Successful Exhibitions: How to avoid the dreaded "damaged in transit" sticker
- Plan in advance, it’s all in the planning. Work out how much time you need to get your cake ready in time for a show.
- Read the rules/ schedule carefully as you may get disqualified if you don’t!
- With stacked cakes and novelty cakes always use food grade supports if they are allowed in the rules of the competition.
- Don’t leave it until the last minute to find a suitable box for your cake. I have been round the supermarket at midnight with students looking for boxes.
- Use lots of sponge and gripper inside your box to avoid the cake getting damaged. Remember the weather and make sure your box has a secure lid in case it rains.
- Think about transport from the start as you choose a suitable cake design. Measure the height of the car to make sure boxes will fit. Pack your car with a duvet to prevent boxes slipping.
- Remember you may have to walk a long way with your cake, depending on the venue of the exhibition centre. I walked all the way across the Excel Exhibition Centre carrying one student’s wedding cake, it was not easy. Perhaps get yourself a suitable trolley.
- You have to be prepared for the fact that your cake may not be as perfect as it started out when it is on display- in some exhibitions they may be moved in the course of the show- to photograph for example.
- Be there as soon as the show finishes, it is a free for all at the end, and you do get stolen cakes. Take your cakeboxes away during the show, these go missing too.
Sue Haskell has been a bakery lecturer at Brooklands College, Weybridge for twenty years. She is well known in the baking industry, participating at exhibitions such as Cake International and Food and Drink Expo. She has helped with the competitions at the Alliance for Bakery Students and Trainees annual conference since 2000.
Brooklands College in Weybridge, Surrey, offers part time catering and sugarcraft IVQ courses, such as a Level Two in Professional Bakery and an ABC Sugarcraft Award Level One as well as one day courses including Design and Create an Easter Egg, Valentine’s Cupcakes and Sugar Flowers for beginners.