Let’s meet in Vienna

FCSI EAME’s 2017 conference at the Meliá Hotel Vienna promises exciting speakers and workshops, plus networking opportunities, reports Elly Earls

Following a welcome reception at the Meliá Vienna’s stunning 57th floor restaurant and lounge, on Thursday 6 April, FCSI’s 2017 annual conference, kicks off on Friday 7th April. With the conference theme “Food and Hospitality in the future,” a keynote speech from futurist and founder of the Hamburg-based trend research institute, Oliver Leisse begins the conference. Entitled “Everything is going to change”, the speech will cover the profound changes facing the foodservice sector.

The morning continues with three more talks. Following Leisse is management consultant Dr Ilse Andrea Ennsfellner and Lebanese food heritage expert Zeinab Jeambey. The last talk of the morning is delivered by Robert Bodenstein, founder of Solutions for Chefs.

After lunch, the final speech of the day will come from Christine Ehrenhuber, the project manager for United Against Waste, a foodservice industry initiative to reduce avoidable food waste in kitchens in Austria by half by 2020. Then it’s time for the conference’s four workshops.

First, attendees have a choice between a hospitality training workshop about how to be a better host and a workshop delivered by the European Hygienic Engineering and Design Group (EHEDG). Second are two workshops focused on Building Information Modelling (BIM), one for design consultants and one for management consultants.

Day one wraps up with a quick exchange between members about their experiences of the workshops, followed by a traditional Austrian dinner at 200-year-old, family-run winery, Schreiberhaus.

The line-up of quality speakers continues during the next morning, with Dutch F&B consultant Andreas Oerlemans taking the lead. His talk “Food in 2030” will cover future developments, food waste, energy sources and new technology in food. “Food is hot,” he says, “but we do not know how to handle the heat.” Oerlemans will be followed by technology expert Sébastien Just, who will speak about future technology opportunities.

After a discussion covering foodservice and customer support, the EAME general meeting and a light lunch, attendees will have the opportunity to take a sightseeing tour of famous Vienna sites, followed by a celebration dinner during which three awards will be presented: the Manufacturer Award for Distinguished Development Design, the Design Award for Excellence in Foodservice Design and the MAS Award for Excellence in Management Advisory Services.

Throughout the conference, all talks will be translated into English, German, French and Italian, and during breaks members can visit an exhibition area where sponsors, including refrigeration and steel technology provider Ideal AKE and warewashing manufacturer Meiko, will be displaying their wares.

Spouses and partners will also be kept entertained with an Imperial shopping tour, complete with cake decorating workshop. Sightseeing packages can also be arranged for members who opt to extend their trip.

“We have prepared an impressive schedule to share knowledge with our members, as well as offering them the chance to explore Vienna,” says FCSI EAME executive director Sabine Wagner. “Our professional design, management consultants and corporate members will also have a great opportunity to communicate, network and discuss many new items for a stronger FCSI brand. And don’t forget – Vienna is the bridge to the markets in the East.”

Elly Earls