Event director Luke Perry reveals what is in store for the second annual Independent Hotel Show, taking place from October 30-31 at Olympia West Hall, London
What research led you to launch the show in 2012?
We’d done about two years of research which showed there are large shows that cover a wide range of things, but there wasn’t a product for the luxury and boutique independent hoteliers in the UK.
The independent hoteliers are the key decision makers, where as with the larger chains there are lengthy decision-making processes and it’s quite regionalised. The business is not only a passion for them, it is their main form of income so they’re very hands on.
Plus, despite one of the worst recessions in memory this sector has held its own and is growing exponentially.
How many attended in 2012?
Just over 3200 people attended the 2012 event, predominantly from around the UK and we had a few people attending from Ireland, Greece, France and Portugal.
How have you developed popular aspects of last year’s show for the 2013 event? The free seminars we put on were hugely popular. We’ve gone from 17 sessions up to 30 plus. Due to the high demand, we’ve had to create two separate theatres — one is the industry-issues theatre and one is the business-solutions theatre.
What’s new for 2013?
We’ve got a business clinic for the first time which is in association with Buell Consulting Group, hospitality experts who represent a wide range of industry experts and they’ll be doing 30-minute sessions that can be pre-booked to talk about a wide range of subjects. We’re having eight sessions a day. You can choose between eight different topics: F&B; Technology; procurement; finance; energy management; sales and marketing and effective operations.
We’ve got a couple of show features that are design-led; Conran & Partners will be designing our VIP lounge and press centre. We’ve also got designer Afroditi Krassa designing our networking hub which is an opportunity for the hoteliers to meet, have coffee and talk about the industry and their experiences. Then we have Designersblock — an events company essentially representing designers that haven’t yet found employment — and they’ll be putting together a contemporary unique design feature within the show.
Please tell us more about the awards.
We’ve launched the first Outstanding New Hotel of the Year Award, open to all independent, luxury and boutique hotels that have been operating for three years or less. This will take place alongside the Independent Hotelier of the Year award.
I only have an hour to spare, what should I see?
The seminars are fantastic as you’ll see industry heroes and fill the knowledge gap on a whole range of issues.
Please name 10 not-to-be missed exhibitors at the show.
1. Josephine Home (stand 11)
2. Conran and Partners (183)
3. Mary Jane Vaughan Flowers (290) www.maryjanevaughan.co.uk
4. STR Global
5. Naturalmat Hotel (227)
6. Chelsom Ltd (217)
7. Jealous Gallery (60)
8. Bose Ltd (269)
9. Innocent Drinks Ltd (258)
10. Paragon Systems (stand 128)