Fresh Montgomery is expecting a four per cent increase in visitors to this year’s Hotelympia trade show at Excel London (pending ABC audit).
The show was attended by more than 33,700 visitors, up from 32,626 attendees including 28,034 unique visitors in 2011, and ran from 26 February to 1 March. Fresh noted a higher footfall in its first two days, prompted by the appearance of star guest chef Raymond Blanc, who was inducted into the show’s Hall of Fame. The new Institute of Hospitality president Sir David Michels also made an appearance.
“Our remit with Hotelympia 2012 was to put on a show befitting of the food service and hospitality industry’s determination and strength of character to innovate through potentially tough times – acelebration of all that is best about our business,” Fresh group exhibition director Toby Wand said. “I am proud to say that the industry has responded in kind.
“I am also particularly heartened that we have been able to grow our visitor numbers, which I think is testament to both the quality of our offering and the level of engagement from both our exhibitors and visitors in the multitude of new initiatives we launched this year.”
Changes to the show ranged from a new show layout and free Hotelympia mobile app to the first Hotelympia Design Award and a concerted effort on new products.
Key content included the Innovation Idols initiative, which saw celebrity chef Jason Atherton judge the first Innovation Award winners in a Dragons Den, closed doors drama, plus a new hospitality industry charity event, which raised £80,000 and was attended by 900 people.
The show also played host to the biggest 10,000km hospitality run to date featuring 1,000 runners including BBC athletes expert Steve Cram.