The biggest event in the F&B calendar in Asia is happening 24-27 April; Food and Hotel Asia (FHA).

Tens of thousands of F&B stakeholders will descend on Singapore to network and see the latest market trends.The show has become so significant that they have added another venue this year (Suntec City) in order to cope with the volume of exhibitors and visitors.

For first time visitors to FHA the colossal nature of the event can be quite overwhelming. While the event itself is very well organised - this is Singapore after all - it's not the kind of setting where deals are made.

FHA is loud and busy. Despite the fact that most of the larger distributors and manufacturers have meeting areas at their booth, there are just too many distractions and interruptions to get any serious business done.

For visitors, the real value of this event is the networking and observations to be made. It's easy to get a sense of scale and influence based on the calibre of an exhibitor's booth and the brands that they are associated with. It's also a great place to pick up new product ideas and innovations.

For F&B exhibitors, the event offers a chance to be seen by distributors, retail buyers and food service decision makers.

The show is particularly important for Singapore F&B distributors who use the event as an opportunity to showcase their portfolio as well as attract the attention of retail buyers.

Most participants walk away from FHA with a box full of business cards and sales leads to pursue.