The boutique and independent hotel sector descended on Olympia London this week (16-17 October) for two packed days of networking, product sourcing and invaluable insights into the latest industry trends and challenges.
Visiting hoteliers cited the show’s numerous networking opportunities, immersive design and inspiring seminar programme and selection of quality suppliers as reasons this year’s event was invaluable to their business.
Zach Hardman, Head of Hotel Operations at Deuce Hotels, commented "Thank you for once again delivering an informative and inspiring event, at the Independent Hotel Show 2023. As a new independent boutique hotel operator, I found both the exhibitors and the seminars extremely relevant and interesting to our business.
“It was particularly beneficial for me personally, to be able to network and have face-to-face conversations with such a range of quality businesses and stakeholders. I have come away from the event with new ideas and contacts that will be really useful as we expand Deuce Hotels Ltd even further in 2024."
Across the show’s content stages, the sessions were packed as hoteliers gathered to learn more about topics including sensory design, AI and hospitality, building authentic brands and much more.
Petra Clayton, Founder and CEO of CUSTARD and moderator for the panel entitled ‘what is really influencing your marketing success?’, reflected on the popularity of the topic, commenting: “I love that every year the marketing sessions are always standing room only which demonstrates how hoteliers really continue to have an appetite to gain more insights into marketing practices to support growth and positioning.
“This year has really highlighted how much marketing is at the centre of business strategy and the consumer journey has to be critically evaluated and so it’s no surprise that hoteliers want to understand if they are on track or missing elements of their marketing approach.”
Timothy Griffin, Principal at Wellbrook Hospitality and Co-Founder of LEVEN Hotels, invited visitors to take a step into the LEVENverse and explore how the potential applications of the metaverse in hospitality and hotel design.
The 2023 edition of the Independent Hotel Show saw the event partnering with a number of top design studios and suppliers to bring the stages and feature areas to life. Studio Clementine led the design for The Lobby, which welcomed hoteliers to the show with an autumnal meadow, bespoke scents and sounds and a kinetic piece of artwork.
New Heritage Design took visitors on a journey through the countryside, the city and the coast with three unique looks for the show’s Innovation Stage, in partnership with eviivo. Plus, Creative Director Hannah Lohan and team designed a cosy, welcoming area for the show’s Social Business Space, where sustainable vintage furniture was the hero.
The show’s Hotel Business Stage, in partnership with HotelPartner, was designed by Design Command. Using a colour palette of greens, pinks and oranges, the design played with warm and cool colours and used light to create a sense of depth, perspective and contrast. The resulting design was a visually stunning, vibrant and eye-catching space, stimulating insightful discussion and debate.
Rosendale Design created The Dining Room for this year’s event, a space for hoteliers to immerse themselves in the event and a space to relax, unwind and meet old friends and new.
The Independent Hotel Show Awards, in partnership with Preferred Hotels & Resorts, saw Red Carnation Hotels CEO Jonathan Raggett recognised for his Outstanding Contribution to the independent hotel sector, The Headland Cornwall crowned as Independent Hotel of the Year and Chris Bancroft of The Newt in Somerset awarded GM of the Future, in partnership with The Master Innholders.
Chris commented: “Thank you for a wonderful show, it was truly inspirational to attend and to see and engage with such a wide selection of innovative products, solutions, designers and hospitality professionals. I was immensely honoured to have been chosen to be GM of the Future and I am already excited for next year's show!”
This year’s event also saw the launch of the Hoteliers’ Choice initiative, with five unique suppliers nominated by the show’s hotelier community awarded with a free stand at the event.
Laura Veasey, Owner of decor and lifestyle brand Wildmore, and Hoteliers Choice winner, said of the experience: “We are so grateful to the Independent Hotel Show for creating the Hoteliers Choice Award.
“The show was such a success for Wildmore, allowing us to meet leading designers, industry experts and owners of some superb hotels. It is an incredible opportunity for innovative suppliers like Wildmore and we are excited to continue to bring our distinctive identity to such a unique sector.”
Among suppliers at the show, new launches of products and services were rife, with The Fine Cotton Company launching versatile new washable throws in 12 distinctive colours and eviivo debuting an industry-first, ground-breaking AI-powered guest messaging tool.
Brands exhibiting at the show applauded the quality and quantity of senior hoteliers and hospitality decisionmakers in attendance, with SnapFix CEO/Founder Paul McCarthy commenting: "Delighted to meet new hotel teams at the Independent Hotel Show in London, as well as meeting many of our amazing customers. I’ve been so impressed with the attendance, and it has exceeded my expectations.
“We had double the number of quality meetings in one day than at another recent event. We’ll be back next year. Thank you to all the organising team for making this event a big success."
The Independent Hotel Show, the UK & Ireland’s business event for boutique and luxury hotels, will return to Olympia London on 15-16 October 2024. Find out more and keep up to date with all the latest show news at independenthotelshow.co.uk.