The world of hospitality under one roof
Is Milan the capital of hospitality? It would certainly seem so if the 2017 edition of HostMilano held in late October is anything to go by, with nearly 190,000 visitors from the five continents coming to a city abuzz with excitement. The leading hospitality fair fed that excitement, with a vibrant interplay of connections. Milan has become a workshop in Italy for new formats, international chains come here in a star-rated extravaganza. And it is here that every two years the big, bustling fair for the booming Ho.Re.Ca sector is held.
A walk through the exhibitor stands showed just how vibrant these sectors are, not just for Italian brands: the figures for exports of food-making machinery make this clear (and business in Italy is booming too). This is an international market based on exchanges of ideas and meetings.
HostMilano does offer a truly international outlook to visitors, who come here precisely for the purpose of discovering the new, most interesting things the industry has to offer.
One of the main fields is technology, which is taking on an increasingly important role in the food and hospitality sectors as elsewhere. There was everything from 3D printers and management apps to frothy milk-generating machinery, multi-functional ovens, lights to help grow microgreens indoors for immediate consumption and food-ripening equipment. Visitors could see for themselves how technology – whether to help save energy or offer remote control options through the Internet of Things today and through robotics and data management tomorrow – is transforming a sector that is as old as mankind itself.
As for experientiality, no one can remember an edition as visually attractive as this one: the fair was filled with magical places full of light and atmosphere, from the Exihs concept space to the many meetings and events devoted to the world of hospitality. The stands themselves were richer and more eye-catchingly original than ever, with design featuring not just in the areas of furnishings and tableware (natural or hi-tech materials for dishware, lighting that transform the mood of the indoor space, and greenery being seen increasingly also as an indoor furnishing element) but also in machinery and equipment, which are starting to become features of the interior design of bars and other establishments in their own right.
Finally, the vision of an evolving market, a good grasp of which is now absolutely crucial for anyone who wishes to truly stand out from the rest in today’s fiercely competitive world. This is where seminars and in-depth analyses can help. The ones given by Chic Respect on sustainability, no longer a niche area but an indispensable aspect of all business ventures, discussed waste and menus, fishing and coffee terroirs, farming and pasta-making and good business practices. FIPE debated coffee in restaurants and professional development, while Planet One and Mixer experimented with various herbs to address the highly current topic of naturalness also with regard to mixability. Identità Future looked at links between creativity and technology, and various stands displayed a return to vintage approaches and old flavours, in an intriguing contrast with today’s cutting-edge technologies.