Posted in Business, Events on 5 April, 2018

SPACE editor Can Faik chaired a panel discussion titled The Future Of Hotel Design at the Hotel General Managers’ Conference in January, organised by Master Innholders. Here’s a snippet of what they discussed and what else happened at the event…

Nearly 500 hotel professionals gathered at the beautiful De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms in London in January for the 25th Hotel General Managers’ Conference, titled ‘The Spirit of Time’, which reflected on the past, analysed the present and looked forward to the future of the industry during a programme of expert talks and panel discussions with thought-leaders.

SPACE editor Can Faik chaired one of the panel discussions, The Future of Hotel Design, which took a closer and critical look at hotel design and whether it’s getting too extreme. On his panel, Can invited Creative Director at HBA London, Constantina Tsoutsikou; Creative Director at David Collins Studio, Simon Rawlings; Co-Founder and Principal at AB Concept, Ed Ng; and Managing Director at BECK Interiors, Chris Galloway, to share their expert views on the matter.

The panel discussed everything from managing guest expectations, authenticity, public spaces and social media, to how to increase revenue through F&B design, technology, and wellness, providing differing and thought-provoking opinions.

When asked where hotels need to begin, Constantina said: “The lobby is the heart of the hotel, so if you want to convey what you’re about, that’s where you start.”

Simon said he believes there’s a danger hotels are trying to be and do too many things, and thereby lose focus of what they do best.

The rest of the two-day conference also had speakers and panels exploring the issues of cyber security; food; branding; leadership, performance and mindfulness; digitalisation; and legislation.   

“It was a fantastic morning and a interesting event with lots of helpful talks and debates,” said Can, Editor of SPACE. “It was also great to see the captivated audience understand the importance of good hotel design and the benefits it brings to their properties.”

Stuart Bowery FIH MI, Master Innholders Chairman and GM of Grosvenor House, took the opportunity to look back at the 40 years of Master Innholders’ existence. He said: “Our milestone year presents the opportunity to pay tribute to our origins, recognise our strong presence and industry influence, celebrate with the talent we’ve invested in and acknowledge the next generation of Innkeepers. I encourage all conference attendees to take the opportunity to immerse themselves into the sessions and network with other like-minded professionals.”

On the evening of Monday 16 January, guests were treated to a Moët & Chandon Champagne reception before indulging in a three-course dinner created by Principle London’s Executive Chef Rodger Olsson and his team. The Caterer’s new Editor, Chris Gamm, introduced the Hotelier of the Year winner Sue Williams FIH MI, General Manager of Whatley Manor. Williams urged guests to get behind their teams and inspire the future professionals of the industry. Guests generously took part in a prize draw to raise vital funds for the Master Innholders Charitable Trust, Springboard and Hospitality Action, raising more than £10,000. Acclaimed food writer Matthew Fort took to the stage after dinner to share his anecdotes of his time in hospitality.

The two-day event was chaired by Pride of Britain Hotels chief executive Peter Hancock FIH MI on day one and by award-winning photographer and hotel consultant Jeremy Rata FIH MI on day two.

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