Chicago, USA, May 19-22
2,500 exhibitors – 67,000 visitors
Two years from my previous experience, I returned to Chicago, an enchanting city on the banks of Lake Michigan, for the new edition of NRA, the National Restaurant Association show.
Walking through the streets of Chicago, especially within “The Loop,” probably the most characteristic neighbourhood of the whole city, you feel instantly propelled into a Hollywood film set, and the feeling is completely real: over 100movies have been set, at least in part, in Chicago.
It was 1993 when Harrison Ford, dressed as Doctor Kimble, wandered cautiously around during the scenes of “The Fugitive.” And who doesn’t remember the famous car chase in the 1980 movie “The Blues Brothers,” or the backdrop of the 1987 movie “The Untouchables,” or “The Dark Knight” of 2008. If you decide to board the elevated tram, you will spontaneously look around searching for “Spider Man,” because he flew between these skyscrapers in more than one of his movies.
There was quite the scene also at the NRA show, an element that distinguishes this event from a normal trade show. Within the Bellavita Pavilion, there was a resounding tribute for Massimo Bottura, owner of Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy, a three-star Michelin restaurant ranking the best restaurant in the world on “The World’s 50 Best Restaurants” both in 2016 and 2018.
It was a great occasion to interact with professional visitors and a perfect stage to present the “Sweet Mood” magazine, the latest creation realized by Editrade. It accompanies puntoItaly in order to best promote Italian excellency along the stops of our promotional tour around the world.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates, October 30 – November 1
400 exhibitors – 25,000 visitors
Launched in 2017, GulfHost represents the point of reference for equipment destined for the hospitality industry in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
The event provides great business opportunities in which suppliers can enter into contact with the biggest names in the hospitality industry in one of the largest growing markets in the world.
The event hosted 2,500 brands which exhibited over 8,000 products belonging to the professional equipment industry, accompanied by specific solutions for Café & Bar, Gelato & Bakery and the HoReCa industries in general.
Also in this edition, next to the pure exhibition areas, there were competition and tasting areas, which allowed the visitors to live a more complete experience in comparison to a mere visit to a stand.
There were numerous attractions: ICCA World Chefs Education, UAE National Barista Championship, House of Tea, Gelato Campus, Gulfhost Innovation Awards and Gulfhost Restaurant Development Conference.
Next to this last area, within the Trade Center Area, there was an active participation of puntoItaly, which proposed itself in 2018 as a media partner of the event which has a significant Italian presence, protagonist of both occupied spaces and the presentation of new ideas.
Participating in Gulfhost was also an occasion to spend a few days in one of the most evolved cities in the world, during a period when the weather is perfect: the warm end of the summer with low humidity, making it extremely pleasant to remain outdoors during the free-time from the event.
FOOD & HOSPITALITY CHINA
Shanghai, China, November 13-15
3,000 exhibitors – 90,000 visitors
The last stop of my tour around the world outside of Italy of the most significant international trade fairs was inside of SNIEC, that is, Shanghai New International Expo Center.
An extremely mild and pleasant autumn welcomed me upon my arrival in this Chinese metropolis, with a lukewarm sun which is uncommon for this period of the year in Shanghai.
Since I started the tour of our magazine in 2012, this stop has been a regular event and as a rightful tribute to the Italy that we want to promote, our stand was positioned in the dead-center of the pavilion that hosts what our nation has to offer.
The 2018 edition saw significant growth, starting from the square meters covered at the event that reached 120 thousand square meters, including an area dedicated to Pro Wine China. Furthermore, there was growth in the number of brands and nations present and, most importantly, there was an increased number of visitors.
Therefore, we were not surprised when we saw a strong interest regarding our magazine, especially now that the arguments treated have become even more complete thanks to the addition of the new magazine SweetMood to the already established puntoItaly: double the opportunity to deepen the knowledge of Italian products, and to start a discussion on Italian artisanry.
At this event, I always meet a part of the visitors that do not know the artisanal world which is promoted by our magazine. It is always stimulated to see how, after an initial moment of perplexity, the appetizing images of the delicacies that can be made with Italian products, can open the hearts and the interests of those who stop to discuss it with us.
And here I end my seventh year of travel, but only to organize and depart again at the beginning of the next year