The Show Billing itself as “Asia’s largest business platform” for coffee and related F&B industry and culture, Café Show Seoul (aka the Seoul International Café Show) is one of the largest annual events held at Coex, drawing over 155,000 visitors every year, indicative of Korea’s booming coffee market. Highlights of the show include an exhibition of global café food and beverages alongside manufacturing equipment and kitchen appliances, as well as the World Coffee Leaders Forum, Seoul Coffee Festival, barista competitions, and other programs. Organized by Exporum and Reed Exhibitions, the show is officially supported by the International Coffee Organization, Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy, Seoul Metropolitan Government, and Korean embassies of coffee-producing nations.
The 18th edition of the show brought industry professionals and enthusiasts together at Coex from November 7-10, 2019 under the theme, “A Cup of the World – You Are the Center of Café Show”, emphasizing the importance of every human element of café culture, from producers and suppliers to buyers and coffee enthusiasts worldwide.
The Scope Café Show Seoul 2019 made extensive use of Coex’s event spaces, with the main exhibition taking up all four of the center’s exhibition halls (A,B,C,D), accounting for 36,007m² of floor space alone. Stages were set up in Halls C and D for the Korea Coffee League and World Coffee Battle barista championships, while the Hall A lobby featured the expo’s signature Cherry’s Choice exhibition of trending products for 2019-2020. Visitors were encouraged to reuse cups and tumblers that they could rinse in specially-installed washing zones throughout each hall as part of the show’s ‘Thank You, Coffee’ Green Project. The bulk of the Seoul Coffee Festival took place in the 1st Floor Lobby, which in 2020 was upgraded with large digital signage, also to reduce waste.
Elsewhere, Coex’s 3rd and 4th Floor South conference rooms housed the 8th World Coffee Leaders Forum under the theme “Coffee People Share”, Room 300 being notably used for the International Women’s Coffee Alliance inauguration ceremony on November 9th. Overseas attendees could also board the ‘Seoul Coffee Tour Bus’ by the center’s North Gate to experience firsthand top examples of the city’s thriving café scene. [Take a virtual 360° online tour of Coex]
The Results A total of 155,012 visitors attended Café Show Seoul 2019 - an increase of 8,000 over 2018 - of which 4,822 hailed from overseas. Of these, 635 were exhibitors from 40 countries, up from 617 in 2018 and 583 in 2017, and presenting 3,503 brands across the four-day event. Coffee, Tea, and Bakery items were the top three interests by visitors, the largest demographic of whom were café owners or operators (37.2%) and attending for Purchasing Consultation (20.5%).
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