NI’s largest foodservice and hospitality expo, IFEX, acquired
Events industry stalwart, Toby Wand, has announced the acquisition of IFEX Exhibition via 365 Events Ltd.
A company co-owned by Wand and events specialist, Billie Moore from London-based Montgomery Group, 365 Events Ltd also acquired Scotland’s premier showcase for food, drink, tourism and hospitality, ScotHot, which is set to return to Glasgow in March 2023.
IFEX is one of Northern Ireland’s longest-standing trade exhibitions and is home to 6,500 visitors every two years.
The show hosts NI Chef of the Year and the ChefSkills competitions which see over 200 student and industry chefs compete over three days.
The last IFEX took place in 2018 at the Titanic Exhibition Centre, when the show was a sell-out with record visitor numbers.
For 2020, the event was well on track to exceed expectations before the arrival of the pandemic, when everything came to a halt.
As the pandemic took hold, IFEX was postponed and then cancelled.
Now with the re-building of industry, and particularly hospitality businesses, IFEX will return with strength in 2022.
Commenting on the acquisition, Toby Wand, Co-Director of 365 Events Ltd said he ‘was proud that 365 Events Ltd will now be well positioned to drive these events forward.’
He continued: “As the world of hospitality recovers and realigns post-pandemic, vibrant business events like IFEX and ScotHot will provide vital meeting places for the industries to reconnect, uncover new learnings and discover relevant technologies to improve their businesses and customer focus.
“These are hugely important events for the hospitality and foodservice industries in both Northern Ireland and Scotland, and I’m proud that 365 Events Ltd will now be well positioned to drive these events forward.”
Highlighting the ‘extremely difficult’ year for businesses throughout Northern Ireland especially the hospitality industry, Lori Hoinkes, Managing Director of Montgomery Events explained: “It’s been our privilege to grow and nurture IFEX and ScotHot over many years into the vibrant and feature-rich events that they’ve been recognised for, with IFEX winning the AEO Excellence Award for Best Tradeshow Exhibition under 2000m² in 2016.
“The last 14 months have been extremely difficult for us all in Northern Ireland, but especially our colleagues in hospitality and the wider events industry.
“As we move forward at Montgomery Group, growing our biggest trade events across the globe, we’re delighted that the new owners have such strong experience in events, specifically in foodservice and hospitality.
“I wish Toby and Billie well with their future events as we all look towards a brighter future.”
ScotHot is scheduled for March 2023 at SEC Glasgow, with IFEX’s dates for Spring 2022 to be announced next month.