WITH forecasts of double-digit growth for the hospitality sector over the next five years, Northern Ireland’s largest hospitality conference, Hospitality Exchange, set to take place on October 13 and 14 in the Europa Hotel Belfast, will focus on realising the true economic potential of the sector.
This year’s event focuses on ‘the future’ with a programme of seminars and workshops examining trends, industry development and future careers.
Day one of Hospitality Exchange begins with one of the most popular components of the conference – the celebrity chef demonstration.
The guest chef for 2015 is Ollie Dabbous. Ollie opened his first restaurant – Dabbous – in 2012 and gained a Michelin star just one year after opening. Ollie will demonstrate why he has become the critics’ darling with his pared down fine dining dishes.
Joining Ollie Dabbous are local chefs, Brian McDermott and Great British Menu contender, Danni Barry.
In the afternoon Future of Food session, The Great British Menu judge, Oliver Peyton, will explore the evolving industry, outlining his career to date. On hand to give an insight into upcoming trends and developments relating to food in the 21st century, will be Dr Morgaine Gaye.
With Northern Ireland set to celebrate a year of food in 2016, Tourism Northern Ireland will be present to provide an update on some of the events and activities scheduled for next year.
Sharing best practice and learning from other areas is also important and to assist in this process Brenda Anderson of Tasting Scotland will be addressing delegates and offering an overview of Scotland’s successes.
The role of events and attractions will also be explored on day one, showing how they can influence or indeed drive business.
Inspirational speakers, Bernard Donoghue, Maria Moyihan Lee, Fiona Bolger and Mark Henry will discuss actionable ideas in this informative session.
Day two at Hospitality Exchange looks at the trends in tourism economics and debates how we can push forward successfully.
Business Breakfast speakers, Richard Ennis, Gareth Hetherington and Sarah Duignan will explore the economic and business landscape of tourism. Policy, plans and promotion are the focus of the Tourism Forum which will be compered by Wendy Austin.
Industry representatives are encouraged to share their views and opinions at this interactive session with panel members; Minister Jonathan Bell MLA, Ufi Ibrahim, Tracey Rogers, Kathryn Thomson and Niall Gibbons.
The glamorous world of Formula 1 is the inspiration for the Hospitality Exchange speaker lunch.
Mark Gallagher who carved out a successful career in Formula 1, working with some of the biggest names in motorsport, including Red Bull, Jordan and Jaguar will provide an insight into the importance of teamwork and why it is the key to success.
For an industry that knows how to party, the 1920’s inspired President’s Gala Ball compered by Mark Simpson will provide a fitting end to this year’s Hospitality Exchange.
Famed for fun and frolics, the 20’s was a decade that redefined the modern world, with flapper girls, flowing cocktails and a jazz inspired sound track. A decadent dinner menu and speakeasy inspired cocktails will create the perfect ambiance for this grand finale.
An extensive exhibition runs throughout Hospitality Exchange, which showcases new products and innovation – make sure you check it out!