The vast Host show is nearly upon us and many in the UK catering equipment industry will be de-camping to Milan later this week.
There are several visitors who will be counting themselves particularly lucky however, as the winners of this year’s CEDA Grand Prix Awards are receiving an all-expenses paid trip to the largest hospitality industry show in Europe as part of the association’s recently-signed partnership agreement with the exhibition.
CEDA director general Adam Mason explained how the deal came about: “We are approached by different exhibitions almost weekly in order to secure our support and that of our members.
“We were courted by the Host organisers as they see significant value in the CEDA membership that now has a collective turnover of more than £500m.”
The association then considered the offer, as Mason revealed: “We looked at Host and saw it as a good fit as the terms of our agreement benefit members significantly. We have been able to offer free trips to our award winners and from 2019 we will have an exhibition presence ourselves at the show.”
He is very enthused by the show, commenting: “With the market continuing to remain buoyant for the vast majority of members, Host will be a great opportunity to cement existing supplier relations and meet with potential new suppliers. As well as a commercial project it is also about learning and development.”
One of the beneficiaries of the visit will be Mark Kendall, director at Inox Equip, which was victorious in the Outstanding Customer Service category at the Grand Prix Awards. Catering Insight caught up with him to ask what he was looking forward to experiencing at Host.
“Host is fantastic opportunity to meet with the wider industry and network with UK and European suppliers showcasing new and innovative products,” he commented.
On how he intends to approach his time at the show, he detailed: “We are looking for specific product lines and partnerships to support our UK procurement strategy and indeed forge partnerships with European manufacturers to enable us to import equipment that is not readily available in the UK or is tied into specific existing trading agreements that prevent competitive pricing for our clients.”
For other dealers who are intending to visit, he advised: “Host is a must go event on the biennial calendar. The vastness and multitude of products outstrips any show that is currently delivered in the UK.
“Given the location and its biennial nature, this show enables visitors to wholly concentrate on what is on offer rather than being distracted by business pressures, as you have to plan this in your diary rather than just dropping in for a few hours at a UK show in between busy schedules.”
Another Grand Prix Award winner heading to the Milan exhibition is Clive Groom, MD of CNG Foodservice Equipment, which won this year’s Small Project category.
“Although I’ve been in the industry for over 30 years this will be my first visit to Host,” he revealed. “From what I hear it’s become a much larger show offering a global perspective. As a first timer I can only go on what I’ve heard, but scale, style and variety seem to be common themes. I’m looking forward to seeing a wider variety of equipment, and particularly items that are not only functional but well designed.”
In terms of a strategy for his visit, he stated: “As with any exhibition, for me it’s about the preparation. I’ll be studying the list of exhibitors and planning a route around the show and an itinerary to see as much as possible in the short time we are there.” However, he acknowledged that the best laid plans can go out of the window when bumping into familiar faces!