96,000 visitors hit the ground running at INTERNORGA 2017

This year's show, in a shorter, five-day format, delivered the visitors - and the focus paid off, reports Michael Jones

INTERNORGA 2017 attracted over 96,000 national and international visitors after five successful days of the show in Hamburg, Germany. This event was fully booked with 1,300 exhibitors from 25 nations. Visitors attended from the hotel, foodservice, bakery and confectionery sectors.

“We look back with pride at the highly successful and eventful days at INTERNORGA,” said Bernd Aufderheide, president and CEO Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH. “INTERNORGA once again played its part as the leading event and trendsetter, reflecting all the relevant topics for the industry. And that is very well received by our trade visitors. The visitor numbers this year are simply tremendous, despite a shorter period for INTERNORGA.”

Visitors who were polled expressed a high degree of satisfaction with the organisation of the show. 91% of them rated INTERNORGA as excellent or good, and 93% said they would recommend it to others, according to the results of a survey by an independent market research agency. About 80% of the visitors were decision-makers in their organisations. International origin of visitors remains high at about 7%.

International events

During the show, 2,200 visitors attended the 36th International Foodservice Forum, held for the first time at a new venue in the Hamburg Mehr! Theater, while German Catering Congress and the 7th INTERNORGA Forum School Catering also presented their perspectives of the industry. The Next Chef Award and Gastro Startup Competition live contests were both launched in 2016 and were well received by visitors again in 2017, with attendance particularly high among younger visitors. The winner of the Next Award 2017 was 26-year-old Maximilian Schultz from Kochwerkstatt Wiesbaden. The winner of the Gastro Startup competition was Salt & Silver.

The Grill & BBQ Court was a feature hosted jointly by INTERNORGA in partnership with Grill-Kontor, putting the focus on this exciting culinary trend. “Alongside the amazing range of grill appliances and smokers presented in the new exhibition area, we were able to answer a whole host of questions by trade visitors on techniques and trends. The success of this new area was definitely due to the combination of fascinating technical innovations, expert know-how and meat quality,” says Dirk Alberts, CEO of Grill-Kontor Hamburg.

Shorter, sharper

This year the duration of INTERNORGA was reduced by one day so that, for the first time, the trade show ran for just five days. Exhibitors and visitors seemed to appreciate the sharper focus for the show. Christian Strootmann, chairman of the management board of BHS tabletop AG and chair of the INTERNORGA Exhibitor Council, says “This year’s INTERNORGA really went extremely well. There was so much happening in the exhibition halls, right from the very first day. Reducing the time of this exhibition was just the right decision. As the five days come to an end, we can look at very good talks and meetings,” he says.

“Innovative, inspiring and international – this was the theme of INTERNORGA 2017,” says Hildegard Dorn-Petersen FCSI. “For many FCSI members, planners and consultants as well as for corporate members, this trade fair is much more than a compulsory date, it’s an occasion to meet with friends.”

Running the show

This year, FCSI was at full speed, both at the show, and on the roads around it. For the first time, FCSI Germany-Austria organised a charity run directly on the premises of INTERNORGA, supported by the officials of Hamburg Messe.

The idea, says Dorn-Petersen, was born when consultant Björn Grimm FCSI met Hamburg Messe’s Alexander Stark from on a recent flight. “The goal was to raise money for youth promotion. Since staff shortage is a major problem in the hospitality industry in German speaking countries, FCSI Germany has started to support excellent projects for students and has organised ‘speed dates to give a helping hand.”

For this worthwhile cause, a 10km run was organised, starting at the Hamburg Messe skywalk, crossing the fairground and finishing at the entrance of the exhibition halls, where a red carpet provided by fair officials was waiting for the runners.


Among the runners who fought bravely through the cold morning rain, were: Dirk Behle, René Brune, Ton Wareman (all three sponsored by Echtermann GmbH & Co. KG), Thomas Pfeiffer, Helge Pahlke FCSI and Thomas Wendling (sponsored by Winterhalter Deutschland GmbH), Ian William Grubb, Patrick Hoffmann and Hannes Braun (sponsored by Bio Trans AG), Steffen Helbig (sponsored by Rational GmbH), Hartmut Henselmann (sponsored by Meiko GmbH & Co. KG), Frank Filipps and Björn Grimm FCSI, who was sponsored by ACO Industrie Vertrieb GmbH.

Grimm and Pahlke, both passionate runners, were delighted to raise almost €10,000. Following its success, another run will take place at INTERNORGA 2018.

“A big thank you goes to Hamburg Messe for supporting this marvellous idea, as well as the sponsors: Echtermann, Winterhalter, BioTrans, Meiko, Rational and ACO,” says Dorn- Petersen.

The 92nd INTERNORGA will be held at the Hamburg Messe site from 9 to 13 March 2018.

Michael Jones

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