Restaurant Show 2010 attracts new exhibitors
by Annie Byrne
William Reed sees a pre-audited 11 per cent increase in floor space and new exhibitors at this year’s Restaurant Show, which ran from October 11-13 at Earls Court 2. Show director, Matthew Butler, said the 2010 show included 128 new exhibitors out of 330. He attributed the higher-than-average result in part to its new Drinks Quarter, which attracted 22 mostly new exhibitors from the wine and spirits industry and was aimed at improving the show’s coverage of the drinks sector. Other new features of the Restaurant Show included a VIP lounge and VIP lunch, attended by 48 of the food and wine industry’s top CEOs and owners on 13 October. Guests judged a gastro-Indian pub challenge and also had the opportunity to meet celebrity chefs. Butler said the aim of the VIP initiative was to attract a higher calibre of delegates for stand holders. According to William Reed managing director, Andrew Reed, total square metrage for this year’s Restaurant Show was up 11 per cent year-on-year. “People have taken up slightly bigger stands, and there are more exhibitors. I think that reflects a positive vibe in our community – the restaurant world – that there are definite and positive indicators out there,” Reed told EN. Footfall has not yet been audited, but Butler also expected those to increase, buoyed by the World Chocolate Masters and National Restaurant Awards held on the show floor.As part of ongoing efforts to improve content for next year, the show’s biennial conference will now be held every year from 2011, Butler said. The Restaurant Show is scheduled to run at Earls Court in October 2011. Reed expected the show would remain at the venue in 2012, despite the uncertainty surrounding the facility’s long-term future in the hands of Capital Countries. The Liberty International subsidiary, after acquiring an initial 50 per cent stake in 2007. Subsequent reports of the venue’s potential closure have met with disappointment from exhibition organisers who pointed out the venue hosted some of the industry’s finest events over the last 70 years.