An aspect that made the flow of the agenda very lively was the choice by Premier Cercle to use different moderators throughout the day. Indeed some moderators were more powerful than others. But from the session moderated by Patrick Berry where the only thing missing were cigars and whisky glasses to enhance the ‘late night style’, to the more classical styles of Emma Nolan or Anna Maria Corazza; the change of moderators gave a certain dynamic to the entire event.


The glitches of a first edition

Of course, as it was the first edition of this event, one could feel a few glitches here and there. For example my badge was not displaying the right company name, and the Twitter conversation about the event could have used a hashtag instead of just a Twitter account.

But to me the biggest issue was the fact that the delegates were divided into three different streams. It did make the movements between sessions a bit messy at times, and did diminish the number of attendants considerably in my eyes for some sessions.


Pleasant learning, out of the usual

If I have to rate the entire event, it was a successful first edition. It was the pleasant surprise I was expecting and it did take me out the usual paths taken by the last events and conferences I had the chance to attend.

Just to mention to you: Expect another post in which I’ll go more in details about the actual content, especially of the session I moderated.

Premier CercleFood Innovation SummitInnovationPatrick BerryIsabel HoffmannTellspecBrussels