ONE of the UK’s largest hospitality trade shows is set to return later this month.
Hotelympia will take place in London’s ExCel between February 26 and March 1, and the organisers of the event have promised a new ‘look and feel’ for this year’s event.
The 2012 show will see the return of the Innovation Award, which seeks to recognise and reward new products, as well as the launch of several new schemes, including the Hot Talent Awards and the Hotelympia Design Award.
The Hot Talent Awards aims to identify the nation’s future hospitality stars, giving individuals under the age of 30 the chance to be mentored by leading industry names. Aspiring ‘hot talents’ can take part by applying at the Hotelympia website, www.hotelympia.com.
Meanwhile, the new Design Award will reward the UK’s most luxurious and desirable hotel suite.
Alex Polizzi of Channel 5 programme The Hotel Inspector will head the judging panel, alongside De Vere Group’s Robert Cook.
In addition to these events the show’s central event space, The Stage, will feature a number of other award ceremonies, seminars and interviews with industry figures such as chef Giorgio Locatelli, restaurant manager Fred Sirieix and critic Fay Maschler.
For chefs, the three areas comprising Salon Culinaire will be the main focus.
Event organisers said they expect more than 8000 chefs to visit Hotelympia to view and take part in the various competitions taking place within the Live Theatre, La Parade des Chefs and Salon Display areas.
The La Parade des Chefs cooking challenge will see the construction of two 100-cover fine dining restaurants, where ten teams will take turns to prepare three-course menus over the five-day show.
Visitors to the show can book their place at La Parade des Chefs through the Hotelympia website. The meals have a set price of £34.
On-trade wine buyers will be targeted at the Wine+ area of the show, which will feature various seminars and talks from companies and the Wine and Spirit Education Trust.
Exhibitors at this year’s show will be drawn from various sectors within the hospitality industry, including food and drink, equipment, technology and interior design.
Companies include technology businesses Hobart and Samsung Professional Appliances, chefswear supplier Tibard and Oliver Harvey and a range of food and drink businesses such as Highland Spring, Nestle and Essential Cuisine, producer of stocks for the foodservice industry.
“Our brand new layout will provide the perfect platform and make it easier than ever for visitors to navigate the show floor, while initiatives such as Hot Talent, the Hotelympia Design Award and the triumphant return of the Innovation Awards will enable our exhibitors to really make the most of the 2012 event and quantify return on investment,” said Toby Wand, group exhibition director at event organiser Fresh RM.
“We recognise that these are still challenging times, yet the wave of optimism and excitement that is rising with the advent of the London Olympics is creating a buzz which we feel we have harnessed with this show.”