Day two of Hotelympia got underway this morning, with exhibitors hoping the new-look format of the show and a packed conference agenda will continue to deliver good footfall for the second day running.
More than 1,000 exhibitors are out in force at the east end of the ExCeL London venue, with the stands of catering equipment suppliers taking up a big chunk of the floor space and greeting visitors as they arrive.
Exhibitors were reporting an encouraging day yesterday, with the main aisles noticeably packed during peak periods of the show. Tube strikes affected public transport at the same event two years ago, but there were no such concerns this time, which clearly had a positive benefit for footfall.
“It has been very good – we have had quite a lot of people on the stand, much better than two years ago from that point of view, because Monday was hard,” said Simon Aspin, commercial director of Scotsman’s UK distributor Hubbard Systems. “We have actually had quite a few key accounts and design consultants on the stand, and the response to our different types of ice has been very good. People want to talk about more energy efficient ice production, less water wastage and things like that, which is great because that is the way we see the market going.”
One of the highlights for Hubbard is its new N622 energy efficient ice machine, which delivers compressed flake ice in a modular format. “It has had a positive reception and we have already started supplying it into one of our key retail customers. They are rolling out 18 flagship sites over the next six to eight weeks, so it is doing really well,” said Aspin.
Stephen Kinkead, managing director of Winterhalter, was also upbeat about the first day of the exhibition. “The show started off really buoyantly and it continued that way throughout the day,” he told FEJ. “For us, it is about showcasing new technology and innovation, but also connecting with existing clients and meeting new ones.”
Winterhalter’s stand travels the world to different exhibitions and features two special ‘innovation boxes’, which visitors can step inside to get an experiential taste of what happens inside its warewashers. The UF simulator replicates a giant utensil washer, including the wash arm, while the PT ClimatePlus simulator demonstrates how the warewasher actually cools down a hot kitchen.
“These simulators really show the ethos of Winterhalter as a company, so it is all about the result first and foremost,” said Kinkead. “There are four senses being used, so you get the actual feel of being inside the utensil washer.”
Over at the Falcon Foodservice Equipment stand, meanwhile, the company is marketing its new F900 series of cooking equipment. It is sharing a booth with sister company Williams Refrigeration.
“The show has exceeded our expectation with regards to footfall and quality of visitor,” said Falcon’s sales and marketing director, Lawrence Hughes. “We are pleasantly surprised to the point of delighted. We have not stopped all day and from 10 o’clock this morning we have had people on the stand. We have had consultants, distributors and end-users stopping by. Not so many national account chains; the chains haven’t arrived yet, that we’ve seen. The joint stand with Williams is working very well for us. There is a very good, clear crossover of product.”
Falcon is using the show to roll out the electric range of the F900, as well as reinforcing the availability of gas appliances from the same series.
The show continues today until Thursday.