The 2019 edition of HOST gets underway in Milan today and organisers of the biennial fair insist it will be bigger and better than ever.
More than 2,250 brands have shipped in catering equipment from all over the world this week as they prepare their stands ahead of the official opening this morning.
Some 16 halls of the Fieramilano will be filled with the latest catering equipment launches and innovations over the next five days, with visitor numbers expected to top the 187,600 that flooded to the Italian exhibition two years ago.
More than 55 countries will be represented among the exhibitors this year, with new entries including Albania, Argentina, Colombia, Iran, Latvia and Lebanon.
The event is also set to welcome an extensive representation of hosted buyers. Thanks to collaboration with ICE Agenzia, there will be more than 1,500 operators from 80 countries and an increasingly comprehensive mix coming to Milan mainly from the USA, Canada, the Middle East, China and Russia.
Organisations from the UK, Spain, USA, Canada, Argentina, the Caribbean, Chile, Colombia and Mexico, as well as the Gulf countries – in particular the UAE – will be represented by national trade associations at the exhibition.
These international partnerships will once again feature Ceda, which first signed up to back the show in 2017, and Restaurants Canada, one of the largest eat-out organisations in North America with in excess of 30,000 members covering the entire supply chain, from bars, restaurants and caterers, to suppliers and institutions.
To complete HOST’s global status, the BeMyHost project will welcome 20 foreign ambassadors called upon to ‘intercept’ and share on their social networks all the major hospitality trends from across the globe.
HOST 2019 will see more than 500 events including competitions, cooking shows, masterclasses and workshops across the show’s five days.
As well as showcasing state-of-the-art machinery and innovative solutions, the trade show is also an opportunity to enjoy a multi-sensory experience, thanks to presentations given by companies and to cooking show events held by top chefs, as well as the extraordinary creations crafted by pastry chefs and cake designers and performances by the most talented baristas and bartenders.
In addition, insights and seminars will give an overall view of the current state of the market.
For foodservice equipment, the main focus areas will be restaurant engineering, the FIC (Italian Cooks Federation) Academy and FCSI’s insight to the future of food and hospitality design. Restaurant engineering is the umbrella term for the APCI – Professional Association of Italian Chefs’ interactive offerings at the show.
On a stage in pavilion 4, the organisation will demonstrate a daily programme dedicated to the different forms of professional catering – cooking, pastry and bakery – in a format that will give voice to the most important players in each field. Taking to the stage will be renowned chefs, VIP guests and institutional partners to show cooking, tastings and debates.
There will also be a special spot dedicated to emerging young people. 2019’s special focus will be the large-scale retailing at the centre of a debate entitled: ‘Where is catering going today?’
Elsewhere, the FIC Academy will be on show in pavilion 2. This will principally be a kitchen designed by FIC technical partners, which will host advanced level cuisine demonstrations, videos and roundtables.
The different FIC sections will manage the area with testimonials from the restaurant sector, national institutions and prominent figures in the welfare area.
Also in pavilion 2 is the FCSI’s programme of events and speakers at its stand, where industry experts will discuss the ‘food and hospitality in the future’ theme.
The FCSI is providing a non-stop programme of content each day – starting with breakfast at 9am and ending with after-work drinks. The stand will reveal the winners of the ‘Start Me Up Innovation Awards’ in association with Electrolux.