Food plays a vital part in every culture. Bringing people together, food provides an opportunity for discussion, collaboration and celebration. It’s integral to routines, rituals and traditions and throughout the world. As we embrace cuisines, habits and culinary inspiration from beyond our own country or culture, the diversity of restaurants and food-based events has increased.

Welcoming international businesses, local independent eateries and up and coming products, food festivals are an excellent way to broaden our palates, sample something new and even take home samples and goodies to enjoy later. Many of these events last several days, meaning that guests can bring friends, taste everything and spend the evening enjoying something outside their usual routine.

The cosmopolitan hub of Sydney is known for having a vast array of dining options, from quirky street food to Michelin-starred restaurants. It’s no surprise that there are some excellent annual food festivals celebrating all kinds of cuisine.

If you’re a Sydney visitor (or resident), attending one of these events is a great way to experience the cultural blend in the city. If you’re a local business, these festivals provide an excellent opportunity to get your food noticed.


BBQ: Meatstock

What better way to celebrate Aussie food culture than with a proper barbie? Blending excellent food with great music, Meatstock tours Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland so that everyone can get a taste. Enjoy professional cook-outs using an incredible selection of meats, while stocking up on all the grill equipment, cookware and smoky, tangy sauces you could possibly need.

Standing out at Meatstock means offering something that your competition isn’t. Maybe it’s a different cut of meat, or an informative or entertaining approach to the way you cook. Perhaps it’s the presentation of your food, or the exceptional homemade marinade. Whatever it is, make sure your brand name is clearly attached.

Cheese: Mould: A Cheese Festival

A Mecca of all things dairy, Mould: A Cheese Festival takes cheese producers from all over the country and showcases produce, demonstrations and discussions at events in Melbourne and Sydney. In addition to pure blocks of cheese, attendees can tuck into carefully chosen cheesy meals and learn more about the various industry processes.

Vendors should expect to be working alongside some of the top names in Australian cheese. Make sure you’ve got plenty of samples to give out to your guests, and don’t be afraid to share your brand story. The history and passion behind your business is what makes you unique.

Coffee: Rocks Aroma

For coffee connoisseurs, the Rocks Aroma Festival over summer is a must. Over 100,000 visitors attend to sample gourmet coffee, from espresso aficionados to cold-drip disciples. The event is not only packed with stalls for cupping and brewing, but also with food, fashion and art vendors as well as live entertainment.

To stand out, expertise is important. If you can share your tips for brewing the perfect cup of coffee, or teach customers the basics of latte art, you’ll draw a lot of attention to your stand. Equally important is your branding. Coffee bag producers, The Bag Broker, work with independent retailers across Australia to help put their personality onto their packaging. So, whether your beans or grounds are on a supermarket shelf, a coffee shop counter or on show at a festival, your customers know exactly who you are.

Craft beer: Cheers Fest

Cheers fest celebrates independent brewing, with a focus on craft beers created across Australia. There are over 200 brews available, accompanied by gourmet food trucks, live music and various types of entertainment. If you love any kind of beer (but particularly indie Aussie brands), get it in on your November “to do” list.

The festival is all about local talent and using local ingredients. If you’re planning to showcase a new brew, make sure the design of your can or bottle is instantly recognisable. Average shoppers only look at a shop shelf for around 17 seconds, so when you’re in amongst heavy competition at an event like Cheers fest, think carefully about how a local designer or illustrator can give your brew the edge.

Chilli: Hot Sauce and Chilli Festival

2018 was the inaugural year for the Steam Mill Lane Hot Sauce and Chilli Festival, but the three-day event was such a scorcher that we expect to see it back next year. The festival revolves around all things spicy, from cajun chicken and Sriracha burgers to chilli-infused chocolate and cocktails with a kick. It’s a spice-lovers dream.

With so many different dishes on offer, finding a new angle would be the best way to make a memorable contribution. Play around with some recipe ideas and find something that customers can try on-site as well as take home for later.

Adam is the co-founder and editor of Adam, a technology evangelist also organises Event Tech Live, Europe’s only show dedicated to event technology and the Event Technology Awards. Both events take place in November, London.