The HITS Expo is a free two-day experience that will highlight excellence within hospitality, innovation, tourism, and supply from across the North of Tyne and beyond.
Held on 3rd and 4th of May at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Newcastle, the event will bring together the best practitioners in food, drink, hospitality, and tourism, highlighting the role these vital sectors play in forging the region’s identity and offer, and in encouraging community, collaboration, and collective purpose throughout the industry.
The HITS Expo will run as part of the Hospitality, Innovation, Tourism Supply (HITS) programme, funded by the North of Tyne Combined Authority and delivered by NewcastleGateshead Initiative (NGI) in partnership with Food and Drink North East (FADNE) and Northumberland Business Services Limited (NBSL). This programme supports businesses of all sizes in Northumberland, Newcastle, and North Tyneside to address industry challenges and drive forward innovative new ideas.
This Expo will provide a recipe of industry insights, career spotlights, trade stands, live demonstrations and networking opportunities. It will also comprise College competitions and will reveal the annual North East Chef of the Year (NECTA) finalist – both set to inspire the next generation of talent and foster essential collaboration by tourism and hospitality.
Guests will include Kate Howell, Communications Director at Borough Market, Michelle Percy, Director of Place at Newcastle City Council and Louise Cairns from the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink.
Themes will include inclusivity – in particular; innovative support programmes to improve venue inclusivity and sustainability – with insights from successful regional businesses such as Greggs explaining how they are achieving their sustainability goals.
Ian Thomas, Destination Director at Newcastle Gateshead Initiative, said: “The tourism and hospitality industry in the North of Tyne area is worth just under £2.6bn and employs over 33,000 people. Therefore, it is incredibly important to celebrate and support it with insights and inspiration at events like these.
“It will be fantastic to see so many exciting businesses under one roof to drive innovation within the sector. There will also be huge scope and opportunity for tourism and hospitality students to learn from industry and find out more about future careers within the sector. As well as inspire future generations, it is so incredibility important to share insights and learning around recruitment, skills, sustainability, innovation, inclusivity, and accessibility – all key areas for growth and vital to the future success of our industry”.
Chris Jewitt, Founder and CEO, Food and Drink North East, said: “The work that we do is all about the coming together of industry – removing the barriers and connecting the dots between hospitality, tourism and food and drink supply chain.
“The HITS Expo is an ambitious attempt to do just that by celebrating the very best of what’s on our doorstep. Two days of industry insight, inspiration, and showcasing the region’s emerging culinary talent. It’s an exciting moment in our collaboration with NGI.”
The HITS Expo will also include live ‘Beyond The Kitchen Table’ final pitches, where small and micro businesses will sell-in their products to buyers, retailers and suppliers and showcase their ranges in the Producers Market.
The event will include interactive demonstrations, recruitment showcases, B2B trade stands, street food suppers and live entertainment. It will give participants and visitors the chance to try new things, meet new people and learn more about the industry.
Offering an exciting mix of insight and inspiration, this event is open to both industry and the wider public from across the region.
To find out more and to sign up visit HITS Expo