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The industry’s finest will take the stage at this year’s Independent Hotel Show

Tech, design, wellness, guest experience, F&B, recruitment and more to be discussed, debated and analysed at the Independent Hotel Show 2018, 16 & 17 Oct

Designed to be focussed, relevant and loaded with content for the UK’s best hoteliers, the Independent Hotel Show, taking place on 16 & 17 October at London Olympia, is excited to announce its complementary seminar programme for visitors. On-trend, topical and thought-provoking, this year’s collection of talks, led by hotel industry stalwarts, movers & shakers and entrepreneurs, promises to reveal, inspire, impress and excite.

In addition, find further enlightening discussion by thought-leaders in design-led spaces and engage with peers at facilitated networking events during the show.

First, let’s take you to the seminar programme at The Business Theatre in partnership with Sky. Discover how design partner uses the trend for tactile velvets and metallic accents to create a stage for sharp and insightful discussions on the current state of play in the industry. Business Theatre in partnership with Sky

Tuesday 16 October

What Do Guests Want?

Tom Bell, formerly ‘The Hotel Inspector’ from Sawday’s acclaimed guides, discusses the results of our consumer research with a group of top hoteliers. The expert panel will explain how Stylus’ findings can be relevant to your hotel business, by applying them to the situations they themselves face every day too. Join us all at the start of the show and hit the ground running with some fresh inspiration from the top of the trade!

Speakers include: Tom Bell, former Sawday’s Hotel Inspector; Fiona Adams, Co-Founder, The Know; Daniel Rich, General Manager, Barton Grange; Harry Cragoe, Owner, The Gallivant; Rob Paterson, CEO, Best Western

 The Reservation Game

Your own website is potentially your most profitable bookings channel. Plus it provides some splendid opportunities to both obtain data, and communicate your hotel brand. Take a look at the latest room reservation technology, including an expert guide to the ‘funnel’ system that converts website users to paying guests. In association with NewBook.

Speakers include: Steve Lowy, Director & Co-Founder, Umi Digital; Chris Petty, Managing Director, NewBook; Frank Reeves, Co-Founder & CEO, Avvio; Alan Thompson, Founder & CEO, hi-impact.

The Great Service Debate

For the past year, EP Business in Hospitality and Penshee have brought together hospitality industry leaders at The Goring to discuss and ultimately answer two fundamental questions: What is great service and how do we achieve this across our industry? Today, EP, Penshee’s founder and special guests from the debates are delighted to exclusively reveal the results from the series.

Speakers include: Ben Butler, Marketing & Communications, EP Business in Hospitality; Giles Gordon-Smith, Founder, Penshee

All Good in the Hood

Partnering with on-brand business from your local neighbourhood is a great way to curate authentic experiences, while simultaneously building community relationships. From your own craft beers, to vintage car hire, and even mini-festivals, we take a look at some marketing case studies from top independent hotels, so you’re pre-armed with strategies and aware of any pitfalls.

Speakers include: Julia Davies, Co-Owner & Marketing Director, The Cottage in the Wood; Charlotte Alcock, Marketing Manager, South Place Hotel; Mika Bishop, Account Director, Custard Communications.

Special ops

Get stuck into the business with our expert operations panel, who’ll be offering valuable insight on what new technology you do – and don’t – need for your logistics department to run smoothly. We’ll ‘unbox’ all the new, relevant technology products so you can afford them attention according to your own priorities, such as driving revenue, streamlining processes, or improving guests experience.

Speakers include: Andy Kydd, Head of Product, Sky; Jim Cockell, Owner, Old Stocks Inn; Barry Thomas, IT Area Director, Rosewood London; David Pryde, Head of IT, Strand Palace Hotel.

Hospitality’s Got Talent

The average salary of a London hotel manager is £85,000. Plus, hospitality roles are becoming more creative, autonomous and fulfilling. So how do we persuade more top talent to enter the industry? After all, the opportunities are huge. Attitudes are shifting – but we need them to move faster, creating a new culture of recruitment, post-Brexit. Our expert panel discusses how.

Speakers include: Claire Elston, HR Consultant, Eagle HR; Adam Rowledge, General Manager, Georgian House Hotel; Sarah Powell, People & Development Manager, Soho Farmhouse & Babington House

Card Carrying Customers

Loyalty schemes have always been the preserve of the big chains. But there’s a place for them in the independent sector too, where looking after core customers is critical. How does one reciprocate loyalty, and what are the most practical ways to do it? If artisan coffee shops can, so can we. Join our panel of hotel customer loyalty specialists and hear their tried and tested strategies for creating long standing relationships.

Speakers include: Richard Fraiman, CEO, The Good Hotel Guide; Rachael Mitchell, General Manager, Worcester Whitehouse; Steve Risk, Founder, Inspire Loyalty; Edmund Inkin, Owner, Eat Drink Sleep; Lucie Moseley, Head of UK Marketing, Global Merchant Services, American Express.

Designs for Life

The editorial team from Hotel Designs magazine present a ‘power hour’ workshop, detailing how to use design to create an authentic and individual hotel brand. From typefaces to toilets, cutlery to cocktail lists, and special events to chef’s specialities, here’s how you create an appealing and memorable hospitality environment.

Speakers include: Hamish Kilburn, Editor, Hotel Designs; Anant Sharma, CEO, Matter of Form; Chris Hill, Hotel Operations Director; Thwaites Hotel Group; Emma King, head of Interior Design, IHG.

