Forward-thinking hospitality professionals are invited to convene at the International Hospitality Investment Forum (IHIF) 2023 to identify how the industry can adapt and innovate through the current challenges, and emerge stronger than ever before. While issues such as inflation, rising interest rates, debt availability, volatile capital markets, geopolitical instability and lack of available staff are all impacting the market, hospitality continues to show tenacity, strength and hold its place on the global stage.

This display of fortitude amid adversity has shaped the theme for this year’s IHIF, which returns to the InterContinental in Berlin on 15–17 May. Under the headline: ‘fortune favours the bold’, the popular industry-leading event will return with a dynamic programme designed to help drive a successful trading year. A billing of over 200 guest speakers from across the hospitality, business and investment sectors will provide insight and inspiration to attendees. They will discuss current trends and suggest ways to manage the impact of structural forces to give the industry the impetus it needs to make bold decisions for the future.

Dynamic programme Opening the conference programme on Tuesday 16 May is economist Ian Goldin, professor at Oxford University. He will provide a high-level analysis of the impact of the major trends affecting global economies and will suggest how the hospitality investment sector can manage the impact of globalisation, inflation, rising interest rates, debt availability, volatile capital markets, government instability, war in Europe, climate change, demographic shifts and changing travel trends Professor Goldin’s talk will provide a framework for a host of sessions that day, tapping into the main focus: ‘Assessing the macro-environment and travel and hospitality trends’.

Carine Bonnejean from Christie & Co and STR’s Robin Rossmann will join Joe Stather, vice-president and market leader for operational real estate at Questex, in a data-driven session discussing asset values. Meanwhile, other keynotes will look at travel trends and industry forecasts. Other influential speakers from the hotel world who are taking to the stage over two days include Keith Barr, CEO of IHG Hotels & Resorts; Sébastian Bazin, chairman and chief executive of AccorHotels, who will take part in a global CEO panel at the end of day one and Maud Bailly, CEO Sofitel MGallery & Emblems, who will focus on how to capture the new while retaining the old.

Further confirmed industry leaders speaking over the two days include Christophe Beauvilain, managing partner at Pygmalion Capital; Anna Cohen, fund manager at Extendam; Dr Peter Ebertz, managing director and head of hotels at Art-Invest Real Estate Management; Ruslan Husry, CEO and owner at HR Group; Ufi Ibrahim, CEO at Energy & Environment Alliance and Gilda Perez-Alvarado, global CEO at JLL Hotels & Hospitality.

The focus on Wednesday 17 May will shift towards the forging of partnerships and future growth. Under the day’s main theme, ‘Partnerships & Performance and Looking Forward to Future Growth’, the insightful programme looks to analyse the value of partnerships and how aligning growth strategies can build long-term success. It will include talks on efficiency, productivity and profitability.

Later in the day, discussions between a panel of innovators, trailblazers and entrepreneurs will explore the increase of asset output. A keynote from Andrew Cosgrove, global business insights leader at EY, will see the forum’s final talk discuss how to get ahead of the future consumer. Both days will include breakout sessions held by experts in dedicated fields such as asset management, investment, distribution and loyalty.

Speciality areas

Hotel professionals looking for guidance around F&B and ESG will be able to gain deeper insights through the multiple dedicated hubs at this year’s IHIF. The hubs will run alongside the main conference programme and each play host to a number of specific talks on these areas.

With guests seeking experience and investors placing greater emphasis on asset and operational optimisation, the role of F&B has moved into sharper focus, prompting a need for a new activation space dedicated to the opportunity that exists within F&B.

The F&B Optimisation Hub in partnership with Vibe, will demonstrate the opportunities available around F&B provision. It will feature talks around F&B design from Alex Ghalleb from Ennismore, meanwhile, Karl Chessell of CGA by NielsenHQ will dive deep into the data relating to guest behaviour, expectations and shifting tastes. Leaders in hotels environment, social and government efforts will share their experiences and insight to demonstrate the opportunities available to investors in the ESG Hub, in partnership with the Energy and Environment Alliance (EEA).

Located in the breakout area, it will play host to a number of specific talks to inspire change and share new ideas on how the next generation could be affected positively. Sessions include ‘Greenprint: Building Environmentally Efficient Hospitality Properties’ on Tuesday 16 May and ‘Aligning Owners and Operators’ Sustainability Strategies’ on Wednesday 17 May.

Running alongside IHIF 2023 is Adjacent Spaces, the event which explores the evolution of alternative hospitality real estate assets, such as hostels, serviced apartments, co-living, co-working and student accommodation. The one-day event takes place at The Pullman Hotel on Tuesday 16 May and is open to all registered delegates of IHIF. Confirmed speakers include Jeff Tisdall of Accor, Goncalo Hall of NomadX, Daniel Hermann of limehome and Samuel Barrell of CBRE.

Building connections

In addition to a plethora of insightful talks and panels, IHIF 2023 provides multiple opportunities for its 2,000 plus attendees to network. There will be a welcome reception for any delegates new to the forum, alongside two evening networking receptions. As in its previous years, IHIF 2023 is expected to be the place where deals are sealed and new opportunities are explored.

The number of guest speakers from across the hospitality, business and investment sectors who will speak at IHIF 2023.

Commenting on the opportunities for the hotel industry this year and the role IHIF will play, Joe Stather from Questex, says: “With the cost of living crisis being felt by everyone around the globe, the industry may have to be bold in order to take advantage of the opportunities presented.

The number of hospitality professionals attending IHIF 2023.

With a fantastic line up of amazing speakers and the chance to network with other key figures from across the industry and strengthen relationships, IHIF 2023 is shaping up to be a key event in the diary to help everyone’s fortunes over the next 12 months.”