Despite the influence of the internet and other media, trade shows and exhibitions are continuing to attract ever increasing numbers of eager visitors. And The Hotel & Catering Show which took place at the Bournemouth International Centre on 11 – 12 March 2014 was no exception.
A huge cross-section of exhibitors was present at the two-day event, from local manufacturers to service solution providers, and the line-up included Rational, the company that invented the concept of combi cooking.
The show gave a huge amount of entertainment, with live cooking demonstrations from celebrated names. Chefs’ Kitchen, a pop-up restaurant organised in collaboration with the Craft Guild of Chefs and run by leading chefs James Golding (The Pig), and Christopher Basten (Craft Guild of Chefs), were particularly popular. The chefs worked with teams of student chefs to create food that was enjoyed by visitors and exhibitors alike. In particular, the Omelette Challenge drew the crowds.
The aim of the show was to educate about hospitality and catering industry knowledge, trends and best practice, but the question is, what is the benefit for both visitors and exhibitors to attend trade shows such as this one? The warmth of personal contact in face-to-face encounters is a major selling point and a trade show provides a strong brand building environment via product demonstrations and seminars.
For visitors, trade shows provide a highly-targeted audience of fellow industry professionals as well as the most time-efficient forum to keep up with new market technology, products, innovations and developments in your market. They also provide the most cost-effective means of sourcing products, services and information as well as direct personal access to suppliers.
Rational’s presence at the show gave the company the opportunity to highlight its product range and interact with potential customers. The company is renowned for its SelfCookingCenter technology, in particular the award-winning SelfCookingCenter whitefficiency.
According to Rational, the Hotel and Catering Show was a success in terms of visitor numbers and industry participation. “The show highlighted numerous new product developments but it also demonstrated the strength of the catering industry and its ambition to serve the needs of an increasingly sophisticated market.”
President of Bournemouth Chamber of Trade & Commerce, Mandy Payne, had the last word, commenting: “It really is fantastic that this event attracts such a wide cross section of interest. Local hoteliers and restaurateurs benefit hugely from meeting new suppliers and discovering new innovations for them to adapt in their venues.”
Dates have now been confirmed for the Hotel and Catering Show 2015, which will take place between 16-18 March 2015 at the same venue.