The First Online Knife Show – Damasteel Chef Invitational a Success
By Matthew Parkinson
The Damasteel Chef Invitational is an invitation only knife show, strictly geared to hand made culinary knives. While only selected tableholders may attend, the general public is of course welcome. Founded in 2018, the show has grown from a single event that first year to two events in 2020.
The show is an interesting concept organized and funded by Damasteel, a Swedish company that produces stainless damascus steels that are popular with knifemakers. All knives at the show need to be made from Damasteel but there is no cost to attend the show for the invited makers.
Damasteel had two events planned for this year, one in Chicago and one San Francisco. The first DCI (Damasteel Chef invitational) was to be held in Chicago on May 18 to coincide with the NRA (No, the other one! the National Restaurant Association) national convention. Sadly that was not to be, in the wake of the pandemic; but rather than cancel the show or reschedule the event like other shows have done, Damasteel came up with a unique answer: to move the show online.
What Damasteel came up with was to contract with an online event hosting company that offers a product well suited to organizing this kind of show. Set up around the framework of IRL (as the kids say, ‘In Real Life’) conferences, the Hopin events platform allowed Damasteel to set up pages to act as “rooms” with a virtual event floor filled with “booths.” Each maker had a booth that consisted of a brief biography, a chat window and a livestream conference call system that other attendees could join. There was also a stage area that had live streamed demonstrations and speakers as well as a welcome area with links to the various pages and information about the show.
This article appeared in the July 2020 issue of Knife Magazine, click the blue box below to read the whole thing.