I am going to be at the Salons in London and Paris but not Lyon. In between I will be attending the Origin Chocolate conference in Amsterdam - which has a very different audience.
This is the 1st year for the Salon in London (previously Chocolate Unwrapped). This will be my 3rd visit to the Salon in Paris and my 3rd visit overall to Unwrapped/SdC in London (where I will be giving presentations on Friday and Saturday).
Paris is certainly the largest of the three. You probably get the widest variety of participants (as exhibitors), and this year the Salon du Chocolat Professionnel overlaps the consumer Salon on the 30th.
That said - you'll end up learning mostly about French chocolate. The reason to consider London is that it probably has the most vibrant chocolate scene in Europe at the moment - maybe even the world. It will attract mostly smaller companies doing more interesting work, but you don't get any of the French stars.
A lot of the exhibitors in Paris are large companies from other parts of the country. Their appeal is to people who grew up in those cities who now live in Paris and who want to go buy "childhood favorites." LOTS of varieties of guimauve - shapes, sizes, and flavors.
So it really depends on what you're looking for. In Paris you can meet Stephane Bonnat, François Pralus, Jean-Paul Hevin, several of the younger generation of the Cluizels, and more. I don't know who's going to be at Lyon. In London you will meet Paul A Young and a host of others doing lots of really interesting work, but who mostly don't have the same status as some of the French.
Thanks Clay for all those information, I live in London anyway so I think I'll go to the Salon here, and see if I can find what I'm looking for.
I was just wondering if it was worth the trip to Paris, or even Lyon because it is the capital of the gastronomie, in France as you already know. I guess I'll decide after see how it is in London.
I will be giving presentations on Friday and Saturday, so look me up and introduce yourself.
I was in Lyon last year and in Zurich the year before.
Lyon is nice, but not that big. Zurich was great, but like Lyon very focused on the local manufacturers. I guess it depends in which market you are actually interested.