Thought Leadership

Trading up: Industry-only events to get to in 2019

Connect with other like-minded comrades.

By Chloe Chaplin

Despite the tight-knit community that makes up the hospitality industry in Australia, the hecticness of the day to day reality of working in the industry can make it hard to carve out time to connect with other like-minded comrades as much as we’d like. Happily, there are a number of industry groups committed to bucking this trend - organising exclusive trade events that are designed to get great minds together and share learning.

We’ve rounded up the best trade-only events still to come this year.

Women in Hospitality

Founded in 2015, WIH is an organisation that supports and fosters career development of women in the hospitality industry and is now the premier organisation dedicated to inspiring, recruiting and retaining females.

Started with the mission to inspire, recruit and retain more females in hospitality and to give them the confidence to back themselves in their professional development, Women in Hospitality encompasses all facets of the industry and professionals no matter what role they play, or stage of their career they’re at.

Women in Hospitality’s board is made up of nine women who are leading the way in the industry, providing a breadth of experience and perspective that allows for a holistic approach.

The next WIH event – ‘Fresh Faces – Emerging Talent Party’ – will be held on Sunday, July 7 at The Private Kitchen, Kensington Street, Sydney.

This Sunday arvo party in collaboration with PorkStar will celebrate emerging talent in the hospitality industry, and be fed & watered by industry icons;

Food by:

Allison Brown – The Porteno Group
Sarah Knights – Automata
Anna Ugarte & Samantha Levett – Momofuku Seiōbo

Drinks by:

Wine list curation – Lou Dowling – P&V
Beer – Samara Füss – Philter Brewing
Cocktails – Krystal Hart


Ok, we’re throwing ourselves into the mix here, to add our ‘Ask an Expert’ talks to the list of industry events you should check out this year. We’re lucky to have access to some of the best operators in the biz, and there’s nothing we love more than picking their brains on all things hospo’ and business.

Newly launched, these events are all about igniting conversations between some of Melbourne’s hospitality icons, and the people who need their expert knowledge the most. These free industry-only events are designed to bring hospo folk together to learn from and be inspired by each other, in a relaxed setting (over a beer or two).

Our first season has just wrapped up, with our final session involving an intimate hour-long session on empire-building with, Julien Moussi, one of the most successful operators in Melbourne hospitality. After spending the last decade adventuring through over a dozen cafe projects (including Winter, Stanley, Clubhouse, and Bentwood in Fitzroy) Julien felt compelled to branch out and start his own coffee brand – Inglewood Coffee Roasters.

Re-cap on season one below, and stay tuned to our socials for details about season two.

S01.E01 : The Brand – How to develop your hospitality brand

S01.E02 : The Site – Sites and leases

S01.E03 : The Second Venue – Opening a second venue

S01.E04 : Build your empire

Coleman’s academy

Paige Aubort founded Coleman’s Academy in 2015 with a mission to create a collaborative environment where females in hospitality were inspired and empowered to get involved and be mentored by leading women in the industry.

Named after iconic female bartender, Ada Coleman, Coleman’s Academy is all about connecting senior and junior members in mentoring roles to nurture and oversee their rise to success, inspiring women to pursue their bartending and hospitality goals, and cultivating an environment and a community that comes together to develop new ideas to advance women in the industry.

This year, the business has expanded to be more events focused, with sessions running all over the country, encouraging women in the hospitality industry to come together once a month to “communicate, inspire, educate and kick ass”.

Coming up, Claire Van Vuuren (chef and owner of Bloodwood in Newtown, Popla in Bellingen, and all-round legend) and Mike Bennie (journalist, co-founder of Rootstock Sydney Festival and P&V Merchants) will host an event at Moya’s Juniper Lounge in Redfern on Monday the 24th of June.

Coleman’s Academy events are free for all female-identifying members of the industry to attend, but make sure you register to secure your spot.

