Taking place during the inaugural English Tourism Week, the Hotel and Catering Show welcomed serious buyers to the Bournemouth International Centre on March 13 and 14. Known as the south’s leading hospitality event, visitors convened to find out about the latest developments within hospitality, catering and tourism industry and meet hundreds of producers and suppliers.
Robin Hutson, one of the UK’s most renowned entrepreneurial hoteliers and executive chairman of the Lime Wood Group of hotels, kicked off the event by officially opening the show and then joined the question and answer panel to debate and discuss the latest industry issues, which proved to be a hugely popular and informative feature within the show. He said: “The hospitality sector is critical to the economy and there’s never been a more important time to be creative in this business than now. The unique thing about this year’s show, and what I loved, was the number of artisan and local food producers in attendance showcasing their wares.”
Seminars and demonstrations in the Platinum Theatre and the Inform and Entertain Zone were also in high demand. Culinary demonstrations from leading chef’s including The Goring’s executive head chef, Derek Quelch, executive chef at Lime Wood Hotel, Luke Holder, and Giles Thompson, chef patron of The Earl of March together with cheese, beer and wine tasting sessions ensured an influx of visitors.
Attendees were also treated to the finest offerings in food and drink from small regional producers in the show’s market place area. This area of the show enabled visitors to taste and compare regional food and drink and get to know the true story behind the product. Amongst the exhibitors were From Dorset with Love, Badger and Bumble, Lulubelles cakes, Filbert’s Fine Foods, The Dorset Charcuterie Company and Oxford’s Bakery.
Anna Wallis, show organiser, said: “This year’s show has been a great, proving its status as a premier date in the hospitality industry calendar. Visitors attending this year proved to be serious buyers, with a host of exhibitors obtaining an array of quality sales leads. We worked extremely hard to deliver this show. We listened to feedback and comments from exhibitors and visitors to ensure we were able to create a bustling, exciting atmosphere with a show which successfully delivered not only what people wanted but also against our key success criteria of attendance, ambience and industry showcase.”
Positive feedback was endorsed by exhibitors.
John Radford of Continental Bakeries commented: “It was a great show. Trade shows like the Hotel and Catering Show are very important to our business as it gives us an opportunity to speak with new contacts and find out what our customers are looking for next. A diverse number of people are interested in our products, from hoteliers through to café and pub operators, and we’ve made many new contacts and several sales leads have been generated as a result of attending the show.”
Chrissy Regler of From Dorset With Love was delighted with the show’s outcome: “The show was extremely beneficial, helping us to raise awareness of local produce. We have been thrilled with the feedback received from visitors about our products. We made around 40 new quality contacts during the two days.”
The show will return to the Bournemouth International Centre in 2013 on March 5 and 6.
Press enquiries to:
Carol Middleton at Liz Lean PR
Tel: 01202 701828