Chelsea Flower Show reports 20% exhibitor uprise but Sodexo "unsure" of visitor confidence

Organisers of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show have told Event that exhibitor numbers are up 20% on last year, however, caterer Sodexo Prestige is hedging its bets on visitor food spend.

Chelsea Flower Show reports 20% exhibitor uprise but Sodexo "unsure" of visitor confidence
Chelsea Flower Show reports 20% exhibitor uprise but Sodexo "unsure" of visitor confidence

The event, which takes place at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea on 25-29 May, is expecting to reach its capacity of 157,000 visitors and reports a 20% upturn in exhibitors.

"Exhibitors are booked in 18 months in advance of the show, and we're happy to report an upturn of around 20% on last year," said the show's deputy head of operations Caroline Humphries.

Sodexo Prestige has also reported that corporate hospitality will be up on last year, with two-thirds of the capacity sold already.

However, its event manager Julie Pincham told Event that the company is preparing to assess food spend when the event is underway: "It's hard to say how visitors will spend there money in this uncertain economic climate. We're preparing to work with suppliers during the event to assess the deamd for food and champagne."

She adds that last year champagne sales unexpectedly rose by 26%.

RHS is also planning to up its recycling efforts, and is listening to advice from environmental advisors.

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