THE region’s premier and most comprehensive trade event for Asia’s food and hospitality industries, Food&HotelAsia2016 (FHA2016) ended on an upbeat note last month, as attendees emerged delighted with their experience at the trade event.
“As consumer needs evolve, so do the expectations of our buyers. Innovative ideas are more critical than ever in meeting changing consumer demands. We are heartened and pleased that FHA has continued to be the platform for exhibitors to showcase innovative products and is the chosen sourcing ground for many international buyers. Its relevance to the food and hospitality industries remains as vital and effective today as ever,” said Lindy Wee, chief executive of Singapore Exhibition Services.
FHA2016 showcased an impressive spread which ranged from the finest and most unique food ingredients and products, to foodservice equipment, hotel amenities and software solutions. The trade show gathered 72,000 attendees, 45% from overseas. They included exhibiting staff, trade visitors, conference speakers and delegates, judges and competitors, and members of the media.
A hub for launches, leads and deals
FHA2016 commanded rewarding leads and deals for exhibitors and participants, with negotiations expected to continue even after the event. One of the quickest deals struck at the show, less than an hour after the event’s opening, was between Dutch hotel room equipment maker, Bentley Europe BV, and Singapore buyer Hunwin Enterprises for a revolutionary sensor-operated hair dryer that premiered at the event.
Agilysys, a US-based software solutions company, was eyeing new opportunities in the region at the show. According to Daniel Lee, regional director, Sales & Distribution, APAC & MEA, the hospitality industry is becoming a significant contributor to Agilysys’ business. “We are at Food&HotelAsia because this is where the region’s hotel owners and hoteliers converge. They visit to see and get information on solutions that can help their business. This is a very good showcase for us. We are happy for the opportunity to build awareness of our solutions and brand. Hotel chains are aggressively expanding in the region, and they need solutions like ours,” he said.
“It’s been a great show and we’ve been busy over the past few days. We have a very broad customer base in this part of the world, so it’s a great opportunity to meet many key customers in one place. FHA provides a good platform because it attracts key industry players. For the Asian market, we believe this is the best show. We are pleased with the turnout,” said Douglas Dunn, president, Middleby Worldwide – Eastern Hemisphere. The Middleby Corporation is a worldwide manufacturer of commercial kitchen equipment, residential appliances and systems for industrial processing, packaging and baking.
Genuine buyers from the region
Trade buyers from across all sectors of the food and hospitality industries are pleased with FHA2016. With so much to see and sample, some visitors were pressed for time as they navigated through the halls to source, learn and network with sellers from all over the world.
Gene A. Rono, president of the Association of Purchasing Managers of Hotels & Restaurants of the Philippines, was a visitor who was extremely pleased with the wide array of products on the show floor. “It was a successful trip for us, especially for new members who are purchasing managers from five-star hotels in Manila. In terms of sourcing, they were able to find the right products that they want, from ingredients to kitchen equipment. The top brands continue to manufacture top-quality products as they continue to work for perfection, quality, durability and after-sales service. We are always looking forward to seeing these at FHA. We will certainly be back every two years!”
From destination investment opportunities to F&B design, hospitality technology, food manufacturing and bakery, the FHA2016 International Conference covered a wide spectrum of topics ranging from new strategies to challenges and issues impacting the food and hospitality businesses.
For instance, Jesper Palmqvist, area director, Asia Pacific of STR Global, who gave the Industry Keynote Address in the Hotels & Resorts Management track, was excited about the conference agenda. He said: “There’s wide variety to get the right people in. If this succeeds the ambitious agenda this year, this could lead to something fantastic, even more in 2018.”
According to Singapore Exhibition Services, with the overwhelming demand for booth space, FHA2018 promises to be an even grander affair. The event will be held across two locations, Singapore Expo and Suntec Singapore. With the move, there is room for FHA to expand at least 20% bigger to accommodate industry’s demand for more space and installation of new features for a holistic and memorable experience.
The next edition of FHA will return in 2018 from April 24-27.