The countdown to the 40th edition of HostMilano has now begun, with the trade show t taking place at Fieramilano from Friday 20 to Tuesday 24 October. With just under five months to go to the cutting of the ribbon, HostMilano is already boasting huge numbers, promising to further build on the success of the last edition. There are currently 1,824 companies that have confirmed their attendance, including 1,092 Italian (59.9 per cent) and 732 international firms (40.1 per cent), representing an increase of 11.4 per cent compared to this time in 2015. The international nature of HostMilano will see 55 different countries being represented on the opening day, including eight new entries – Belarus, Egypt, Lichtenstein, New Zealand, Serbia, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the Ukraine – which will be taking to the stage for the first time, while Canada will be back following the 2011 edition. Excluding Italy, Europe will boast the largest number of companies (73.5 per cent), with Germany, Spain and France topping the list, followed closely by the USA, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Greece, the Netherlands, Portugal and Austria. The Foodservice Equipment and Bread Pizza Pasta sector equates to 45.7 per cent and is also the most heavily represented with 729 participants. The other two sectors are as follows: Coffee Tea – Bar Coffee and Vending Machines – Gelato – Pastry (36.5 per cent) and Furniture and Tableware (17.8 per cent). There will be over 1,500 hosted buyers arriving from Europe (10 per cent), the Mediterranean and South Africa (7 per cent), the Middle East (15 per cent) Northern America (23 per cent), Central and Southern America (8 per cent) Russia (18 per cent), Asia and Oceania (19 per cent). The 40th edition of HostMilano – International Hospitality Exhibition has not however been designed solely for business opportunities in all the various Hospitality, Restaurant and catering (Ho.Re.Ca) sectors, but is also a place where training and learning opportunities abound. In addition to professional meetings, there will in fact also be an extensive number of events, including workshops, training opportunities, round tables and show-cooking demonstrations. The visitors will be able to freely attend the hundreds of events overseen by Host and will have the opportunity to get the lowdown on all of today’s ‘hot’ topics. EXIHS will shine a spotlight on the age-old tradition of Italian hospitality, thanks to the return of the concept-space by architect Dante O. Benini, designed this year in partnership with Davide Rampello: a great cube that recounts the history of hospitality through the use of surfaces and material. Nearby, there will be a lounge area that will feature a background wall showcasing Italian agricultural and cooking staples. Moreover, Altoga (Lombard Association of Coffee Roasters and Importers and Food Wholesalers) will be joining forces with Fipe at Host 2017 for Caffè e…, the event dedicated in its entirety to the coffee industry. The same theme will be the focus on 21 and 22 October for the 5th Gran Premio della Caffetteria Italiana (Italian Coffeehouse Grand Prix), organised by AICAF (Italian Academy of Coffee Masters), and supported during the finals by Altoga, so as to promote made in Italy professionalism and products.