The biennial catering equipment carnival that is the Host show has once again delivered a knockout edition. The 40th running of the exhibition in Milan on 20-24 October smashed all previous records, posting an attendance of 187,602, 24.3% up on 2015’s numbers.
The international flavour of the show continued to spread too, with visitors from 177 countries gracing the massive 16 halls of the Fieramilano. Global visitors totalled 72,699, 20.4% more than 2015’s figure. As well as European countries, China, the USA, the Russian region and the Middle East ranked among those generating the highest visitor flows. And there were substantial numbers from particularly distant countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Cambodia, Polynesia and several African countries (Botswana, Burundi, Eritrea, Rwanda and Zimbabwe).
The exhibition floor was mostly made up of purchasing managers and company decision-makers, notably including over 1,500 hosted buyers with specifically chosen profiles from all over the world, some of whom had been identified also thanks to close collaboration with the ITA-ICE Agenzia.
“Host is a success story,” commented Fabrizio Curci, CEO and director general of Fieramilano. “With a rise of 24.3% in the number of professional visitors, Host confirms its status as a true point of reference in the hospitality industry, the place where its different sectors meet to mould the trends of tomorrow and to do business and networking. In particular, the flows of foreign visitors are growing by double figures, reaching +20.4%: decision-makers and buyers are also arriving from more distant countries, eager not to miss the event.”
Catering equipment exhibitors were particularly pleased with the show. For instance, at Electrolux Professional, VP of corporate communication Ingrid Yllmark commented: “Coming to Milan and taking part in Host is crucial to understanding where the international out-of-home market is going.
Italians are unbeatable at creating ‘stories’ around products as part of a lifestyle, and as a multinational we’re committed to transforming these cues into business opportunities for our customers around the world. We do this above all while enhancing the points of contact between catering and beverages, an industry in which we have just acquired a company”.
Ice cream machine manufacturer Carpigiani really took the show’s ‘hybridisation’ theme to heart, with group MD Andrea Cocchi remarking: “Ice cream really fits in everywhere, thanks to the most innovative technologies. In particular, at Host 2017 we presented the new automatic SC-Cup machine, the first to use capsule technology. This was researched together with Sarong, a leader in the coffee market. Designed for convenience stores, hotels and tourist resorts, it enables customers to choose a capsule with their favourite ice cream flavour, and in 90 seconds they have a cup ready for tasting.”
Italian oven manufacturer Tagliavini thought along the same lines too. “We’re witnessing an ever-closer partnership between catering and bakery, and an increasing number of mixed-concept businesses are offering bakery and gastronomy together,” said export manager Giovanni Gaibazzi. “It’s a global trend but it also involves Italy, where industry professionals seek to balance innovation and tradition. At Host we saw a particularly strong response from Europe and Asia, although historically we also have strong presence in Italy.”
In the coffee makers sector, Cimbali Group marketing and communications director Simona Colombo added: “Host is for us the key appointment with our best customers and prospects, who come here from all over the world to discover our brand’s new developments and to discuss market trends. Every 2 years we specifically choose Host to launch our important, international and strategic projects.”