Well I don’t know about you, dear reader, but I was thoroughly exhausted following the whirlwind 4 days that was this year’s Hotelympia exhibition.

The meetings, the random bumping into everyone I’d ever met in the industry, the multiple and diverse queries pitched our way at our stand – I think by the end of the week I would have happily invested in a pair of padded slippers to stop my feet aching and outsourced all my talking to a voice synthesizer to save my throat from further exertion.

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But all of this only goes to show how vital the event is. I may have walked across the same 200ft2 of carpet 50 times during the week, but that was only because so much of the industry was massed in one place.

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Having visited the massive Host exhibition in Milan last year, which is like a city in itself, it was a relief to have all the catering equipment companies together and not to have to dive in and out of 12 different halls to try and catch up with everyone.

I saw a healthy number of distributors there, plus many celebrity chefs such as Michael Caines, Shaun Rankin and Tom Kerridge even put in an appearance.

And this anecdotal evidence was backed up by the attendance numbers released post-exhibition, which detailed that around 26,000 visitors were recorded, a surge of 15% from the 2014 edition.

The real value – and the real news stories – of the show were found just by talking to people, however. Essentially it was one big industry gossip room, and if there’s one thing the catering equipment sector likes to do, it’s gossip.