Of the hundreds of visitors surveyed at the inaugural Food & Hospitality Africa expo held at Gallagher Convention Centre in early May, 99% said they would come back in 2017, 98% would recommend the show to their peers and colleagues, and 82% rated the show as very important to them and their businesses.
“We pulled out all the stops to ensure that this was a well-organised event, bringing two complementary shows – Hostex and IFEA – under one roof, and representing over 300 exhibitors from 27 countries in the hospitality, food and drink, catering equipment, and food service sectors,” says Nick Sarnadas, Food & Hospitality Event Director with show organiser Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery.
The show featured a wide array of local and international exhibits, displays, and activities that included a free-to-attend seminar, various culinary competitions, demonstrations, as well as participation by nine reputable associations representing the leading bodies in their respective industries who partnered with the expo, and the Department of Trade and Industry. It attracted over 7 000 visitors from South Africa, Africa, and further afield, giving them the opportunity to source products from local and international suppliers.
The independent survey also found that more than 96% of the visitors like the new venue, being Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, and 78% said the feature attractions were part of the reason they visited the show.
Exhibitor Maxine Krief from LTA International Global Services, distributors of international grocery products into Africa, says the company exhibited at IFEA in November 2014 and was delighted at the improvement of this show over the past one – and that the number of visitors at their stand was good. Combining Hostex and IFEA “was a great decision. We can reach more people by combining both shows.”
Craig Elliott from Unilever Food Solutions, says the expo looked “”really professional. There has been a lot of effort and the organisers definitely raised the bar – which is fantastic.” He adds, “I like the space, I think it is really well designed and put together. It is nicely mixed, and I think the mix works better.” He also notes that the co-location of Hostex and IFEA is a brilliant idea.
Adam Penn from LKW, leaders in chemical dispensing, dosing, and dilution systems, says the show was “absolutely amazing” with a vast improvement on the last show. LKW was very happy with the great leads they obtained. “The quality of visitors to our stand has been pretty good. They have been industry-related people, which is rare. It has been positive and the quantity has been insane – we doubled on leads day on day.”
Darryn Lazarus from Sagra Food & Wine Merchants, South Africa, says the show was busier than expected, with a good mix of people from all quarters. About the co-location of the two shows, he adds, “It has been better; if you can attract more people for the same price then that’s fantastic!” Wesley Browne from Greenway Farms had a great time as an exhibitor at the show. “There was a good quality of visitors coming through – people from the hospitality industry, restaurants and hotels, which gave us good exposure to the market.” Richard Amlima from Frigo Glass says, “I have been standing the whole day; that should tell you something, we have been very busy on the stand.”
Visitor Avin Hirallal, a caterer, notes that the new show is “excellent” and adds that it gave visitors a broader perspective of what is out there, “and as chefs, that makes our lives easier.”
Says Sarnadas, “It was an exciting three days, with a high level of activity throughout the three days. Overall, the outcome is positive and augurs well for future Food & Hospitality Africa expos.”
Food & Hospitality Africa returns to Gallagher Convention Centre from 3 to 5 May 2017.