Catalogues and websites are all well and good and fulfil a purpose, but you simply can’t beat the vibrancy of a tradeshow floor as the place to feel the heft of a product, to get a real sense of its purpose, to taste, touch and try something for yourself.
Done well, a show can inspire even the most seasoned of visitors, but it takes a winning mix of innovative products, expert speakers, and decent attractions to pack them in and keep them coming.
Enter 2015’s Hospitality Show (Birmingham NEC, 19th-21st January) which, this time around, was pitched as a celebration of the ‘Best of British’. Visitors came in their droves from across the UK to join in the festival of innovative new products and show stopping new attractions – contributing to a giant 20 per cent rise in attendance, compared with previous years.
Gangways were packed to the rafters throughout the three days with attractions such as the Business Briefing Stage playing host to big name interviews, inspiring panel sessions and the unveiling of the first-ever Star Product Awards winner. Show debutante, The Staff Canteen Live with its lineup of leading chefs and the competitive spotlight of Salon Culinaire, also provided irresistible draws for the culinary world.
Visitors and exhibitors alike were unanimous in their praise of the show’s “special atmosphere” hailing it as “inspirational”, “the best yet” and “the only place to source hospitality’s newest products in 2015”.
Show highlights included Orderella’s revolutionary smartphone app being crowned as the best new product in hospitality and Gram UK scooping the online People’s Choice gong for its SUPERIORPLUS 72 refrigeration cabinet, both part of the show’s Star Product Awards Top Ten.
It was standing room-only for mercurial, Michelin-starred chefs Simon Rogan and Daniel Clifford, the former imparting his years of experience at the pass, while the latter provided an inspirational live cooking demo.
When they weren’t addressing a packed Business Briefing Stage or HOSPACE Hub, the Hospitality Show’s band of over 35 business mentors, including celebrated chef and restaurateur, Andreas Antona, Head of Innovation for Coup de Pates, Neville Moon, entrepreneur Martin Williams and training guru, Marcus Kilvington, were helping show visitors address business challenges in free one-to-one mentoring sessions.
The PR team has been lucky enough to be involved with show organiser, Fresh Montgomery, for the past five years, expertly running the press office and providing PR strategy on six shows including Hospitality and its bigger sister, Hotelympia. From a Jellybean perspective, each show is planned like a military operation – many of our clients, including Coup de Pates, Hobart, Ferrero and Essential Cuisine, exhibit, meaning almost everyone on the office is involved at some point in the chain, from stand design to marketing material, content collation to on-site attendance, and beyond.
With kind words showered upon the show from exhibitors and visitors alike, we’re proud to be a part of yet another success.