Best in show

The 2015 Internorga show in Hamburg, Germany, broke both records and new ground. Michael Jones speaks with show organiser Claudia Johannsen of Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH to find out why this year was such a special event

Tell us about some of the numbers involved from this year’s Internorga?

Internorga 2015 was bigger and better than all the previous events we have put on. We now have a floor space total of about 100,000 sq m, having expanded this leading, international show to include a new section on the butcher’s trade. In total we had about 1,300 exhibitors here altogether between 13-18 March 2015. We expect about 95,000 national and international visitors were here but are still confirming the exact numbers.

Why is it such a prestigious show?

In Germany, Internorga is the most important, number one hotel, restaurant and catering (HORECA) show of the year. This is the place where exhibitors present their latest product developments, trends and innovations at the Hamburg Fair site concerning hotels, restaurants, institutional catering, bakery and confectionery. In combination with an excellent supporting programme, outstanding international conferences with more than 2,000 participants and innovative exhibition and side events, Internorga is really superlative. The show is classified by the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry (AUMA) as the only international HORECA trade fair in Germany.

What are the biggest challenges of putting on a show like Internorga?

Luckily, we’re in the luxurious position that Internorga is one of the most important European HORECA shows and fair spaces are always sold out. The challenge for us, organising this platform for so many different branches, is to find a good mixture of exhibitors who can give the best overview of the market. We endeavour to further enhance the entire event with a special up-to-the-market programme, such as the Newcomers’ Area and our new Craft Beer Arena.

What was the highlight of the show for you?

This year, trade visitors could expect more highlights than ever. My personal highlight was the premiere of our Craft Beer Arena, which was all about the new diversity of beer. With 19 breweries, large and small, and about 80 beers, the Craft Beer Arena gave a colourful overview of the exciting craft beer market. Visitors could not only taste these speciality beers, while exchanging information and views, but there was also an extensive supporting programme on craft beer – including the subjects of food pairing, sensory impressions, successful marketing of craft beer, and the ideal beer menu.

What specific innovation on display has really impressed you this year?

This is a difficult question – we had so many innovations here in all the different branches. What I think is really interesting is the trend concerning the rising quality of convenience food that can be seen everywhere. In combination with the trend for society to eat more instant ‘on the go’ food, I assume there will be some more interesting developments in the near future. Also, the pace of development and innovation in kitchen equipment is hotting up even more; an impressive number of exhibitors waited until Internorga to reveal their world product premieres. The markets are undergoing a rapid development.

Claudia Johannsen is head of business unit, Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH

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