Officially opened by Community Pubs Minister Marcus Jones MP, the show has been promoting a message of positivity to publicans with over 50 of the industry’s leading operators, suppliers and supporters taking to the stage to share their knowledge and 162 exhibitors showcasing their latest products and services in the exhibition hall.
Speaking at the opening of the show, the Minister talked about the thriving state of the UK pub industry and how PUB16 is helping to show publicans just how bright the future is looking: “I am delighted to be here at PUB16 and to see how it has built upon the enormous success of last year’s show. We all want to see pubs thrive, they play a vital role in the economy and in the social fabric of the country and are increasingly at the heart of local communities.
“PUB16 is all about people who run pubs seeing what the future of the industry is. Successful pubs value tradition but recognise change. Owners and operators need to understand the evolution of pubs and look at how diversification can help them. I would encourage publicans who haven’t visited already to come along for the second day of the show, there is a massive number of diverse companies with diverse products exhibiting, all pertinent to the industry and you can really see innovation coming alive.
The themes of evolution and diversification were present throughout the first day of PUB16, with seminars on the theatre stage discussing optimising profits by developing an attractive and effective food offer and winning the daytime customer without diluting your brand.
Top tips were dished out by expert speakers including founder of Street Food Union Nick Willoughby and marketing expert Alexandra Bertram from Custard Communications, while pub owners and operators Tim Foster from Yummy Pubs, Andrew Fishwick from the Truscott Arms, James Nye from Anglian Inns and David McHattie from the Devonshire Arms shared their own experience and expertise. Many of the discussions centred on the role pubs can play in their local communities – as David McHattie said, “Pubs are at the heart of their community and if they’re not, they should be”.
In the afternoon three of the UK’s biggest breweries took to the stage, with BrewDog’s UK head of sales Gareth Bath, founder of Camden Town Brewery Jasper Cuppaidge and Meantime Brewing Co. managing director Nick Miller talking about large scale commercial success and what direction they see the pub industry taking in the future.
It was a true clash, with debates raging on whether bigger is better and if craft brewers can retain their integrity after being bought out by drinks giants. However it was agreed that the modern craft beer revolution is nothing but good news for the wider drinks industry and publicans can benefit from being able to offer something different to a consumer audience who want to drink better beer.
PUB16 continues today (Wednesday 10 February), with seminars focusing on food, design, social media and an in-depth look at the state of the UK’s pub industry. For more big name speakers and unmissable insight, register to attend Wednesday’s show for free at www.thepubshow.co.uk, where you can also book a place for any of the seminars.