IDX_FS Internorga

Successful premiere of the first digital edition

Together on the digital stage from left: Boris Tomic (Editor-in-Chief dfv Hospitality Media) and Bernd Aufderheide (Chairman of the Executive Board of Hamburg Messe und Congress).
Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH / Michael Zapf
Together on the digital stage from left: Boris Tomic (Editor-in-Chief dfv Hospitality Media) and Bernd Aufderheide (Chairman of the Executive Board of Hamburg Messe und Congress).

Around 15,000 virtual trade fair visitors over three days, 80 events and 110 speakers on the main stages in Cologne and Hamburg: the premiere of the virtual Internorga from 15 to 17 March with the unwieldy name "IDX_FS International Digital Food Services Expo powered by Internorga" (IDX_FS Expo) offered information, inspiration and exchange.

With the IDX_FS Expo, the three cooperation partners Internorga, IDX Events and the Institute of Culinary Art presented a diverse and high-calibre programme that comprehensively highlighted current industry topics and provided space for controversial discussions. Over the three days of the event, a total of 15,000 participants from 79 countries took advantage of the IDX_FS Expo and followed the panels, talks, competitions, award ceremonies and video podcasts as well as the exhibitors' streams. Around 100 exhibitors and partners presented their products and services virtually.

Innovations, trends and inspiration

"As the leading international trade fair for the entire out-of-home market, we have once again broken new ground with Internorga in the hundredth year of its existence and moved our physical event into the digital space," says Bernd Aufderheide, CEO of Hamburg Messe und Congress. We can look back on an intensive time with many new experiences. The IDX_FS Expo offered the community a valuable format for exchange, inspiration and trends, sums up Aufderheide.

Event variety

A variety of discussion forums, panels, lectures and competitions, presented on three live stages from Hamburg and Cologne via parallel streams, as well as numerous exhibitor sessions made the IDX_FS Expo a digital industry event in a class of its own, according to the trade fair management. Under the motto "Foodservice and Gastronomy of the Future", there were live talks from the studio in Cologne on hot topics such as the digitalisation of the industry.

gv-praxis editor-in-chief Burkart Schmid discusses "New Work - New Gastro" live at Café Future.
Internorga / Screenshot
gv-praxis editor-in-chief Burkart Schmid discusses "New Work - New Gastro" live at Café Future.

The stages in Hamburg scored with new formats such as the video podcast series "Internorga Insights" with OMR founder Philipp Westermeyer and his celebrity guests, the ProVeg video podcast by Katleen Haefele or the digital edition of the trend forum "Pink Cube" with food trend researcher Karin Tischer.

The hospitality lounge "Café Future live " broadcast a mix of daily deep dives and best practices from Hamburg on two days about trends and topics that will move the system and community gastronomy as well as the hotel industry in the future and attracted many viewers.

Top speakers on board

High-profile speakers from politics, business and culture such as Olaf Scholz, Richard David Precht and Tim Mälzer reflected on the importance, challenges and future prospects of the industry. Also the 39th International Foodservice Forum - Europe's largest congress for the professional catering industry - offered a look beyond the horizon. And unusual times call for unusual measures: Against the backdrop of the Corona pandemic, the International Foodservice Forum moved to a digital stage for the first time, streamed live from Hamburg.

Big names in professional gastronomy spoke about the past tough months, presented learnings and held controversial discussions. Around 1,000 participants followed the forum from their home screens. "The feedback on this event was extremely positive across the board, despite initial technical difficulties - and therefore we will certainly consider hybrid events in the future. But nothing replaces personal contact - and we are looking forward to the 40th International Foodservice Forum 2022 in Hamburg as a face-to-face event," sums up Boris Tomic, Editor-in-Chief dfv Hospitality Media.

Further highlights were the awards of the Internorga Future Prize for trend-setting and sustainable gastronomy and technology concepts as well as the final of the German Gastro Founder Award for young, committed start-ups.

Initial teething problems

"With the IDX_FS Expo, we have created an interactive and innovative platform for exhibitors and visitors that is perfectly aligned with the industry in terms of content. Latest trends, innovations and solutions could be discovered three-dimensionally under one virtual roof. I am very pleased that our concept was so well received by visitors," says Gerhard Bruder, patron and president of the Institute of Culinary Art.

However, after some initial teething troubles, it was also experienced that there was still a lot to learn and optimise in terms of technical details and digital components. Gerhard Bruder is confident that with each new digital event, the company will outgrow itself and get better and better, he concludes.

Missed it? Virtual review

Messe Hamburg has posted a video of IDX_FS Expo 2021 summarising the highlights. In addition, all videos of the events will soon be available again on the IDX_FS Expo platform via the programme view of the three main stages. And already to remember: The next Internorga will take place in Hamburg from 18 to 22 March 2022.