Foodservice Australia

Over 400 exhibitors will showcase the latest food, drink and equipment at the next Foodservice Australia event in Melbourne this June. Strictly open to trade, the event opens the doors to over 350 industry suppliers, and covers the latest food and hospitality trends.

The next Foodservice Australia show will be held in Melbourne from 23-25 June, and, for the first time, the show is moving to the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre with more exhibitors and more special events, including Chef of the Year, the National Restaurant Conference and the Aged Care Catering Summit.

Head here for tickets or to register as an exhibitor.

Food and Hospitality Queensland

Recently launched, in 2018, Food and Hospitality Queensland focuses on the retail, foodservice and tourism food and hospitality industries. Their premier event showcases the latest, food, drink and equipment for hosp’ businesses, making it an important event for those in the cafe, restaurant, hotel, supermarket, club or resort game – it’s an excellent opportunity to meet suppliers, discover new ideas and trends and check out the latest equipment.

This year’s event will be held at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre from 4-5 August 2019. There will be over 150 exhibitors plus special events including the Queensland Chef of the Year, the Aged Care Catering Summit and Cafe School. Entry is free and the event is strictly for trade. Get your tickets here.


Dedicated to promoting excellence and best practice in the Aussie beer industry, Brewcon is the premier trade event in our brewing calendar and one not to be missed if you’re at all hops inclined.

Held over three days, Brewcon features business, technical brewing and supply chain seminars, as well as a host of impressive speakers, workshops and brewery tours, and exists to bring together suppliers and other members of the international brewing community to share their experiences and expertise.

It’s the place to be for the latest and greatest products and services on the market and to rub shoulders with fellow beer enthusiasts (and maybe share one or two…).

The 7th annual Australian Brewers Conference and Trade Expo is being held in Melbourne on Tuesday 3rd through Friday 6th September 2019 at the Melbourne Convention Exhibition Centre. Get your tickets here.

Fine Food Australia

One of Australia’s premier trade exhibitions for the food industry, Fine Food Australia is a jam-packed four-day event, showcasing new food ideas, innovations and techniques, and provides a great opportunity for hospitality folk to immerse themselves in industry trends and rub shoulders with the best in the biz.

With thousands of exhibitors and brands, there’s something to cater for every niche – from foodservice to food retail and more. Discover, learn and network with over 23,000 trade visitors.

This year’s Fine Food Australia expo will be held at ICC Sydney, Darling Harbour from 9-12 September. Register to attend or exhibit here.

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Instagram post 18015598987264152 We were stoked to support our friends at who put on a charity event over the weekend to fund the incredible efforts of the NSW Rural Fire Service @nswrfs.  We matched all donations dollar for dollar, to raise a grand total of $7,572  A big shout out to Tom and the crew at Berkelo, as well as everyone who attended, for making the day such a memorable and successful one!  #poweredbykounta
Instagram post 17854584520766733 This Saturday the 25th of Jan, our good mates at are hosting a big fundraiser for the @nswrfs at Berkelo Brookvale from 8am - 1pm.  There’ll be a classic Aussie barbie, a kombucha stand, raffles, prizes, music, a plant sale and good vibes galore.  We’ll be matching all proceeds raised, dollar for dollar... so get on down and get behind this great cause!
Instagram post 17852912437277041 The OzHarvest Café reached over $10,000 raised over the weekend! Thank you to everyone who has come in for lunch or a coffee so far and to our partner kountapos who are using data from their point of sale system to help reduce food waste.
Instagram post 18097220071127875 On Sunday our friends at @thesourcemosman put on a charity event to fund the efforts of @blazeaid - a volunteer-based organisation that works with families and individuals in rural Australia after natural disasters.  We were very proud to be involved, matching all donations dollar for dollar, to raise a grand total of $7,000.  It’s been incredible to see how our industry has responded to support people and communities affected by the recent bushfires... shout out to all the amazing hospo brands who are doing their bit!
Instagram post 17850459445528669 Ruby Cafe now powered by Kounta. We are focused on efficiency and improving our customers experience 😀
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