USA and Canada, a high-class partnership
North America is one of the most interesting places for Italian products, and it is no coincidence that two of the three target areas for the 2017 edition were the USA and Canada. The International Hospitality Exhibition set up a series of partnerships with leading North American category associations in order to develop a wider knowledge of the fair and increase its penetration, and also to bring high-profile visitors to Milan to learn more about and appreciate the event. And that mission was accomplished, as exponents of two of the sector associations involved explained.
“HostMilano is a must on the international scene. It is an incredible event in terms of its size, layout and exhibitors,” says Shanna Munro, president of Restaurants Canada. “It offers a chance to explore, learn and see innovation at its best, and to meet and establish contacts with exhibitors. Tradespeople come because they want to grow their businesses, and help them flourish.”
What impressed you most? “First and foremost the great efforts exhibitors made to really demonstrate the value their solutions bring to the market. Of course this is the hospitality industry so everyone is very welcoming, which is fantastic. But the products we saw are above all an opportunity to grow and improve your business. Here you really find everything you need in our line of work.”
And did you find what you were looking for? “I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, but I wanted to see as many different things as I could and discover how Italy and the rest of the world do things compared with Canada, to understand how we can learn from each other and share designs and ideas. Or how we can get Italian products onto the Canadian market. I believe this is of great value to the industry.”
We also asked Joseph G. Cephas, vice-president of ASID, the American Society of Interior Designers, what his first time at HostMilano was like.
“Even better than I had been expecting, and I had been expecting quite a lot. I found quality brands that will help the members of the association with a series of projects.”
What were the most interesting things that you saw? “The originality of the installations and stands was incredible. Firms did a great job of transforming their space to show off their products as if they were in their actual contexts. That’s not easy to do at a trade fair.”
What trends did you find? “I continue to be impressed by the hybridisation between sectors. The distinctions between residential, hospitality, retail and commerce are tending to become more blurred, and this makes every item more versatile: the furnishings on display reflect this change. Many of the spaces devoted to hospitality and retail gave a sensation of intimacy, like at home.”
“I was at HostMilano with eight members of ASID, who found creative solutions for many of the projects they are currently working on. The quality of the products on show was high and they are planning on contacting firms for future projects.”
As the saying goes, all’s well that ends (or rather starts) well.