Joanne Cook, managing director SIAL Middle East, tells Hotel News Middle East why the Leaders in Hospitality Awards is such a key event for her company…
Why have you chosen to support the Leaders in Hospitality Awards? Simply because the Leaders in Hospitality Awards offer the perfect opportunity to position our brand in front of the crème de la crème of regional hospitality industry. As an annual event defining innovation in the food, beverage and hospitality industry, it is important for SIAL Middle East to be associated with an event that recognises excellence and innovation in the hospitality industry. Leaders in Hospitality Awards provide that perfect platform where we can present ourselves to the industry before the event, network with them while attending the excellent gala dinner evening and further instill the idea of attending SIAL Middle East with post show coverage.
What is your opinion of the Middle East’s hospitality landscape? The hotel industry is going through a number of changes. While new properties are coming online all the time, there seems to be a bit of consolidation also happening within the industry. SIAL Middle East presents a relevant platform to source new F&B products and foodservice equipment which helps hotels, restaurants, cafes and catering institutions to align their changing objectives and achieve cost efficiency.
What are your company’s plans for the next 12 months? SIAL Middle East puts in a lot of effort to ensure that right buyers visit year on year. In addition to engaging with the industry throughout the year using different mediums, SIAL Middle East has more than 10 different activities and events over three days that give additional reasons for visitors to come though.
Matchmaking is one of the key activities massively appreciated by our exhibitors. Exhibitors are able to meet pre-selected full hosted VIP buyers in dedicated speed networking sessions based on a product category. Each introduction lasts for three minutes for exhibitors and hosted buyers to exchange business cards, introduce the product and share stand number to schedule a detailed meeting.
As the host of the region’s largest culinary competition La Cuisine, SIAL Middle East welcomes 1,000+ chefs to the event every year. Senior regional and international chefs take guided tours daily to meet with exhibitors at their stands, ensuring the exhibitors with foodservice offering see just the right influencers for adoption of their products in kitchens around the region.
Another unique feature of SIAL Middle East is its travel catering sector offering. Running for 36 years, The Mercurys is the most prestigious award in travel catering, worldwide and ensures region’s largest gathering of airline catering professionals. As one of the key food and beverage buyers, more than 40 regional and international airlines and airline catering companies attend SIAL Middle East every year.
In addition to the key USPs highlighted, one aspect that exhibitors and visitors appreciate the most is the ability to have meaningful conversations in a trade friendly business environment. We continue to offer a value add and tailored approach to our stakeholders to ensure a positive return on investment.