WTCE returns with expanded floor space and improved networking focus

The World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) returns to Hamburg from 10th until 12th April 2018, spanning across four halls with more than 350 suppliers showcasing the latest products and services for the travel catering, passenger comfort and travel retail industries

The free-to-attend event attracts more than 3,700 onboard industry professionals who journey to Hamburg for the unrivalled insights and networking opportunities it presents. Many suppliers are already confirmed to return to Hamburg to showcase their latest products and services including LSG Group, BestPartner Food, En Route International, The Bake Factory, Anaik Beauty and dnata. A wide range of new businesses are also confirmed to exhibit at this, the seventh edition of WTCE, with the Avantegarde Spirits Company, BitesWeLove, Bridgehead Foods and Dlecta Foods joining the line-up.

2018 will not only see WTCE span a larger floor space than ever before, but introduce new and improved networking facilities to ensure that attendees can easily initiate business discussions and maximise their time spent at the event.

Brand new networking features for 2018 include the WTCE Business Meeting Hub – a dedicated place for attendees to schedule meetings to discuss new contracts and potential partnerships. VIP guests are invited to book space in advance of, or at the show.

With a dedicated area for professional meetings to take place, the VIP Buyers Lounge will this year provide an exclusive area for VIP guests to relax and enjoy time out from the busy show floor, where they can unwind while taking advantage of the complimentary facilities available, including breakfast, lunch and refreshments throughout the day.

Allowing attendees to plan ahead of the show and throughout is the My Event tool, scheduled to go live soon. Both visitors and exhibitors can enhance their show experience by using My Event on their mobile or desktop to build their own itinerary. The tool enables all attending WTCE to create a personal list of must-see contacts and book meetings before and during the show, as well as earmarking key products and Taste of Travel sessions of interest.

Returning to the Hamburg Messe at WTCE 2018, the popular New Exhibitor Villages will be revamped and expanded, with four zones dedicated to first-time exhibitors across Halls A1-A4. These dedicated areas introduce airline, rail, cruise and coach operators to companies that have never before been showcased at the event. A host of new products and services will be unveiled from a wide range of businesses including Italian Extra Virgin olive oil from Domenico Manca Spa, gourmet snacks from nibnibs, unique nut mixes from BitesWeLove, speciality and innovative cheeses from Bridgehead Foods and wines and cava from family- based Pere Venture Family Wine Estates.

WTCE’s What’s New Onboard showcase will also shine a spotlight on newly-launched products, bringing the latest innovations and new products launched to the market in the past 12 months to the Hamburg Messe.

Following on from a successful launch in 2017, the Focus on World Travel Retail will also return. This dedicated showcase for the onboard travel retail industry will unveil the products and services available for inflight purchases from exhibitors including Animaux, Laduree, Butlers Chocolates, Caffe di Artisan, Bottega SpA and St. Patrick’s Distillery. A networking bar, sponsored by Heinemann Gebr., will also offer exhibitors and visitors a chance to catch up and sample the future of travel retail onboard through a series of branded networking sessions. A full schedule will be announced soon.

The Taste of Travel Theatre will also return to lead the debate at WTCE 2018 with more cutting-edge presentations, live chef demonstrations and new product launches to inspire and delight. Attendance is free of charge and a full programme will be announced in the coming months.

Archana Sharma, exhibition director said, "Attendees at WTCE 2018 can find a wide range of exhibitors who will showcase the very best in artisanal and fine food products. Already confirmed for 2018, visitors will see handcrafted fresh pasta from Sabatelli Gastronomia using fresh ingredients from Puglia in Southern Italy; traditional Florencian chocolate cake from TortaPistocchi Firenze; a range of infused olive oils from Monte Vibiano including balsamic vinegar, chili, truffle, basil and oregano; and traditional cheeses from Brazzale – an Italian family business that has specialised in the dairy and cheese-making industry since the 18th century.

"A range of new exhibitors will also join the line-up for the first time showcasing a wide range of products including L’Originale Extra Virgin Olive Oils from Domenico Manca Spa; internationally acclaimed “Vins de Finca” (single vineyard) wines and high-end cava (sparkling) wines from the family-based Pere Ventura Family Wine Estates while Cologne-based Avantegarde Spirits Company will showcase its bottled-cocktail range which recreates ‘bohemian drinks’ using high-end spirits, all-natural ingredients and natural aromatics."

WTCE remains the number one event for buyers from the world’s international, charter and regional airlines and rail operators, as well as cruise and coach companies. It also offers a unique platform to see the newest products and innovations, benefit from expert insight and advice and network with peers. Registration to attend the show in April opens in November. For more information visit worldtravelcateringexpo.com.

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