Independent Hotel Show post show review

Posted in Events, News on 31 October, 2017

The Independent Hotel Show, presented by James Hallam Hospitality & Leisure, took place on 17 and 18 October at Olympia. The show once again provided thousands of the UK’s best independent hoteliers with two exceptional days of networking, thought-provoking seminars, the latest trends and unmissable opportunities to meet and negotiate with a curated line-up of the industry’s most innovative suppliers.

Event Director Miranda Martin says: “I am delighted to say that the Independent Hotel Show 2017 was once more a huge success. For six consecutive years, the show has continued to evolve and grow with new and innovative features, collaborations with designers, a packed seminar programme and a meticulously-curated collection of exhibitors. This year, we launched The Perfect Hotel Bedroom as a live installation, presented by Chic Retreats and created by Harriet Forde Design, and at the show’s Power Breakfast, Simon Calder, senior travel editor, The Independent, was interviewed. Talks and panel discussions over the two days provided tremendous insight and generated fascinating conversations, whilst the niche style of the show and its intimate feel facilitated great networking opportunities for likeminded hoteliers and suppliers.”

Design is in the Independent Hotel Show’s DNA, and was beautifully expressed through collaborations with design partners. Benedict Wilhelm built The Lobby networking space which tapped into the current trend of using tactile, natural and raw materials with meticulously designed touches. Galapagos Furniture incorporated a ‘hot house jungle’ theme into the design of The Suite for VIPs.

Creative thinking, dynamic approaches and industry issues were shared and discussed during seminars and panel discussions on the Business Stage and on the Innovation Stage. Embracing mindfulness in the new-for-this year Gymnasium for The Mind by Shape, guests were invited to remove their shoes and sit on Technogym wellness balls whilst listening to talks.

More than 100 professionals from all pillars of the luxury and boutique hotel industry spoke in more than  40 seminars tackling topics including branding, partnerships, creative marketing, HR, social media, place-making, F&B, hotel acquisition, the guest journey, wellbeing and more.

Highlighting the Independent Hotel Show’s stellar reputation as a dynamic and innovative business event for the sector, a carefully-curated list of exhibitors chose the platform to launch new products or services to the captive market of independent and boutique hoteliers. New products included the Colbeck chair from Chapel Street London and the Shoreditch ceiling pendant and Beauchamp bouillotte ceiling light from Vaughan Designs.

Other highlights of the show included the unveiling of The Perfect Hotel Bedroom Report. Based on over  2,000 respondents to a survey, carried out in partnership with Chic Retreats, the report outlined guests’ preferences for lighting, soft furnishings, technology requirements, windows, bed-making and amenities.

The Perfect Hotel Bedroom report was brought to life in an installation built by Harriet Forde Design at the show with exhibitors’ products furnishing the room. Not only did The Perfect Hotel Bedroom report provide hoteliers with sharp insight into what consumers want in a hotel bedroom but the room itself provided a brilliant talking point for visitors to the show.

The winners of the Independent Hotel Show Awards in association with Sky were announced on Tuesday 17th.  Voted by the industry from a shortlist drawn up by a panel of experts, the awards for Independent Hotelier and Outstanding New Hotel went to Paul Bayliss MBE, general manager of Carden Park in Cheshire and No.15 Great Pulteney in Bath respectively.

Exhibitors and speakers alike were delighted with the show.

Garry Baldwin from the AA said:”It’s been really positive to see customers old and new. There has been a great buzz and camaraderie between the diverse exhibitors. There is real value to have been involved with the show since the start. It has been great see so many students attending as it’s positive to see the future of the industry getting involved. It has been interesting to see new emerging companies and products. Overall it has been great to see a thriving hospitality industry despite the gloom of Brexit.”

Phil Hardwick, director Galapagos Designs, said: “It’s been fantastic and has brought genuine hoteliers to us. We are happy that we have had such a great reaction to our designs in The Suite and are pleased that we got the colours and fabrics right. Hoteliers agree with us that velvets are de rigeur.”

Nick Taplin, CEO of Black and White Hospitality who exhibited for Marco Pierre White Restaurants and was a speaker in the panel discussion The New Era of F&B said: “What I like about the show is that the majority of people who come here have taken the day off of work to better their business and get inspired by new ideas and I admire anyone who will take time out from their busy lives to do that. It’s our third year exhibiting and it’s a great show.

I loved being part of the panel discussion. The format is great and when you are sat on the sofa talking with others it’s much more comfortable than being stuck behind a lectern. It helps make it more of a conversation that those involved can enjoy being part of and those listening to it can find interesting.”

London-based floral designer Grace & Thorn exhibited at the Show for the first time and their floral displays were placed around the Show. Laura Rubino-Bennett, head of business development, said: “We’ve seen real quality, rather than quantity of visitors and have had a number of leads and some great feedback on our displays. The Independent Hotel Show is a really nice event and has a lovely atmosphere.”

The Independent Hotel Show celebrates six years as Britain’s best loved, biggest and most comprehensive business event for the luxury, boutique and independent hotel sector. Inspirational and practical seminars address industry concerns and exciting developments for hoteliers to stay ahead in this fast-changing sector. The Show presents a carefully curated collection of over 300 exhibitors, showcasing the most innovative ideas, products and services, flourishing within this creative and compelling industry.

The Independent Hotel Show returns next year on 16 and 17 October.

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