The industry came together the week before last at a packed NEC for Hospitality 2011 – the UK’s largest national exhibition for the hospitality and foodservice sectors.
Of course, as many an exhibitor will attest, the hard work continues long after the stands are broken down; potential leads must be developed and massaged, but it’s the hard work done on the trade floor initially that really makes or breaks a show from an exhibitor’s point of view.
Show Organiser Fresh RM didn’t have far to look for plaudits. Exhibitors and visitors alike were quick to heap praise on the event which saw an 8% increase in visitors from last time around.
The aisles were bustling with activity; the latest cutting edge culinary products, tableware and technology perfectly complementing the programme of Business Seminars taking place across the three days. A new addition for 2011 was the Business Mentor Sessions allowing visitors unprecedented one-to-one access to a business mentor.
Oversubscription at the Mentor Sessions was such that some people had to be turned away but those unlucky few shouldn’t fret too much – in the aftermath, the Organisers have confirmed that they will be repeating and further developing the sessions in time for Hotelympia 2012.
“People have been flocking from all over the UK to attend Hospitality and we’re delighted with the result – a vibrant show, buzzing with the very best kind of buyer and seller interaction.” said Toby Wand, Fresh RM’s Group Event Director, “There was a unique appearance from the English, Welsh and Scottish culinary teams competing at La Parade des Chefs, as well as a packed Business Seminar Theatre featuring Channel Five’s Hotel Inspector Alex Polizzi and celebrity chef Silvena Rowe.
“Exhibitor and visitor feedback has been extremely positive and we’re pleased that we have been successful in delivering the visitor numbers to create a great show that the hospitality industry so richly deserves. I believe the show has provided a necessary boost – in what are still challenging times – helping the industry to build a better business.”
Bocuse d’Or 2011
British entrant Simon Hulstone very recently competed at the prestigious gastronomic world cup, the Bocuse D’or.
Held in Lyon, the event was shown live on the massive screens throughout the last two days of Hospitality 2011 with the final results screened live to a good turnout of interested guests.
In the end, Denmark emerged victorious, with Sweden and Norway finishing in second and third places respectively, representing the UK, Simon finished in a respectable thirteenth place.
Twenty four chefs competed in the final held at trade show Sirha at Eurexpo while a judging panel of 27 presidents including Paul Bocuse himself viewed, tasted and critiqued the dishes.
Simon has announced that will now retire from representing Britain in the competition, to concentrate instead on running his Michelin-starred restaurant The Elephant in Torquay.
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