On with the show: the industry gears up for HostMilano 2017

HostMilano 2017 promises to be even larger and more comprehensive than the 2015 edition of the show. Elly Earls speaks to the organisers about what to expect from the 40th edition of the show that markets itself as the “capital of professional hospitality”

Innovation and cross-sector collaboration will be the key focuses of HostMilano 2017, the world’s leading event for hospitality professionals, which presents a unique, 360° view of the industry’s latest trends and technologies.

The exhibition, which will run from 20–24 October, will gather more than 2,000 companies – a mix of global corporations and small- and medium-sized operators – from more countries than ever before. Over 50 different nations will be represented including five newcomers – Egypt, New Zealand, South Africa, Uganda and Ukraine – with the show expected to exceed the record numbers set in 2015.

It’s not just in numbers that the organisers hope to top HostMilano 2015; the layout of the fieramilano fairground, one of Europe’s largest exhibition centres, has also seen a refresh for the 2017 edition of the show in an effort to make the experience even more productive and seamless for visitors.

While the overall exhibition concept – a combination of the various hospitality specialisations in synergic macro areas designed to encourage cross-sector exchanges – remains the same, there have been a few important tweaks.

For example, the Furniture & Tableware macro area will now be hosted in two larger halls and the Gelato-Pastry sector will be positioned halfway between the Foodservice and Coffee areas as it represents a ‘bridge’ between the two.

As Simona Greco, director of art, fashion, hospitality & travel exhibitions at Fiera Milano explains, the link is actually something more than a bridge: “It’s a special space we called The Experience Gallery: not a simple space, but a real experience where coffee and gelato come together allowing visitors to get a close encounter with the many aspects of the concept of hybridisation.”

HostMilano 2017 will also have a Buyers’ Lounge and a Bar area. “The event is huge but easy to navigate at the same time, thanks to the new hall layout and to a bus shuttle in collaboration with Lavazza that will connect the different areas,” Greco says.

Installations and innovation

The team behind HostMilano has also organised a range of other showcases and demonstrations.

While EXIHS, an artistic installation created by architect Dante O Benini in partnership with Davide Rampello, will cast a spotlight on the history of hospitality in Italy, the Identità Future space, created in collaboration with Identità Golose, will see chefs take part in show-cooking demonstrations exploring the latest frontiers in haute cuisine.

There will also be a strong focus on coffee thanks to the show organisers’ close collaboration with World Coffee Events and innovation will be even more in the spotlight than usual courtesy of SMART Label, an award for innovation in the hospitality industry.

Winners will be the creators of products, services and projects that stand out thanks to innovative functionality, technology, environmental sustainability features, or ethical or social implications. There will also be two special mentions for products that use new materials to save or recover energy or use the Internet of Things to digitally connect different individual products.

Finally, attendees should also take the opportunity to network with the more than 1,500 hosted buyers who will arrive from all over the world on 20 October. For Greco, the event’s Hosted Buyers programme is the aspect of the show that’s been the most challenging to bring together. “We provide each and every one of them with travel arrangements and accommodation and with an agenda of pre-booked business dates matching their requirements,” she says.

“Moreover, we will organise more than 500 meetings, events, showcases, competitions and business activities for them as well as for all the professional visitors to enjoy. Such an effort is only possible thanks to a fine-tuned organisational structure that builds on a decades-long leadership on the market.”

Further details:

Stay tuned for more news and insight on HostMilano 2017 on fcsi.org over the forthcoming weeks, including comprehensive details of FCSI’s programme of events at its booth and what to do in Milan away from the show.

Elly Earls

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