World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) is returning to Hamburg Messe for its first face-to-face event since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic – a cause for celebration in itself, and even more so since this year marks the 10-year anniversary of the event. The event will take place on 14-16 June 2022, with a focus on ideas that can help enable the aviation industry to accelerate its recovery, develop more sustainable inflight services, and enhance the passenger travel experience.
The show’s organiser, Reed Exhibitions, expects attendees to include global, regional and low-cost global airlines, rail companies and international caterers, including dnata, Newrest, SATS Catering and LSG. The team appreciates that, with WTCE 2022 taking place over three years since the last in-person event, attendees will have a lot to see and to talk about, but limited time. In order to help visitors make the best use of their time at the show, and to help join them with the right people and products, a new online tool will be available that will enable visitors and exhibitors to efficiently arrange meetings ahead of the event.
The tool, named WTCE Connect, will match visitors with products and suppliers based on their registration responses, and enable them to search for who they would like to meet and request a meeting with them at the show. It means attendees from across the value chain can arrive with a focused schedule and make the most of every opportunity to reconnect with key companies.
Driven by innovation
The focus of this year’s exhibition is innovation that can help airlines and rail companies with their post-pandemic recovery. For example, Omnevo, a Germany-based technology company that is exhibiting at WTCE for the first time, will be showcasing omnichannel solutions that can help airlines understand their customers and drive more ancillary revenue.
Alongside on-trend food and drink products – including fully prepared meals, meal components, snacks and beverages – other onboard solutions are expected to be popular at the show. The pandemic has left a positive legacy when it comes to cleanliness, meaning that amenity and hygiene solutions, such as Bayart Innovation’s silver ion face masks, along with other products to improve overall sanitisation in the cabin, will draw visitors.
Sustainability is another key topic at WTCE, with the EU Single-Use Plastics Directive and changing passenger expectations placing more emphasis on airlines’ green credentials. Exhibitors such as Monty’s Bakehouse will be offering sustainably packaged solutions, while new exhibitors like Cyclups Creation BV from the Netherlands will be offering ‘plantastiq’ compostable wheat-based straws and cutlery, Sier Disposables will offering creative sustainable disposables, and Eco-Material from Taiwan will be offering moulded pulp food service and packaging products.
Visitors can expect to see many familiar exhibitors including Linstol, Frankenberg, Portfolio Partners and Formia, as well as many new brands who will be making their debuts at the 2022 show. Among the new names will be For Aisha, which will be showing its dairy-free, halal baby food; 4700BC Popcorn, a gourmet popcorn brand with flavours from Mocha Walnut to Hawaiian BBQ Cheese; and Coconuts Organic, which will be inviting visitors to try its vegan ice cream.
A learning opportunity
WTCE will also host the Taste of Travel Theatre, with a line-up of expert advisors, chefs and consultants sharing their expertise. Daily sessions will bring together experts to help visitors understand the macro trends that will affect their organisation in the coming year, and how they can flex their business to meet changing passenger demands.
The 2022 line-up will delve into trending topics including sustainability and passenger personalisation. The event will also feature live demonstrations from leading chefs, and exclusive presentations from passenger experience professionals. More details will be released in the coming months.
Visitors can also learn more about trends affecting other areas of the aviation industry at the co-located Passenger Experience Conference, which takes place one day before WTCE, on 13 June 2022. These sessions, covering a range of issues and challenges, will provide visitors with new ideas, innovative solutions and the next steps in the evolution of the passenger experience, on-board environments and services.
For visitors wanting to gain insights from cabin interior industry experts, AIX’s educational programme will run in parallel to WTCE and provide experience, case studies and insight to help solve industry challenges.
Celebrating a decade of WTCE
The organisers will also be celebrating the WTCE exhibition’s 10th anniversary. As part of this, the organisers will also be running ‘Onboard Icons’, in recognition of the 10 most influential people in the sector (as voted for by the industry) and a showcase of 10 of the 50+ companies that have exhibited at WTCE since 2012 and have successfully developed their businesses in the onboard services industry over that period.
All visitors and exhibitors will also be invited to the free-to-attend Drinks Reception, which is a great networking opportunity. Sponsored by Heineken, the event will take place on the evening of Wednesday 15th June at the Taste of Travel Theatre.
WTCE event director, Polly Magraw, commented: “I think I speak for the whole industry when I say that we are extremely excited to be returning to Hamburg for our first in-person WTCE event since 2019, and I’m sure exhibitors and visitors alike are looking forward to meeting face-to-face once again. The Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the onboard hospitality sector and while we are seeing some signs of recovery, it has never been more important to get the industry together again to reconnect, rebuild and re-evaluate priorities to really accelerate recovery for the future.”
WTCE is co-located with Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX), and will be located in Halls A1, A2 and A4 of Hamburg Messe.