Thousands of senior buyers flooded the Great Hospitality Show floor throughout its latest three-day run at Birmingham’s NEC, playing an integral part in a show that more than lived up to its new name, with visitors hailing it as a ‘festival’ of new products.
Hundreds of new innovations from the worlds of food and drink, catering equipment, technology and interiors were on show, many for the very first time – providing visitors with an exclusive first-look at the products set to make waves in 2017.
With a staunch focus on the business of hospitality, the show’s Business Mentor programme saw its largest ever team of experts deluged throughout the three days from visitors eager to take advantage of the unique, free face-to-face format of impartial business surgeries.
Elsewhere, the exhibition was awash with activity from the very first morning. Reports of deals wrapped up on the show floor were commonplace, while feedback from exhibitors offered a picture of high-quality visitors replete with purchasing muscle.
For the very first time, the show was bolstered by the presence of four Ambassadors, celebrated chef Cyrus Todiwala OBE; Michelin restaurateur Andreas Antona; London Lancaster GM, Sally Beck and Mike Coldicott, director of kitchen design pioneers, Tricon. Each was heavily involved throughout the three days. Andreas was both a judge and presenter of the Great Product Awards – uncovering the 12 biggest launches of the New Year, while Mike addressed a packed Business Briefing Stage on the art of commercial kitchen design.
The hot button topics of Brexit and the incoming apprenticeship levy were left in the capable hands of Sally and Cyrus as they chaired lively debates with plenty of audience participation. Cyrus also made the time to help out with judging at Salon Culinaire, where competing chefs yet again racked up the gold, silver and bronze medals, demonstrating the familiar skill and artistry that has come to typify the world’s premier culinary competition.
The Staff Canteen Live yet again pulled in the crowds with a cooking demonstration from local boy Glynn Purnell providing a particular high point in amongst three days of top quality chef demonstrations.
Toby Wand, Managing Director of Fresh Montgomery says: “Our remit for the show was to offer up the largest and most relevant collection of new hospitality products seen anywhere in 2017 and on that promise we’ve delivered in spades. The show was a true celebration of greatness in our industry and for that I want to thank everyone – visitors, exhibitors, speakers, chefs, and judges – who played a part in its success. For our exhibitors the hard work of following leads up now begins and so it’s heartening to hear so many accounts of top quality visitors, making the experience wholly worthwhile. We look forward to welcoming people back to England’s second city to do it all again in 2019.”
At the show’s close, a ‘People’s Choice’ gong was awarded to exhibitor, Essential Cuisine, for its Miso Broth Base, part of its new Asian Range of stock products. Earlier in the week, the show’s Great Product Awards saw BGL Rieber’s Thermoport Midi-K, insulated food transport box chosen by judges to take the main spoils. Visitors were then urged to take to Twitter and vote for their favourite product from 12 finalists. The Cheshire-based company’s chefs were on hand to take the kudos and collect the certificate.
The Great Hospitality Show returns to Birmingham in 2019.