Visitors to the Independent Hotel Show 2018 can hear from industry-leading speakers and experience cutting-edge design created for tomorrow’s hotel guests. Janet Harmer previews the key events at Olympia, London
Hotel operators keen to get to grips with thought-provoking designs and service would do well to visit London’s Olympia next month for the annual Independent Hotel Show. With more than 300 exhibitors taking part in the two-day event – now in its seventh year – there will be much to inform and inspire visitors.
The hotel room of the future
The centrepiece of the event will be an immersive installation featuring the hotel bedroom of the future. Created by bedroom specialists Two’s Company, the design has been devised following research undertaken with industry experts.
The bedroom is intended to present what is expected to be reality in a decade or so from now, providing hoteliers with realistic ideas to continuously improve the guest experience.
A good night’s sleep – supported by technology, science and scent – will be the key element of the finished design. One-touch keypads to operate lighting, heating and air-conditioning will be in place, as will furniture featuring technology from Crestron and Smartcomm.
Rodney Hoinkes, chief insight and innovation officer of the show’s organiser Fresh Montgomery, says: “The hotel room of the future is about the future that matters to independent hoteliers and their guests. What are the true trends, not fads, and where should focus and budget be spent and wisely avoided?”
Tech-hungry hoteliers will have the opportunity to meet up with providers of the leading digital concepts at IHTech Quest, new to the show this year.
Created by hotel management software provider Newbook, IH Tech Quest will provide an insight into in-room experiences, smarter marketing, automated solutions from concierges to mini-bars, more efficient back of house systems and means of increasing profitability.
A number of technology talks will also deliver details of cutting-edge reservations and website management systems, as well as what can be expected from social media in 2019.
Share the knowledge
There will be seminars and presentations aplenty during the show on every aspect of hotel operations, marketing, staffing and design. On-stage interviews will include question and answer sessions with a number of inspiring figures, including Diego Masciaga, who recently stepped down as general manager of the Waterside Inn in Bray, Berkshire; Kate Nicholls, chief executive of newly launched UKHospitality; and Graeme Nesbitt, food and beverage director at Hand Picked Hotels.
Subjects under discussion will include innovations in food and beverage, boosting direct booking, creating memorable guest experiences, the wellness revolution and creating impactful social media content.
Details of the show’s consumer research into what guests want will be revealed at a session in which the findings will be discussed by Tom Bell, editor, British Hotels & Inns at Alastair Sawdays; Fiona Adams, co-founder, the Know (a mystery guest service); Daniel Rich, general manager, Barton Grange; Harry Cragoe, owner, the Gallivant; and Rob Paterson, chief executive, Best Western.
With the hotel sector facing what is probably its biggest-ever recruitment crisis, a seminar on how to attract talent at all levels of the industry is expected to create much interest. Speakers will include Claire Elston, HR consultant at Eagle HR; Adam Rowledge, general manager at the Georgian House hotel; and Sarah Powell, people and development manager at Soho Farmhouse & Babington House.
Also attending the show will be three of the UK’s preeminent restaurant and hotel critics: Fiona Duncan of The Telegraph, Giles Coren of The Times and Grace Dent of The Guardian will take part in an invitation-only breakfast seminar in which they will share their personal experiences of the hotel industry.
Meanwhile, the Suite and Dyson Meeting Space will provide the opportunity for attendees to the show to network over a cup of coffee or a glass of fizz.
Register for the show
For more information on the Independent Hotel Show 2018, presented by James Hallam Insurance Brokers, and to register to attend, go to: www.independenthotelshow.co.uk
Independent Hoteliers’ Hall of Fame
Every year, one of the highlights of the Independent Hotel Show is the presentation of its two key awards to the Independent Hotelier of the Year and the Outstanding New Hotel.
Once again the first award will be presented to a spirited individual who is passionate about running his or her hotel and creating exceptional guest experiences alongside having made a significant contribution to the industry over the past year. The second will go to a hotel which has been open for less than three years, during which it has brought dynamism and innovation to the sector with its unique style.
Last year’s winners were Paul Bayliss, general manager of the four-AA-star, 196-bedroom Carden Park hotel in Broxton, Chester (Independent Hotelier of the Year) and No 15 Great Pulteney in Bath (Outstanding New Hotel).
The shortlist for this year’s awards have been drawn up by a judging panel of industry experts based on innovation, inspiration, financial performance, team development, contribution to the industry at large and a clear distinction on a competitive landscape.
Votes for the shortlisted candidates can be cast at www.independenthotelshow.co.uk. The winners will be announced at the show on 16 October.
Shortlist for Independent Hotelier of the Year 2018
• Peter Banks, managing director of Rudding Park, Harrogate
• Will Ashworth, managing director, Watergate Bay and Another Place, the Lake District
• David and Charlotte Reilly, owners, Yorebridge House, North Yorkshire
• Laurence Beere, owner, the Queensberry hotel, Bath
• Adam Rowledge, general manager, Georgian House, London
• Claire Randall, managing director, Lucknam Park, Wiltshire
Shortlist for Outstanding New Hotel 2018
• Another Place, The Lake, Ullswater, Cumbria
• Palé Hall, Bala, Gwynedd
• Artist Residence Oxfordshire
• Titanic Hotel Belfast
• The Mandrake, London
• Oddfellows on the Park, Manchester