The Independent Hotel Show 2016 took place last week at Olympia West, London. The show has established itself as the UK’s largest business event supporting the luxury, independent hotel and boutique hotel sector. This year it attracted more visitors than ever.
Over 300 innovative product and service providers alongside expert key speakers at the Seminar Programme were present over the two-day event for advice and innovations to improve the efficiency and profitability of independent hoteliers.
One of the most influential events was the Zeitgeist Talk and report . Commissioned by the Independent Hotel Show, and penned by Melvin Gold Consulting Ltd, this thought leadership discussion summarised and emphasised the key issues facing independent hotels operating in the UK today.
Although acknowledging that the UK independent hotel sector is shrinking, the discussion revealed that the sector is still strong and continues to wield great influence. Independent hotel rooms still comprise more than half of the serviced accommodation rooms in the UK. The discussion cited the seaside resorts as excellent examples of best practice and innovation that emanate in independent hotels in reigniting tourism.
Five key differentiating factors for independent hotels in today’s hotel market were identified: individuality; locality; freedom; personality and innovation.
The talk concluded that “there is little doubt that the hotel brands will continue their growth and equally that some independent hotels might fall by the wayside. Some may choose to rebrand but the majority will remain … the best will provide leadership and innovation for the whole hotel sector and this report highlights key topics, actions and opportunities that are likely to underpin their success.”
Way Out, Way Forward
Other seminars covered the Brexit effect, marketing trends, and advice on current best online practices presented by eviivo. This talk explained the importance of efficiently promoting and selling rooms throughout the coming year using online media to the maximum.
There was also an excellent seminar on what the future looks like from an aesthetic viewpoint: what’s the right balance between classic and progressive? How can every hotel have its own visual identity?
The emphasis was firmly upon creative thinking and looking to the future. The seminars were extremely well attended by hotel managers and owners seeking to accommodate the evolving needs and priorities of tomorrow’s consumer.
As far as awards go, Kate Levin was crowned Independent Hotelier of the Year and The Laslett was pronounced the Most Outstanding New Hotel.
The Independent Hotel Show gives a voice to the hotelier within the sector and offers a forum for participants in this sector to meet and exchange values and ideas. Next year’s show is already in the planning stages so remember to put it in your diary to attend.