Hotelympia – It’s showtime!


As show season rolls around, it’s the turn of Hotelympia to take to the stage at London’s Excel. Returning at the end of February, the four-day show is promising to highlight new innovations, offer top advice and shine the spotlight on some of the best new products on the market. Don’t want to miss out on anything? Read our guide on some of the must-visit features of this year’s Hotelympia.

For four days from February 29 to March 3, London’s ExCeL will be buzzing with hospitality owners, managers, senior executives and designers on the hunt for inspiration for their current or future projects.

They will of course be attending Hotelympia, the industry’s biggest trade show, which held every other year, promises to be bigger and better than the last. It is a must-attend event for anyone in the hotel sector with purchasing power and the desire to get one step ahead of their competitors.

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Aside from the jam-packed schedule and aisles of companies showcasing their best products, Hotelympia is a fantastic place to network, share ideas and ignite your passion for the year ahead.

It won’t just be hoteliers on the visitor list either; the event strives to cater for every sector of hospitality from hotels and restaurants to pubs, cafes, contract catering and casual dining, bringing together a whole of faces from across the UK.

Hotelympia 2016 will host over 120 top exhibitors from the worlds of food and drink, catering equipment, technology, interiors and careers, with a particular focus on catering equipment as food continues to be a driving force of the success of a hospitality business.

As well as new additions to the schedule’s programme line up, including The Skills Theatre which will champion budding young chefs, schedule stalwarts will return with fresh faces to offer insight and advice on hot industry topics.

The Stage for example will welcome a selection of leading lights including the master of service, restaurant manager of the world famous, three Michelin-starred Waterside Inn, Diego Masciaga and former hotel manager of The London Edition, Edwin Kramer, who will be of particular interest to the boutique hotel industry.

Toby Wand, managing director at Fresh Montgomery comments: “It may seem a contradiction in terms to describe an event on the sheer scale of Hotelympia as having the feel of a bespoke, tailored show, but in 2016, that’s exactly the experience we will deliver.

“How do we achieve this with so many ground-breaking exhibitors, from multiple sectors, all under one roof? The answer lies in knowing the market, understanding the trends that keep this vibrant industry ticking, showcasing companies that share in this vision, true innovators, keeping things fresh and, most importantly, relevant to you. So, whichever day you choose to spend with us, and whatever attraction, innovative new product, key exhibitor or insightful speaker is on your hit list, this experience will be individually tailored to you, the requirements of your business and your customers. Your show.”

New for 2016
The biggest new addition for this year’s show will be the Bespoke Equipment Sourcing Scheme, created in partnership with CESA (Catering Equipment Suppliers Association). Staying true to exactly what it says on the tin, the feature will see buyers’ requirements matched to the exhibitor whose equipment best meets their needs and will be a crucial area to visit if you are planning on a kitchen refit, redesign or upgrade over the next 12 months. Visitors will be able to speak to manufacturers and compare and contrast kit to try before they buy.

The Stage
Popular feature, The Stage will be back for 2016 and see a number of well-known industry figures offering educational presentations on topics ranging from how to improve profits in your hotel to an exclusive insight into life behind the scenes at the London EDITION.

With discovery, delivery and efficiency as key watchwords, the technology-focused HOSPACE Hub will offer a number of panel discussions around acquisition, service experience and efficiency for both guests and diners.

The Hub will welcome a number of key influencers to its stage and a number of the experts will host sessions that should not be missed. Among others, ones to take note of include Google UK’s head of hospitality, Terri Scriven, who will be talking about how sites can, with limited resources, make digital channels a boon rather than a bane and Tom Valentine, co-founder, Secret Escapes, who will be investigating the developing of relationships between booking agencies and restaurants and hotels.

The Staff Canteen Live

Held in conjunction with The Craft Guild of Chefs, The Staff Canteen Live – Skillery will be showcasing the skills of 16 of the country’s leading chefs, comprising some 20 Michelin stars and will allow you to get up close and personal to all the live cooking action, picking up on tips along the way. The line-up includes: chef patron of Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, Clare Smyth, Tom Kerridge Claude Bosi, Nathan Outlaw, Paul Ainsworth, Tom Aikens and Simon Rogan.

Salon Culinaire
International Salon Culinaire returns to Hotelympia in 2016 with a new chef director, executive chef of the Royal Garden Hotel, Steve Munkley, and a host of programme changes to keep the competition fresh and exciting.

In addition to the three competitive elements of International Salon Culinaire; La Parade des Chefs, Salon Display, and Live Theatre, new for 2016 is The Skills Theatre which will give chefs at the beginning of their careers – including apprentices and students – the chance to experience some competition with classes including butchery, fishmongery, pastry, sugar-craft and more.

Another first for Salon, front-of-house staff will now also get to demonstrate their skills and put their efforts to the test in a selection of service classes too.

Also making a second appearance at the show will be Waste-Works – the event that focuses purely on suppliers of waste solutions and services looking to target the hospitality sector.

Drinks Innovation
This year Hotelympia’s Drinks Cabinet and Drinks Innovation Theatre will encompass craft beer, cider, spirits and wine as the drinks scene moves from strength-to-strength. The Drinks Innovation Theatre will house talks on the profitability of alcoholic beverages, plus the topic of how to get your hot drinks offering right.

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Zoe Monk

The author Zoe Monk

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