Friday 27 May 2022

ITALY – Host 2013: downturn-beating figures

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MILAN –The professional hospitality business is looking beyond the downturn. Host 2013, which finished recently at the Fiera Milano in Rho, reasserted Italian manufacturing’s place as the global hub of technological innovation, new formats, a design- and lifestyle-led focus plus an onus on the export market.

Italy’s leadership is plain to see from the record results: the five-day event attracted 133,000 professional visitors from 162 nations,up 7% on 2011. There was a real boom in international visitors, up 21% to 51,600 to underline the event’s worldwide appeal.

Growth in the number of professional visitors was constant and across-the-board from all 162 nations, with peaks from high-growth countries like the UAE (up 141%) and Russia (up 64%), as well as traditional visitor nations like Japan (up 24%) and Germany (up 14%).

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Fiera Milano’s EMP – Expo Matching Program digital diary was a great success, logging 38,400 meetings between manufacturers, suppliers and distribution chain players.

More than 1,500 buyers were invited from all around the globe: China, Russia and India sent particularly large delegations.

The increase in the total number of companies in attendance (up 6.5% to 1,700, including 350 new entries) was spearheaded by impressive growth in the number of exhibitors from consolidated countries like Great Britain (up 33%), theNetherlands (up 28%), Spain (up 19%), and theUSA (up 17%).

For the first time, companies exhibited from Bahrain, Israel, Kenya, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, Hungary, Taiwan, Venezuela andVietnam. All in all, 559 exhibitors came from outside Italy (up 16.5%).

The entire local production system plugged in to this global leverage, including through a joint-venture by Host/Fiera Milano Spa,Unioncamere Lombardia and the Regional Government of Lombardy that enabled a hundred Lombardy Region Ho.Re.Ca. industry SMEs to showcase themselves on the world market for the first time, taking advantage of a €5000 exhibition space and support service “endowment”.

Over four hundred events were staged during the event, from workshops to seminars and show cooking, featuring starred chefs Andrea Mainardi, Christian and Manuele Costardi, Davide Scabin and Fabrizio Ferrari at Identità Golose; Davide Oldani, Enrico Cerea, Ernst Knam and Luisa Valazza at Extraordinariamente Host; WBC All-Stars World Champion Baristas Pete Licata, Michael Phillips and James Hoffman; and master pastrymaker Iginio Massari.

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Two prestigious awards instituted and promoted by Host and Fiera Milano Spa in partnership with the Politecnico di Milano Consortium POLI.design and with the patronage of the ADI (Associazione Italiana per il Disegno Industriale) were also a great success.

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HOSThinking. A Design Award selected eighteen highly original new-concept designs for the hospitality industry, with the top three sharing overall prize money of €7000 at the inaugural ceremony.

The winning proposal was Hi-Tech Host Handle by Marco Pellicci, Suzana Freitas De Lima, Alberto Piccini and Giorgio Russo: a home automation hotel room handle offering multiple functions.

The runner up, La Stanza Nella Dimora (Rooms in Period Buildings), is an idea for contemporary hospitality in period buildings conceived by Matteo Fioravanti, Donatella Caruso, Margherita Bagiacchi and Magdalena Vidal Biedma.

Third prize went to COM – Cascina Ospitale Milano by Roberta Co, a project that repurposes traditional local Lombard farmhouses to help cater to people’s health-related mobility and hospitality needs.

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Host Smart Label awarded its “virtual quality label” for groundbreaking innovation in efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability to thirty-five products and services presented by Host 2013 exhibitors.

The awards panel gave a special mention to four premium products that are trailblazers in forging a new approach and breaking through consolidated stylistic and technical ways of doing things in their sector: the Alessi Pasta Pot with built-in spoon and cover; the Eversys e’4 / e’4m coffee machine with an advanced remote management system; Lindèn International’s Twixit! Seal & Pour bag clip system for foods with a special built-in pouring system; and Unox Cook.Code di Unox barcode recipes for standardizing cookery processes.

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Architect Dante Benini’s EXHIS design was also big success – Benini is Lead Partner & Chairman of Dante O. Benini & Partners Architects, an internationally-renowned designer of spaces open to the public.

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