Italy was THE great protagonist of this year’s Summer show! 350 exhibitors and almost 30,000 square feet of display area at the Javits Center in New York City, hosted the largest and most important food and beverage show in North America and one from the top five such events around the world. Area ITALIA at the event, organized by the Specialty Food Association, has benefited greatly of the collaboration of the Italian Trade Commission in New York (ICE NY), that has coordinated the participation of Italian companies, eager now more than ever, to expand internationally. Among the fundamental tasks performed by ICE NY: circulating the initial information on the show among the Italian entrepreneurs, gathering the applications and providing all types of assistance to the companies who registered and, no less significant, ensuring the presence of the country’s exhibitors in the official show catalog, both in print and online. ICE NY provided a marketing service upon request of the interested Italian exhibitors, aimed to enhance their visibility at the show by means of a mailing destined to reach the US importers, distributors and brokers listed in the ICE NY office data base. Last but not least, the all too important work of assistance to the Italian exhibitors was being provided on a daily basis by ICE NY. The questions ranged from show logistics to contacts with the show organizers and vendors, from information on the US legislation to counseling on how to better present the products on the American market. The personnel of ICE NY was on hand at the show site starting the morning of Saturday, June 28, to provide help with the booths set-up and decoration and respond to any requests the Italian exhibitors had. In short, a veritable task force fully dedicated to Italy itself and to its emissaries at a show which is considered by the persons involved as the true “Event of the Year”. «We’re really proud of the efforts of these few months» – says Pier Paolo Celeste, Italian trade commissioner and coordinator of ICE North America – «we enteerd the show days with the certainty that, not only were we the country with the largest participation, with 350 exhibitors, we were also totally ready and prepared to obtain the maximum of results during almost a week of trade contacts toward which all of us have been practically working for the past year». «I have talked to the managers of a number of companies that exhibited at the show – Celeste continues – and I sensed their determination and their conviction that the formula Italian product – American networking can and must be very successful. ICE is dedicating a great part of its work to this purpose. Yes, everyone knows our products are undoubtedly exceptional, but we must continue tirelessly to tell their story and sell them, methodically, systematically and passionately. This is the mission of ICE, particularly now, when the American market is increasingly showing its appreciation for the excellence, quality and pure goodness of the Italian products».