Visitor numbers at HOST cleared the 200,000 mark for what is understood to be the first time this year, organisers of the show have revealed.
The figure looks to have exceeded expectations as prior to the event all references to the anticipated turnout had pointed to 180,000.
Organisers said the number of professionals through the door was 8% up on the last exhibition two years ago.
HOST’s burgeoning reputation as the pre-eminent international show for catering equipment sales was further boosted by the news that 40% of visitors came from abroad, representing some 171 nationalities.
The larger European markets of Spain, Germany, France, the UK and Switzerland were heavily represented, but HOST also welcomed large delegations from the USA, China, the Middle East and the Far East, organisers said.
The furthest any one country had to travel to get to Milan was from the Fiji Islands.
Exhibitor numbers were up 4% to 2,259 versus the previous show, with 1,360 companies from Italy. The other 889 participants came from 55 separate countries.
Organisers reported a “substantial growth” in the meetings that took place at the Fiera Milano involving operators and hosted buyers, many of whom came to Milan from the USA, Canada, Russia and the UAE.
Meanwhile, more than 800 events, including on-stage panel discussions and cooking demonstrations, took place over the five days.