Attendance at this year’s Sigep 2018 expo in Rimini, Italy, shattered records as more than 209,000 visitors passed through the doors over the five-day event from January 20-24.
BY KENNETH R. OLSON
Over the course of the last handful of years, the massive international trade show Sigep, which fills the sprawling fiera, or convention center, just outside the beachside resort city of Rimini on the Adriatic Coast, has made a concerted effort to increase its reach into the coffee sector. At Sigep 2018, the results were tangible.
Sigep traditionally focused on confections, baked goods, chocolate, and the Italian desert staple of gelato. And once again those sectors and halls took the lion’s share of the convention center. But coffee—specifically specialty coffee—continues to make inroads. Over the last five years, the space devoted to specialty coffee on the show floor has nearly quintupled, expanding from one hall in the fiera to five halls in the most recent iteration of the event.
Of the more than 200,000 attendees, roughly 32,200 were from outside of Italy, with 180 countries represented. But Sigep is about more than just exhibits and the always-bustling show floor; it also hosts a wide variety of popular competitions. This year, Sigep 2018 was home to the international championships of the Gelato World Cup and The Pastry Queen (the women’s world pastry championship), as well as host to the Italian Coffee Championships.
Additionally, Sigep is one of the primary sponsors for Barista & Farmer, the reality show and competition that brings an international team of coffee professionals to live and work on a coffee farm. This year, Barista & Farmer will head to Colombia for its latest edition. A press conference featuring the Colombian ambassador to Italy was held at Sigep 2018 to make the formal announcement of the host site for the innovative event.
Here are some additional highlights from Sigep 2018:
Sigep will return for its 40th year January 19-23, 2019. Mark your calendars now!