Get the most from HOST as Milan prepares to open its doors to the catering industry

Europe’s largest catering equipment exhibition gets underway this week. If you’re heading to Milan in search of the next best thing for your kitchens, here’s what you can expect to find. 

With a total of 16 halls packed with the latest hospitality equipment and services, this year’s edition of HOST promises to be bigger than ever.

Buyers visiting the event will be able to get up close and personal with catering, food preparation and warewashing equipment from the world’s leading brands, with many manufacturers saving their newest product launches for the event before rolling them out globally.

Buyers wanting to know which equipment is setting the standard in terms of innovation should keep an eye on HOST’s Smart Label initiative, which recognises the most innovative products and companies at the show.

Products judged as having innovative features are permitted display the ‘Smart Label’ plaque on their stands, while the very highest innovations will be granted ‘Innovation Smart Label’ status. HOST by numbers

This year, Host is introducing two ‘Special Mentions’ for products distinguished by the application of new materials that contribute to energy saving or energy recovery; or the introduction of digital connections relating to the Internet of Things, aimed at improving the interaction and the use of individual products.

The show will also feature a dedicated exhibition of all Smart Label products, bringing the best kit together in one place.

Other new additions include the Experience Gallery, linking halls 10 and 14, which the organisers describe as an “experiential pathway that puts the adjoining and complementary coffee and gelato/pastry sectors in contact”.

The decision to connect the two halls is in response to market demands by exhibitors who are increasingly seeing the hybridisation of the two sectors as a boost for their business.

A strong British contingent is expected in Milan, with trade association CESA endorsing HOST as a key networking place and a shop window to the latest trends in innovation and design.

It secured funding through the Tradeshow Access Programme, with 10 exhibiting members receiving a £1,500 grant as they look to maximise global business opportunities.

Meanwhile, CEDA is joining the ranks of supporting associations for the event for the first time, too. Its ‘Official Partner’ status means that the winners of its annual Grand Prix Awards receive free trips to the show, while the 2019 edition will see its own stand there for the first time.

In addition to the vast networking opportunities that HOST provides, buyers will be able to attend free workshops, training seminars, roundtables and cooking demonstrations.

The full schedule can be found on the HOST website. For those wondering how they will fit it all in, the good news is that the organisers are putting on free shuttle buses this year, helping people get from one area to another as quickly and comfortably as possible.

The organisers of HOST have created a ‘Smart Catalog’, offering online access to new products from exhibitors and where to find them. Download it here: http://host.smart-catalog.it/en

What you need to know

When: Friday 20 October to Tuesday 24 October
Where: Fieramilano, Milan, Italy
Opening times: 9.30am to 6.30pm
Website: www.host.fieramilano.it

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