Northern Ireland’s largest food, hospitality and retail event – IFEX – has just announced plans to almost double its size with the addition of a sister event – MEAT@IFEX.
Jointly organised by IFEX organisers, Fresh Montgomery, along with Butchery Excellence Ireland, Meat@IFEX will play host to the World Butchers’ Challenge – the first time the world-class competition has come to Northern Ireland.
IFEX 2016 enjoyed a 24% increase in visitor numbers and IFEX 2018 is laying down the foundations to make next year’s show even bigger. Returning to the Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast, from the 20th to 22nd March 2018, the biennial event, that’s amongst the longest running trade events in Europe – and named the UK’s Best Tradeshow Exhibition 2016 – will almost double in size to over 8,000 sq. metres.
Toby Wand, Event Director of IFEX commented: “We have set the bar high for IFEX 2018 by further investing in the success of IFEX. As the trade event that really galvanises all of those in the food, drink, retail and hospitality sectors, it is important for us to keep evolving and growing the show.
“We have partnered with Butchery Excellence Ireland to add an international dimension to IFEX with the addition of a sister show – MEAT@IFEX – and the arrival of the World Butchers’ Challenge. To deliver these innovations, Fresh Montgomery and Butchery Excellence Ireland are investing over £150,000 into IFEX 2018, which includes adding a new pavilion dedicated to MEAT@IFEX, growing the show floorplan to over 8,000 sq. metres.”
As part of the World Butchers’ Challenge, 12 international teams will travel to Northern Ireland to compete, with a delegation of approximately 1,000 international visitors expected. This level of global interest will ensure that IFEX, Meat@IFEX and the World Butchers’ Challenge will help to further Northern Ireland’s reputation for the quality of its produce, including the world-class Northern Irish meat industry.
From showcasing the latest food and drink trends to industry leading technology, IFEX will house all the ingredients that have made the show a success for many years. Confirmed show attractions include the Salon Culinaire – the home of the NI Chef of the Year – and a host of other live competitions including La Parade des Chefs for Northern Ireland’s culinary colleges.
In 2016, over 120 companies exhibited at the show with visitor numbers surpassing 6,500.