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image loading... by Gail Gastelu, Owner/Publisher, The Tea House Times
posted Friday Sep 18, 2020 01:30 AM

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Gail Gastelu

Owner/Publisher, The Tea House Times

About Gail Gastelu

GAIL GASTELU is owner/publisher of The Tea House Times, producer of continuing education and online tea etiquette certification. She is also producer and presenter of Tea Course Fast Track and produces numerous other products and services to connect businesses and consumers to everything tea. Gail lives in NJ with her husband and two children. Her motto is "Just Do It!"

2020 TRADE SHOW Q&A with The Tea House Times


SHOW DATES & LOCATION/s FOR 2020: from Sept 28th to Oct 2nd - virtual

SHOW DATES & LOCATION/s FOR 2021 (If able to share): September 2021 (date to come)


SHOW REGISTRATION DETAILS IN BRIEF: SIAL Canada is open to specialty food industry professionals. Those interested may register for free - CLICK HERE 

SHOW DESCRIPTION IN BRIEF: SIAL Canada is the largest international specialty food tradeshow in North America, showcasing the latest and greatest in culinary innovation from all over the world with more than 1,000 exhibitors from over 50 countries attending to take part. SIAL Canada is truly a fantastic resource for a pulse-check on what's next in food, from the tradeshow event itself, to a panel of SIAL Canada experts covering a variety of relevant categories, to the annual Innovation Awards that celebrate the best new brands and products in the world-wide food market.

SHOW’S TYPICAL CATEGORIES OF ATTENDEES AND EXHBITORS – domestic/international?: International - Cheese & Microbrewery, Grocery, Beverages, Set, Market Fresh (more details:

SHOW OWNED OR PRODUCED BY: Expo Canada France, A company from the Comexposium Group

SHOW OWNER NAMES: Comexposium Group

SHOW MANAGEMENT / NAMES: Expo Canada France – Xavier Poncin - CEO


Q: In brief, what is the most important thing you would like potential attendees or exhibitors to know about the virtual platform for SIAL 2020?

A: Welcome to the first SIAL Canada Food Week! 5 days of a new and innovative experience!

This is a unique platform that will enable our exhibitors to continue to grow their business by meeting with visitors coming from worldwide 24 on 5 days, that will continue to showcase worldwide food innovations and help our attendees to get more insight on our industry thanks to a high level program of 30+ conferences.

Do not forget our exclusive and unique hosted Buyer program supported by Agriculture Canada and The Ministry of Agriculture of Quebec. More than 100 of premium buyers coming from north-America and worldwide will meet with our exhibitors in one to one visio-conference meetings!

The aftermath of the covid-19 will definitely change the event industry landscape where hybrid event and virtuality will remain the best alternative, and SIAL Canada is leading this change.


Q: Please describe highlights of the “show floor”

A: Hundreds of exhibitors coming from all Canada and all over the world will be ready to get in contact with 10,000 professional visitors. The platform will enable exhibitors to talk live through a unique visio-chat solution with the visitors, like they were meeting visitors in a physical event.

4 different halls will showcase food products from Canada or from worldwide, packaging equipment, retail and food service equipment, supply chain solutions and services, and all the SIAL Canada expertise with all the Experts from the Expert Hub having one stand to help attendees to answer their questions on specific topics!


Q: Please describe highlights of the educational program

A: More than 30 Webinars/Conferences will be covering Trends & Innovation aspects.

network of experts with varied backgrounds joins SIAL Canada to provide our attendees the most essential food-related information thanks to key activities about new challenges, innovation, trends and market opportunities.

Everything you need to know to grow your business in North America.

This year, there is no pre-registration for the conferences, and unlike the physical events, all the conferences are free, and all conferences will be available for replay in the 'Replay Conferences' section as well as on SIAL Canada's YouTube channel.


Q: Please describe highlights of the Expert Hub and how attendees may engage and benefit.

A: Each year, SIAL Canada identifies experts to address specific topics in order to support your business development. 

Our experts are not only on-site to lead the show’s conferences and take part in its panel discussions, but also to meet with you and discuss the latest industry's trends and issues that matter to you most.

14 experts at the attendees’ service to cover expertise field like food innovations, packaging, ethnic products, organic, US export ready with the FDA compliance, beverages (fermented beverages and cocktails), cheese, Olive oil, start-ups, health and nutrition and local and sustainable food economy.

Any attendees could reach them on their own stand in the hall “DISCOVER THE SIAL EXPERTISE”

Q: Are there any emerging trends that you see overall to benefit the show during times of the pandemic?

A: Well, it is always good to find a way to challenge ourselves.

We have always the virtual solutions as something not really interesting and appealing in our business.

I have been working 25 years in the trade show industry, and the face to face contact has always been something we have sold. Shaking hands, gathering the companies’ to network during the time of the events, etc…

This pandemic has forced us to get out of our comfort zone.

Indeed SIAL Canada was experiencing a really nice growth with 120% the last 9 years, we were even overpassing this year targets as well when one month before the opening of the show, everything has been shut down.

In less than 4 months, we moved twice the dates, and communicate twice on a report, then changing to an international show due to flight restrictions to local show then ending up with just having virtual show.

It has been a roller coaster for all the team, but I have a group of young dedicated and resilient professionals that believe in our product and our values, and today, the event that we are able to manufacture is still a premium and unique platform. We will be the only one in the fall having this kind of offer and content in North-America.

We will not see the virtual solutions as it was, it will become a way to increase our reach and our notoriety.

Hybrid events will become the new normal… and I believe that will last at least 5 to 10 years!


Q: What does SIAL Canada plan to do to help the INSPIRE DRINK segment to come alive virtually?

A: Since we are unable to present live workshops for 2020, our beverage experts/ ambassadors, Jean-Sebastien Michel (beverage expert) and Gail Gastelu (tea and infused beverage expert) are presenting several recorded sessions, freely open to registered attendees of SIAL Canada. INSPIRE DRINK will be represented at the show in Hall 6 as part of our virtual group of SIAL Expertise. Gail will lead Tea & Cheese Pairing Inspiration, Tea & Chocolate Pairing Inspiration, and Tea Sourcing in the New Normal.  Jean Sebastien will lead a session dedicated to understanding how to organize with Covid constraints. Look for the Experts Hub to connect further.


What is new at SIAL Canada this year? . . And is it something offered this year only or expected to continue?

A: Everything is new this year! The dates, the platform, the experience!

And as I explained earlier, the virtual solution that we have developed in less than 3 months will be here to last.

Next year, with the learning experience of this year, we will put together an even better experience, along with the physical show that we have the knowledge of, along with the new rules that we will have to implement to apply to make sure our physical attendees are safe.


Are there any networking opportunities during the virtual show?

A: Except having the possibility to talk directly with the experts and the exhibitors, there won’t be any networking moment.

Like a virtual 5 to 7.

However, attendees will be able to talk to each other.


How is the education organized for the virtual experience? Scheduled live performances? Video/on demand?

A: There is a dedicated agenda where all the participants will be able to perform either on our Zoom or Gotomeeting virtual platform.

All attendees will be able to put the conference they want to see on their agenda, and they will just have to connect on time to watch the program.

There will be a moment of questions, and then all the conference will be reviewable on our Replay Conferences area.


What is the registration process this year to attend the show virtually? Is it one price to “visit the show” or are educational sessions separate charges?

A: It is very simple, unlike the previous year, it is free access!

Obviously it is only open to professional attendees from the food industry.

You just have to click on the registration link HERE

And you are in!

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