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The Caterer

2016\. A year of growth

06 January 2017 by
2016. A year of growth

Over the Christmas break I took some time to reflect on how The Caterer has evolved to serve you, the hospitality community, who hold the brand in such high regard.

2016 was a very successful year, but also one that brought about huge uncertainty, particularly for an industry like yours, so heavily reliant on migrant labour and strong consumer confidence.

Just as the hospitality industry evolves, so does the media that serves it, and we have led from the front, listening to you to help us develop our product mix and to bring you products that make your life easier, as well as providing a platform to learn and network.

In December we refreshed our website to make sure relevant news, helpful content and the latest information on industry events is at the heart of what we do. In 2016 we published 4,200 new articles on our website, which were read by 2.1 million users who viewed 4.8 million pieces of content. Interestingly, nearly half of our visitors were on mobile devices, a huge year-on-year shift. Just as The Caterer has always lead the print market, we do the same online. And it's going well as our market share grew to 59% in 2016.

Innovation also took shape with the launch of our business solutions app, Openings, in partnership with Barbour ABI. Openings is a comprehensive map of every planned and active hospitality scheme in the UK. It is a powerful resource for operators and suppliers alike and one which sets an exciting direction for The Caterer as we continue to work with best-in-class partners to bring innovation to the market.

We're proud to brief the industry by email each working day and in 2016 we sent out 8.7 million editorial emails to our audience. We now have over 43,000 Twitter followers, 4,000 Facebook likes and a thriving LinkedIn community of over 16,000 people; a combined reach we could have only dreamed of in the old days of print-only publishing.

The other area where we have invested greatly is that of events. 2016 saw our biggest year to date with over 25 events attracting more than 4,500 delegates. From forums and awards, to networking events, we have put huge investment into building strong communities of operators who come together to learn, share, network and recognise success. Not only did we produce the biggest, and best Cateys to date, we also launched Hoteliers Hotels and the Hotel Forum. Our evolution continues and in the coming weeks I will share our most adventurous plans to date for the 2017 Cateys.

The Caterer magazine continues to lead the market, just as it has for 140 years. Producing 50 high-quality weekly editions and 15 supplements each year is no mean feat, and the magazine, still the only paid-for title in the industry, looks as slick and informative as it ever has bringing together great content, design and photography to inform and inspire generations of hospitality greats and aspiring future leaders.

As we move into 2017 I look forward to an exciting year where the industry and The Caterer continues to pull together to overcome our collective challenges and to delight our customers, whether that's in a five star hotel or a hospital. I look forward to seeing you at one of The Caterer's events very soon.

Mark

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