Returning with a striking new aesthetic, a host of new attractions and a new four-day format, there was significant pressure upon Hotelympia to live up to visitor expectations. Thankfully, the enhanced offering was met with a positive reception by visitors and exhibitors alike.
Singled out for particular praise was the new main hall, featuring a purpose built entrance tunnel with sensory elements provided by some of the UK’s leading interior design companies. Once inside, visitors were treated to a warm hospitality welcome from Hotelympia’s team of specially trained ambassadors – the Show Makers – recruited from leading catering college, Westminster Kingsway, who were on-hand throughout the four days to offer advice on show attractions.
The dedicated central aisle was used to full effect, showcasing the jaw dropping Salon Display works of art and Innovation Awards finalists. Changes to the layout and the introduction of the Show Makers were implemented to enhance the visitor journey and improve footfall across the show.
Major draws such as Tom Kerridge, Phil Howard, Tom Aikens and Sir Terence Conran – who lit up day one with his deferential acceptance of the Hotelympia Lifetime Achievement Award – provided truly magical moments, resulting in crowds that were, at times, ten-deep.
Onlookers were also spilling into the aisles and beyond during the unveiling of Hotelympia’s standard bearing Innovation Awards – the culmination of weeks of deliberation, which saw hundreds of new products whittled down to four main winners in the categories of Food & Drink, Catering Equipment, Design & Tabletop and Technology.
Brand new attractions such as the Buell Business Clinic helped hundreds of visitors with free practical business advice. In a show first, Hotelympia partnered with hospitality consultants and recruiters the Buell Group to offer specialist business mentoring across all four days of the show.
The innovative feature covered topics across the board and proved popular with visitors looking to extend or improve their knowledge of the hospitality sector.
“Thank you to every single visitor and exhibitor for making the revitalised event one of the most successful Hotelympia’s ever,” says Toby Wand, managing director at event organiser, Fresh Montgomery.
“Whenever we seek to implement any changes or devise new attractions it is always done in consultation with, and for the wider benefit of, the industry-at-large. The overwhelming reaction to the new elements meant that for four days the show existed on a wave of positivity – proof if proof were needed that it takes more than a tube strike to keep the hospitality industry down.”
Hotelympia will return in 2016, while sister event, The Hospitality Show, returns to Birmingham’s NEC in January 2015 (19th-21st).