Organisers of the Lakes Hospitality Trade Show say this year’s event attracted the biggest crowds it has seen in its 46-year history.

And they pledge to make the 47th event next year even more successful still.

The dates for next year’s show have been unveiled as February 28/29 with bookings now being taken from exhibitors.

This year’s show took place over two days at the Junction 36 Rural Auction Centre and attracted a record-breaking 1,650 visitors. With over 150 businesses exhibiting at the show the total footfall at the event was close to 2,000 people.

“The support of both exhibitors and visitors is invaluable,” said director of the Lakes Hospitality Association James Tasker. “We cannot thank them enough.

“The event allows businesses across Cumbria to strengthen their connections with both new and existing customers and that benefits the economy of the whole county.”

Any profits from the event are also directed back into the wider hospitality industry and help support local visitor events throughout the year.

“There were lots of new faces at the show from further afield than usual,” says James. “So, it is clear we are now reaching a bigger audience than just Cumbria and the South Lakes.

“We showcased new products and innovative ideas and that is the key area we will be building on for next year. We will also have a slightly different format with attention-grabbing demonstrations that will add to the overall buzz and vibe.”

Many exhibitors are already booking for 2024 which is a clear indication of the success of this year’s show. And organisers say they also have a number of new exhibitors already booking their space at next year’s show.

This year’s event had a new networking session at the end of the first day open to all exhibitors.

“It seems to have proved a very popular innovation,” said James.

“In previous years exhibitors have been so busy through the day they didn’t get a chance to meet up with fellow exhibitors. The informal gathering at the end of the first day allowed all exhibitors the chance to get together to make new connections and discuss potential opportunities.”

Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism Gill Haigh said: “There was such a wonderful atmosphere at this year’s Lakes Hospitality Trade Show and it was great to be part of it.

“The exhibitors show how creativity across our industry is immense and the event has a real practical value in terms of building relationships, sharing knowledge and bringing new business opportunities to those that attend. We are already looking forward to next year’s show!”