What started in the car park of The Grand Hyatt Singapore 40 years ago has morphed into one of the region’s biggest trade shows. This year’s edition of Food & Hotel Asia (FHA) will span two venues – Suntec Singapore and Singapore Expo – and welcome 60,000 buyers alongisde 4,000 exhibitors across four days.
One of the factors that FHA project director Rodolphe Lameyse attributes to the growth of the event is the rise of the middle class, thereon spurring the rise of more sophisticated dining and hospitality trends. On top of that, issues such as ethical consumption and sustainability have taken centre stage, with events like FHA offering a platform to discuss those topics.
But it’s not always easy. One of the challenges this year has been planning a concurrent schedule of activities across two venues, said Lameyse. He added that the events team needs to be “really careful” when managing the floor, as well as make it easy for delegates to move from one venue to the other.
“As you can imagine, it has been quite a challenge. It’s still not over, but we are ensuring a consistent schedule of activities,” he said.
Lameyse’s team is not at it alone. With the help of UBM and Singapore Tourism Board (STB), the event is on track to surpassing the SGD$244 million it generated in economic revenue from FHA 2016.
“STB has always been very supportive,” said Lameyse. “And FHA offers a lot of support for the Singapore economy. It’s a win-win relationship.”
This year, visitors can expect live competitions and interactive demonstrations around pastry, gelato, coffee, and more. Because the event is spread across two venues, the introduction of about 25 screens with live coverage, interviews, and exciting snippets will be projected across the showfloor.
Lameyse and his team will also be observing attendee flow with each badge scan so to study the natural movement of attendees in order to improve the scheduling and placement of future shows.