Attendees had investment and economic stability front and centre of their minds at this year’s Hospitality Expo, which took place at a packed RDS Simmonscourt on the 25th and 26th February 2020.
The overwhelming response from the 180 exhibitors was of a strong business interest from a significant attendance of real decision makers from the industry – owners, proprietors, managers, directors, executives from owner managed and group/chain operations. 67% of attendees were decision makers in their respective businesses.
An incredible 98% of visitors indicated they were satisfied or very satisfied with this exclusive trade event. Nearly 50% (47.05%) of attendees were directors or proprietors while a further 16.42% were senior managers with decision making powers.
“Hospitality Expo is a once every two years opportunity for suppliers into the industry to meet, and do business with, owners, operators, and decision makers from across the country,” said Sarah Murphy, Managing Director, Business Post Events (organisers of Hospitality Expo). “We were delighted with the positive feedback received in our first year as organisers and look forward to building on that success, ensuring this industry leading event remains at the forefront of hospitality in Ireland for decades to come.”
The theme of this year’s event was ‘Collaboration is the Key to Success’ and this was discussed in detail at the three seminar stages over the course of both days – the Hospitality Stage, the Technology Summit Stage, and the Fit Out Summit Stage.
At the Hospitality Stage, attendees heard about how to recruit and retain the best staff, secure finance to upgrade their venues, discussion on the latest food trends and how to maximise revenue from investment. Speakers included Adrienne Hanna from Right Revenue, Marc Thornton from DTA Marketing, Nicola Hawitt from Upsell Guru and Derek Butler from Grid Finance. Dee Laffan, Publishing Director, fft. magazine, introduced the stage, and chaired a panel discussion on the current trends in the hospitality industry.
At the Technology Summit Stage, experts advised on how operators can increase their social media presence and how the latest technology can aid businesses. Speakers included Noel O’Reilly, IT Infrastructure Project Lead, Virgin Media; and Conor McCarthy, Founder, Flipdish.
Finally, the Fit Out Summit Stage featured an exciting showcase and study of the regeneration of Central Dublin’s One Dublin Plaza, including the new 500-seater restaurant, by Rebecca Gernon, Director of Serendipity, and Ronan Holohan of Millimetre Design. Speakers included John Ring, Head of Research, Knight Frank; and Rachel Kenny, Director of Planning, An Bord Pleanála.
The Synergy Pro Chef Forum, a specially designed conference for culinary professionals, made a welcome return and included talks from John Rutherford, Sales Manager, Rational Ovens; and Peter Thompson, Business Development Manager, Keelings Farm Fresh.
For the first time, Hospitality Expo hosted a Sports Bar Showcase where three of Ireland’s leading brands joined forces to create and build a state of the art sports bar within the RDS Simmonscourt. Virgin Media Business was on hand to offer advice on connectivity and entertainment; Pure Fit Out discussed design and build options with attendees; and AVL showcased industry leading lighting and sound options to create the perfect ambiance for any venue.
At the Business Advice Centre, companies including Grid Finance, TU Dublin, Buy Media, and Trinity Purchasing, offered free one-to-one professional advice and mentoring on the issues affecting the industry.
The team at Business Post Events, organisers of Hospitality Expo, are already looking to Hospitality Expo 2022 and are acively seeking submissions of interest from potential exhibitors. To discuss further, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Details of the next Hospitality Expo and of Fit Out Expo 2021 will be announced shortly.