Tech platform hosts first-of-its-kind hybrid events for brands to meet biggest retailers

Featuring live interactions with integrated tech video and product sampling, Product Guru's "Huddles" are set to be this year's most disruptive industry event

PRODUCT Guru, the Glasgow-based online platform that connects challenger brands with retail buyers, is set to host a series of boutique hybrid events called “Huddles” in 2022, rolling out the concept over all major retail categories.

The first two events will be hosted in March, and they will be dedicated to Gift Food and Drink, and Pet sectors.  Each event will bring together up to fifty challenger brands and an impressive line-up with the biggest retailers in the UK for each featured category, in a one-day experience – with an optional networking evening for more casual interactions between attendees.

Product Guru’s new event concept will provide the set for exhilarating curated meet-ups, where brands will have eight minutes to engage with every buyer. It will also feature a hybrid space combining video pitches with product sampling – a captivating option for international brands who will not be able to attend in person. The experience is designed to work in conjunction with the Product Guru platform, integrating technology to allow buyers to log feedback and take next-step actions – as they come into contact with brands and products.

Major retailers have confirmed attendance for the upcoming Huddle events, including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Pets at Home, Morrisons, John Lewis, Costco, Harrods, Springvale Foods, WHSmith, Moonpig, Dobbies, and many more.

Buyers from leading retailers will benefit from meeting live with brands to discover new products highly relevant to their category. Maddie Milton, Category Buyer at Springvale Foods, said: “We are so excited that Product Guru ‘Huddles’ will be held face to face. As a buyer, it is incredibly helpful to see products in the flesh. We cannot wait to meet people in person and spend that bit of extra time to talk and go through ranges. It will be brilliant to interact and tell brands a bit about ourselves and how our business works too, as quite often suppliers may know so little about who they are pitching to and if they are the right fit”.

Huddle events offer emerging brands the opportunity to get involved in different ways, with the flagship in-person package providing the opportunity to interact face to face in guaranteed time slots with decision-making buyers from leading UK retailers in their categories.

A hybrid video package is also available, for brands to deliver a 4-minute video pitch alongside product sampling for all buyers at the event. A third package will offer brands the opportunity to reach attendees with samples of their products, to get buyers at the event to try their products and provide feedback.
Unlike traditional events, the Huddle’s strategy is aimed at fruitful interactions with effective follow-up. Product Guru will provide devices and connected technology for all buyers, to integrate the event experience with the features within the platform. The team will track all actions and feedback from buyers, for productive follow up with brands post event.

Simon Coyle, CEO of Product Guru, said the new in-person events are an important step up from their involvement in the industry with virtual pitch events. “Over the past couple of years, we have worked closely with disruptive brands and retailers, supporting them in the journey to get innovative products discovered and listed.”

“With our virtual pitch events and online platform, we have developed close relationships with many big retailers, and we are about to harness these connections to offer brands a life-time opportunity to engage with buyers live.”

“The future is hybrid and with Huddles, we are combining the best of virtual with in-person experience, technology and product sampling, bringing something really exciting, effective and unique, for both brands and buyers.”

“Our partners in the industry are as excited as we are to get involved in this experience. We can’t wait to see brands engaging personally with leading retailers, improving brand awareness, and getting buyers to try samples of their products. It will be a unique event for truly meaningful interactions, with big opportunities for brands and buyers to evolve their business.”

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