Identità Milano: big numbers and new frontiers

The first report on the extraordinary 2017 edition: quality and quantity. All the numbers. Speaking with co-founder Claudio Ceroni


Plenty of people. A photo with the staff at the end of a very successful 2017 edition of Identità Milano. Here’s a first report (photo by Brambilla-Serrani)

Perhaps only two images would be enough to understand how Identità Milano 2017. In both cases the protagonist is Claudio Ceroni, patron of MagentaBureau, organising the event since the very beginning – he’s Paolo Marchi’s alter ego, whose point of view will be featured tomorrow. First image, Sunday 5th March, during the congress: Ceroni is unusually relaxed in the lounge (during the event, he’s usually walking around everywhere, checking that everything is going fine). All right, Claudio? «Yes. It looks like the congress is working perfectly. This has never happened in 13 years». Second image, the other day, a post-event meeting with all the staff at Corso Magenta 46; he started off more or less like this, just so you understand the character: «Well done, it’s been a great success. Here’s all we have to improve in 2018». A list of ideas followed.

The frontier, in other words, is always a little further, «change, innovation is our vocation». Never stop, because something excellent can always be improved. You can never be satisfied even when you could enjoy a little break after the successful 2017 edition with very significant, “record” numbers: an all time high for the stands (far over 100, carefully selected by the sales team at Magenta Bureau, perfectly in line with the topics covered in the congress), all time high for the participants (over 16000), all time high for the journalists (almost 1400 communication professionals what with Italian and international journalists from press, radio and TV, bloggers, photographers and opinion leaders), great main sponsors (Consorzio per la Tutela del FormaggioGrana PadanoAcqua Panna-San PellegrinoBirra MorettiLavazzaFontanafreddaPetra-Molino QuagliaCantine Ferrari, see also: Identità Milano: la carica dei main sponsor), a widespread media coverage…

A chat between Claudio Ceroni and the mayor of Milan, Beppe Sala, in the backstage of Identità

A chat between Claudio Ceroni and the mayor of Milan, Beppe Sala, in the backstage of Identità

The numbers, however, seem less important in Ceroni’s opinion: «I’d like to stress the quality of the participants. The audience was interested and qualified, even the journalists from Report were surprised, they confessed. I’m more and more struck by how Identità Milano has become the stage from which important names in our field launch their news, announce their projects (think of Cracco, the 50Best, Le Soste…), but it’s also the favourite place where all the most dynamic food and restaurant people meet to discuss, share ideas, grow together. I must confess that a few years ago, we thought we had reached an all time high. We were proven wrong one first time, then with Expo we once again believed we had reached the top. We were wrong again. We’ve grown further».

The news is that Identità is now embracing more varied aspects, strictly connected with fine dining, but which until now we only covered briefly. In other words it’s involving more and more professionals from connected fields, with further possibilities of development, which are already being analysed: «The dining room, for instance. The new born Identità di Cocktail  which is at full speed. East Lombardy, which will see us supporting an international project throughout the year. The confirmation given by Scuola di Identità Golose. The rocket high growth in participants and interests goes beyond the auditorium and involves the “blue rooms” especially, hosting the more technical sections: Pasta, Pizza, Mare, Montagna, Gelato, Formaggio, Champagne, Identità Naturali, the Nuova Cucina Italiana. Not counting the sweet world, whose involvement will grow more and more».

Changing dates has indeed been an excellent idea, anticipating to Saturday the topics of the Tuesday, which was traditionally dedicated to pastry making, as well as to the guest region. From the finale, this turned into the brilliant trampoline for the usual main moments, gaining further visibility: «It went great». Then there was the expo area, every inch of which was occupied. «We had already experienced this in the old location in Palazzo Mezzanotte, this is why we moved to Via Gattamelata»; perhaps new, larger spaces will have to be thought of «but once again I’d like to stress that high quality companies come to Identità Milano not only to meet the greatest chefs, but also because they know they will have carefully selected professionals with whom they can discuss for three days». Hence the final ambition of Ceroni is summed up in this sentence: «We want to become the point of reference in this sector. No matter what they say, there’s a virtuous circle in Italian fine dining, we know, can, must represent it».

Identità is also the place where this excellence communicates with the outside world. We mentioned the army of journalists; there were 1027 articles published in print and online mentioning Identità Golose, only counting between 1st of January and 18th of March; there were as many as 11 reports on national television and radio, including the interview with Paolo Marchi broadcasted on Eta Beta, Massimo Cerofolini’s programme on RaiRadioUno  (you can listen to the podcast here), an important report on Tg1 by Anna Scafuri, on Tg3 by Silvia Zerilli and also the wide coverage by RaiNews24 with as many as 6 pieces, of which one by Paola Cutini lasting over 11 minutes, broadcasted on 14th of March, replicated on the evening and the following day, offering further visibility (you can watch it here).

Identità is also social: the hashtag #IGmi17  was a hit, tweets (around 2800, but including replies and retweets we reach 16600) reached a total of over 441000 visualisations. Almost 1200 single users tweeted. On top of #IGmi17, even the media partners iFood and Social Reporters were a success, plus the excellent work of Felicetti and Molino Quaglia with their respective hashtags, and even #SPyoungchef, which is linked to the S.Pellegrino’s Experience Box did very well as well as the round table that took place on Sunday in Sala Gialla 2. East Lombardy, in the expo area, was also tweeted very often, during the debut in the Auditorium hall and the press conference on Monday 6th of March, as well as Cantine Ferrari, promoters of the meeting on the dining room service in collaboration with the World’s 50 Best. Not counting Lavazza, Birra Moretti, Grana Padano and Fontanafredda. And then: Berlucchi, Valrhona, Alce Nero... There were 2220 photos tagged on Instagram: last year there were 1394, in 2015, 1247.

It’s nice to finish this report mentioning that Identità this year involved around 100 students from the Masters in Food&Wine at Bocconi, Unisg, Gambero Rosso Napoli and Roma and Iulm; they were all involved in writing reports and interviews with chefs or entrepreneurs participating in the congress, as an exercise. The result: a thrilling experience.
Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso


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