Now over to the Innovation Stage in partnership with eviivo. The backdrop is designed by Elli Pop, with tropical murals and clever colour palettes setting the stage for the following seminars.

 Innovation Stage in partnership with eviivo

Tues 16 October

The Hotel Room of the Future

With design and innovation at its core, the Independent Hotel Show will this year reveal ‘The Hotel Room of the Future’, in partnership with Two’s Company Interior Design. A sequel to 2017’s ‘Perfect Hotel Bedroom’ installation, ‘The Hotel Room of the Future’ will be designed to incorporate technology and products that will become the norm in the next decade. Learn about the creation of The Hotel Room of the Future in a dedicated report presenting forecasts, opinions and comments from tech, hotel and media experts, and learn how it all came together in a stimulating talk.
Speakers: Petra Clayton, MD, Custard Communications; Rodney Hoinkes, Chief Insight & Innovation Officer, Fresh Montgomery; Gilly Craft, BIID President and Partner & Designer, Two’s Company Interiors

Designing the 21st Century

We look at the future of hospitality design with SPACE magazine and in association with NEWH (Network of Executive Women in Hospitality). Will the trend for quirkiness and authenticity define our hotel interiors for decades to come, or is a new, defining look about to emerge? What are our options as owners and interior designers? Find out at this intriguing panel discussion.

Speakers: Can Faik, editor SPACE; Caroline Cundall, Director Interior Design – Europe, IHG; David Morris, Creative Director, Studio Proof; Dennis Irvine, Director, Dennis Irvine Studio

Break the Chain!

The web has levelled the playing field for independent hoteliers when it comes to competing with the large chains, but with so many options online, how can you ensure that you win on the web? This synopsis of what’s hot online right now, and what will be through the coming year, with easy to implement hints and tips from industry experts eviivo, will help keep you ahead.

Speakers include: Ed Goldswain, Marketing Director, eviivo; Matthew Bowkett, Commercial Manager, eviivo

Lessons from the Master of Customer Service

The fine art of service is now more important, and arguably more mercurial, than ever. So we’re honoured to feature a keynote interview with Diego Masciaga, the consensus top maitre‘d in Britain, if not the world. Diego has recently stepped down after three decades as GM at The Waterside Inn to focus on speaking and mentoring, and we’re pleased to be one of the earliest beneficiaries of this decision. Rather marvellously, Diego will be interviewed by Peter Hancock, Chief Executive of Pride of Britain Hotels. Don’t miss what’s bound to be an enlightening, and thoroughly uplifting, conversation.

Bite-Sized F&B Hacks

Tips and tactics to ramp up your food and beverage options, with no major distractions involved! We’ll show you the contemporary drinks and dishes that’ll keep your menus fresh, and showcase some possible ‘easy wins’ such as premium food delivery, plus we take a look at outsourcing strategies like pop-up stores in the lobby or weekend farmers’ markets. It’s F&B without the grind!

Speakers include: Richard Savage, Flavour Feed; Jayson Perfect, Managing Director, Butcombe Brewery; ben Palmer, Head Chef, Glazebrook House Hotel; Graeme Nesbit, F&B Director, Handpicked Hotels; Philip Bolson, General Manager, The Grand York.

Wednesday 17 October

Meet UK Hospitality

Kate Nicholls is the CEO of UK Hospitality, a new lobbying body formed from existing hotel and pub associations. Kate is granted fantastic access to the UK government’s culture secretary and other key decision makers – find out which way the wind is blowing, and get a firm grip on the kind of language required to negotiate productively with civic bodies.

Win on the Web

What are your guests really looking for when researching their stays online, and how can you best engage with them? Our panel of industry experts give practical tips on how best to present yourself online and communicating with guests via email to maximise your bookings. And award-winning hoteliers highlight how taking the theory and putting it in to practice really works. No jargon, nothing too techy, just stuff you can go back and do straight away!’

Experience Points

‘Guests want experiences’ is the phrase you’ll hear over again in topical conversations. But what actually is an ‘experience’? And how might it differ from the atmosphere, and the activities, that your hotel offers already? Is it about more than just a social media opportunity? We’ve brought together some of the most refreshing minds in UK hospitality to guide you through this nuanced shift in consumer needs.
Speakers include: Holly Tuppen, freelance travel writer

The New Wellness Revolution

So many new health-related products are emerging, that it’s become more straightforward for your hotel to make wellness a revenue stream. And that’s without major spa investment in a spa! Many new wellness products are technology related – from hiking (or ‘forest bathing’ as it’s known in the field) smartphone apps, to ‘sleep machines’ that generate snooze-friendly noises and regulate patterns. Our panel separates the panaceas from the placebos.
Speakers: Liz Holmes, Founder & Director, Commercial Spa Strategies; Beata Aleksandrowicz, Founder, Pure Massage Spa Training Method; Sarah Morris, Spa Manager, Spa 15 at Great Pulteney; John Walker, Director, Walker Simpson Architects; Tara Moore, Spa Manager, Galgorm Resort & Spa

Social Media for 2019 & Beyond

The world of digital communications evolves at the most rapid of rates. What do you need to know, to make your social media activity both impactful and economical? Has the algorithm change wrecked Instagram – or has Snapchat-style Instagram Stories saved it? Is Facebook fake? Is Twitter having a revival? Is it just not right for you, like Wetherspoons decided? Find out today!


For more information on the Independent Hotel Show 2018 and to register your attendance, visit