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Hire a Celebrity Chef for Trade Shows

Trade Show

Hiring a celebrity chef to appear at a trade show can be a unique way to increase the visibility of a company and attract clients to a booth. As the chefs cook, the aroma exuding from their cuisine can capture the attention of nearby attendees. Their chopping, whisking and sautéing can also act as a visual draw.

Some celebrity chefs have personalities that are as robust as the food and flavor profiles they create. Just think of the "Bam!" and "Let's kick it up a notch!" that Chef Emeril Lagasse proffers. A celebrity chef who is willing to interact with a crowd and offer solid advice may be just the thing needed for a successful trade show.

Why Hire a Celebrity Chef?

Clients may hire a celebrity chef for multiple reasons. One could be to try and increase attendance at a trade show. When potential customers learn that their favorite celebrity chef is scheduled to appear, they may decide to attend.

Chefs generally make trade show appearances a one-time event. Clients are able to use the chef's name and likeness for the appearance at the show, but limitations generally exist, preventing clients from promoting the chef as an endorser of a product or company.

How Does It All Work?

Is the chef required to be at the show for a specific period of time?

While every commitment is different, a celebrity chef appearance at a trade show typically lasts 2-3 hours. During that time, the celebrity chef may perform a requested activity, such as a cooking demonstration, speech, Q&A, book signing or meet-and-greet.

Since there are several trade shows throughout the year, do companies use the same celebrity for multiple events?

Yes, it is very common to hire a celebrity chef for similar trade shows throughout the country.

The Celebrity Chef Hiring Process

Does Chef2Chef only connect the client with the celebrity chef, or are they more involved with the hiring process?

Chef2Chef (C2C) has a skilled representative ready to assist as soon as the client submits a form online. A representative can discuss goals and expectations regarding a celebrity chef appearance, including budget, cuisine, time frame and other parameters or requirements.

Within 24 hours of receiving the form, C2C will provide the client with a list of chefs who could help meet their needs. Once a chef has been identified, C2C will contact the individual and work to secure the appearance. Upon acceptance by the chef, C2C will issue a contract outlining discussed details. Once a contract is signed and a deposit is received, the client can announce and promote the event featuring the chef.

The C2C logistics coordinator will work with the client to make sure all travel, lodging and specifics during the event are professionally organized and executed. C2C will be there to help during the entire process and guide the client through every step.

Do clients meet with the chef beforehand to talk about specifics, or is it all done through C2C?

If the client requests a conference call, C2C will work towards coordinating a call directly with the celebrity chef. If the chef is unavailable, a member of his or her staff may be available to assist. Otherwise, C2C coordinates everything between the client and the chef's team prior to the event.

How much can the client directly communicate with the celebrity chef during the booking/negotiation process?

C2C makes all communications during this process. Consequently, the client and chef do not speak with one another regarding contract negotiations.

If a client does not have a specific chef in mind, how does C2C match the client to a chef?

If the client does not have a particular chef in mind during the initial conversation, the C2C representative will assess the client's needs and objectives and offer suggestions.

Extra Logistics

How far in advance does a client need to book the celebrity chef?

Celebrity chefs are generally booked 6-9 months in advance to ensure availability and allow ample time to promote. However, they are sometimes booked closer to or further in advance from the event date.

What happens if the chef gets sick right before the event? Do chefs ever decline last-minute? Does C2C help the client find a replacement?

Although a rare occurrence, there are sometimes unforeseen emergencies that prevent a celebrity chef from attending. If the chef cannot attend the event, C2C will find a replacement chef or refund deposited money.

Fees, Prices and Additional Costs

What kinds of costs are associated with hiring a celebrity chef? Does the client pay for the chef's food, travel and lodging?

Fees vary according to the chef hired; they can range from $10,000 to over $250,000. Whether the chef has a television show, cookbook, restaurant or product line can factor into the fee. In addition to covering the chef's appearance fee, the client is also responsible for paying for airfare, hotel, ground transportation, meals and other costs that might be associated with the appearance, such as cooking demonstration supplies or books.

Are prices usually on a per-hour or per-event basis?

Chefs are generally paid on a per-event basis. An event usually lasts for two to three hours. If the client would like to hire the chef for longer than the typical time period, the additional time is factored into the fee. Chefs do not generally reduce their fee if the client would like to hire them for a shorter amount of time.