20th Anniversary of the Business Center at Salón de Gourmets
After 31 editions, Salón de Gourmets, the international fair staged exclusively for members of the food industry and devoted to fine food and high-quality beverages, has become the most important culinary trade event in Europe.
As part of the fair’s endeavour to offer a personalised service to participating companies and based on participants’ need to promote their products internationally and expand their operations, the idea of a Business Center emerged in 1998, so the Center is celebrating its 20th edition this year.
In collaboration with ICEX, Salón de Gourmets places this exclusive venue at the disposal of exhibitors, one where they have the opportunity to hold business meetings with foreign buyers from the leading international companies, whose travel costs and stay in Madrid are paid for by the organisers. The purpose of this initiative is for exhibitors to be able to offer their products in new markets, effectively expanding their business operations.
The Business Center is a free service provided within the framework of the Fair. It is equipped with a team of interpreters, who ensure that language does not entail an obstacle when it comes to securing trade deals. The working approach is based on the idea that the foreign companies must hold a minimum number of meetings each day, featuring uninterrupted morning and afternoon sessions, so that the guests have time to visit the Fair and can establish contact with other exhibitors that may be of interest to them.
Upon arrival in Spain, and prior to their first working session, a reception is held where translators, guests and organisers have the opportunity to get to know one another and can hand over their definitive work schedules. Over the years the number of buyers has gradually increased, with some 92 import companies taking part at the last edition, 32 per cent of which visited the Fair for the first time. Last year, nearly 1,900 meetings took place throughout the Fair’s four-day duration.
Furthermore, the range of companies taking part increases each year, including guests from Germany, Austria, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Guatemala, Japan, India, Lithuania, Paraguay, Portugal, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Russia, Sweden, Uruguay, Vietnam, etc. This year, the thirty-first edition of Salón de Gourmets will also attract buyers from countries such as Colombia, Bulgaria and Ukraine. Others such as the United States, the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Japan, China and Mexico are all habitual participants at the Business Center year after year.
The fact that only professionals from the industry are permitted to take part at the Fair means that the tens of thousands of visitors at the event are all potential buyers of the exquisite products on show.