The Hotel & Catering Show was a buzz of excitement over the past two days with increased visitor numbers, well-known chefs, respected speakers and vibrant networking opportunities. The show, which boasted bigger and better features than in previous years, proved a massive draw for both the local hospitality industry as well as those from further afield.
Richard Joslin, Managing Director of show organisers, Evisstar, was thrilled with the atmosphere and ambience that permeated the halls on both days:
“The Hotel & Catering Show is certainly back on the map. We have had a fantastic couple of days since the show opened for business on Tuesday. With leading names in the Staff Canteen such as Tom Aiken and Michael Wignall, fantastically attended seminars, especially the one on Social Media, which highlights just how important this medium is for operators, and a pop-up restaurant which provided visitors with Michelin starred food, it has been a wonderful two days on the south coast.’’
Richard’s comments were backed up by both visitors and exhibitors alike. Samuel Le Jolivet from Ritter Courivaud commented, “The Hotel & Catering Show has been very good. This is the fourth time that we have exhibited and yet again we have met a good mixture of quality visitors who are interested in our finest foods”, whilst Tracey Colley from The Cheese Cellar commented, “What a wonderful show! We have seen a lot of local existing customers as well as made some really good new leads for potential new customers. The Cheese Cellar has fed the show and we have to say that it could not have gone any better.”
Alan Snudden, Managing Director of The General Wine Company was delighted by both the quality and quantity of the visitors – “We took more leads in the first day than the whole 2 days last year. The quality of people in the Liquid Workshops has been fantastic – we are very very pleased”. Giuliana Vittiglio from Hospitality Action enthused, “As the hospitality industry’s charity we were delighted to be invited to exhibit at the 2014 Hotel and Catering Show. The show is always a fantastic opportunity to meet both old friends and new in order to raise awareness of the vital work we carry out.”
Visitors too believed that the time they had spent away from the business had been extremely worthwhile. Benjamin Eldridge, Owner of the Waggon & Hale gastro pub had travelled 2 hours to come to the show – “We have travelled down from Kent today and the Hotel & Catering Show has been really helpful in providing us with new ideas and giving us the opportunity to spend money! There is a great diversity of exhibitors from furniture to food”, Whilst Dennis Janssen, Head Chef at Esseborne Manor Hotel enthused, “The show has been fantastic – we missed Tom Aiken as we were so interested in the other things going on. Our main reason for coming is to see local suppliers, both ones that we currently use, and new ones which we were previously unaware of.”
Highlights of the show included Tom Aikens, Michael Wignall, Luke Holder and Dominic Chapman within the Staff Canteen Live demo theatre, whilst in the seminar theatre there was standing room only for Ali Carter, the Pub Mentor, and a full house for Jeremy Rata, Robin Sheppard and Lora Strizic at the MD’s Panel.
The Source Local Producers Market was an overwhelming success with small regional producers highlighting their range of products, many for the first time. One such exhibitor, Toby Greet from Treet was highly impressed, “This is our first trade show and it has been good. There has been a steady flow of people and many have been very excited about our wood products.”
The Hotel & Catering Show returns to Bournemouth in March 2015.