Ever feel like you are stuck behind the bar and need to get out? Well, here are some of the trade shows coming up in 2016 that give you a legitimate excuse to have an away day that you can very much classify as work.
February 9-10/ Olympia, London
After a successful debut in 2015 this is back with an ever so slightly different name. Last year more than 150 suppliers covered everything from alcohol to technology and design. This year is set to be bigger and better. There will be seminars with industry experts, including Inapub's very own tech guru Mark Daniels (pictured below working his magic last year).
February 24-25 / Business Design Centre, London
The award-winning show is back for a third year. This year the Casual Dining Restaurant and Pub Awards will follow day one at The Grange St Paul's Hotel in London.
February 26-27 / Old Truman Brewery, London
Craft Beer Rising has dumped a few letters from its name but it has made room for lots of lovely beers — up to 600 this year. The fourth hosting of the show will see a virtual doubling of both exhibitors (150) and guests per session (2,000). This year also welcomes a cider room — Lost in Cyder Space.
February 29–March 3 / ExCeL London
The biggest foodservice and hospitality trade show in the country is back, appropriately enough, in an Olympic year. Exhibitors from every area of hospitality will pack the huge space at ExCeL. So whether you need some help with kitchen equipment, staff uniforms or you just want to discover something new, Hotelympia should have the answer.
NORTHERN RESTAURANT AND BAR
March 15-16 / Manchester Central
NRB combines great exhibitors with attention-grabbing speakers as part of its popular debate. Visitors can also enjoy the Market Kitchen, Spirit Room and Craft Beer Quarter. The biggest event of its kind in the North.
March 16-19 / iceSheffield
A beer festival that runs over St Patrick's Day and a weekend of Six Nations fixtures? There may be some records broken behind the bars serving hundreds of beers produced by Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) members. The event, also boasts awards, seminars and talks by industry experts.
LONDON COFFEE FESTIVAL
April 7 – May 10 / Old Truman Brewery, London
The launch event for UK Coffee Week attracted around 25,000 visitors last year. This year there will be 250 coffee and artisanal food exhibitors, tastings, demos and workshops.
LONDON WINE FAIR
May 3-5 / Olympia, London
Regulars at this event need to take note of the date, which is two weeks earlier than previous years. This is to sit better with the buying timeframes of visitors. There should be plenty of those – more than 11,000 came last year — up four per cent on 2014 with a 16 per cent increase in on-trade visitors.
THE FOOD AND DRINK TRADE SHOW
May 25-26 / Cheltenham racecourse
Visit stands that cater for the entire foodservice industry and get tips from kitchen experts in the Demo Kitchen.
GREAT BRITISH BEER FESTIVAL
August 9-13 / Olympia, London
Still the premier beer festival in the UK. Expect up to 50,000 people to strut around Olympia with glass in hand and (in some cases) silly hat on head. Around 350 breweries will provide 900 different beers, ciders and perries for attendees.
BOUTIQUE BAR SHOW
Sep, Oct TBC / London & Glasgow
Full details of next year's shows had yet to be announced at the time of going to press but if previous years are anything to go by then the emphasis will be on the premium end of the market.
INDY MAN BEER CON
October TBC / Victoria Baths, Manchester
A chance to talk and taste as some of the top brewers from across the country head to the Independent Manchester Beer Convention (to give it its full name).