HostMilano 2017 celebrates 40th anniversary in style

The world's largest exhibition for hospitality saw 187,602 visitors walk the halls of FieraMilano in Milan, Italy, for a diverse, five-day show. Numbers were up 24.3% compared with 2015, reports Michael Jones

A bouyant and vibrant HostMilano 2017 was undoubtedly a hit with the huge majority of visitors and exhibitors. The numbers speak for themselves: the five-day show which ran between 20-24 October 2017 at fieramilano, in Milan, Italy, attracted 187,602 professional visitors, a 24.3% increase compared to the 2015 edition of the show. Visitors were truly global, with 38.8% (72,699) arriving from 177 countries (+20.4% compared with 2015).

Aside from European attendees, visitors primarily came from China, US and the Russian and Middle Eastern countries, while there was also a significant presence from Australia, New Zealand, Cambodia, Polynesia and several African countries, including Botswana, Burundi, Eritrea, Rwanda and Zimbabwe.

According to the show organisers, attendees were “mostly composed of purchasing managers and company decision-makers”, notably including more than 1,500 exhibitors.

“Host is a success story that is almost unique in the international world of exhibitions and events,” says Fabrizio Curci, CEO and director general of Fiera Milano Spa. “With an increment of 24.3% in the number of professional visitors, Host confirms its status as a true world hub of the hospitality macro-sector, the place where its chains meet to mould the trends of tomorrow and to do business and networking. In particular, the flows of foreign visitors are growing in double figures, reaching an increment of 20.4%. Decision-makers and buyers are also arriving from countries that are further away, eager not to miss the event.”

Variety and insight

More than 500 events were scheduled during the exhibition, notably including the FIPGC World Pastry Making Championships which saw Italy scoop the main prize from more than 20 teams from all over the world, including China (second place) and Japan (third place).

Many international institutions attended the exhibition. Business Beyond Borders, an international project promoted by the European Commission, engaged 240 companies from 53 countries in over 200 meetings, while Grupo Consular de América Latina y el Caribe N.I. participated for the very first time, grouping together consular representations from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico, Perú, Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Venezuela. HostMilano also received the prestigious US Commercial Service certification, issued by the US Department of Commerce exclusively to a small number of international fairs that stand out for their ability to foster real business.

Visitors to the exhibition were able to see a vast range of cutting-edge new products being launched. “We have been particularly impressed by the ever-increasing commitment of the exhibitors to contextualising their product with true storytelling techniques, often of spellbinding appeal,” says Curci. The CEOs, founders and executive teams from many major foodservice equipment manufacturing groups, including Ali Group, Welbilt, Middleby Corporation, ITW and Electrolux Professional were in attendance, holding their own events, parties and seminar sessions throughout the show.

FCSI at HostMilano

FCSI had a large presence at the show with 150 consultants attending from Europe, North and South America, the Middle East and Asia. The FCSI booth, well-situated in Pavillion 2, boasted a significant amount of activity across the five days, with a full seminar programme and plenty of after-show fun for professional and allied members, including a sponsors dinner on Sunday 22 October. At the dinner, the experienced Italian consultant Antonio Montanari FFCSI was inducted into the FCSI Council of Fellows by the chair of FCSI Italy Massimo Giubilesi FCSI, former and current chairs of FCSI EAME, Martin Rahmann FCSI and Remo van der Graaff FCSI, president of FCSI Worldwide William Taunton FCSI and Jean-Pierre Grossi FFCSI of the Council of Fellows. Montanari thanked the Society for the award, which he referred to as a “great honour” adding that he was humbled to receive it.

Giubilesi said Montanari was the leading force behind the creation of the Italian FCSI unit. “He is a renowned and well-known professional in Italy, both in institutional foodservice and in the restaurant and hospitality market,” he added. “He is recognised for his grand architectural projects that have left an indelebile mark on the food and hospitality industry, as a forward thinking designer, who was able to see, years ago, far beyond the barrier of ‘current thinking’, and the real meaning of functional plan & design connected with other disciplines.”

On Saturday 20 October, the team from FCSI’s magazine Foodservice Consultant hosted a special Consultants Roundtable, supported by Electrolux Professional, focusing on ‘Defining smart kitchens for the future’. The roundtable addressed how fundamentally commercial kitchens are changing and why that is a good thing for the people that work in them. Following a presentation by Alberto Zanata, CEO of Electrolux Professional and a short video of the manufacturer’s ‘Taste the stress’ campaign to improve commercial kitchen environments for employees, Michael Jones, editorial director of of Foodservice Consultant, chaired a lively debate between consultants from across the globe: Martin Rahmann FCSI (Germany), Thomas Mertens FCSI (Germany), Frank Wagner FCSI (Germany), Alexander Hofer FCSI (Italy), Ken Schwartz FCSI (US), Nahum Goldberg FCSI (US), AJ Barker FCSI (US) and William Taunton FCSI (Chile).

A write-up of the roundtable will appear in the Q1 2018 edition of Foodservice Consultant and will be supported by video and digital coverage.

The next edition of HostMilano will be held at fieramilano between 18-22 October 2019.

Michael Jones


Inset picture: Antonio Montanari FFCSI is inducted into the FCSI Council of Fellows by Martin Rahmann FCSI, Massimo Giubilesi FCSI, William Taunton FCSI, Jean-Pierre Grossi FFCSI and Remo van der Graaff FCSI

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