HI Connect is done and attendees have declared it an unmitigated success.
Now in its third year HI Connect has grown to become an undeniably proven concept to give the hotel industry the power to turn the current good times of the hotel economy into an amazing opportunity for heightened future prosperity.
HI Connect is the only trade show that engages professionals by cultivating interaction and relationships in a way hospitality professionals would appreciate because of the vignettes and culinary experiences that engage people in meaningful relationship bldg. activities. There’s no endless aisles here, just incredibly detailed vignettes where attendees experience collaboration between owners/developers, hoteliers, designers and suppliers.
With attendance up an astounding 89% from the 2013 edition, many of the key hospitality industry players showed up in unprecedented numbers to experience the dozens of fully built vignettes as well as a rich tapestry of hard cutting industry educational panels. They made deals over smoothies in well-orchestrated vignettes, while others dined in our full-scale beautifully designed restaurant, enjoyed a glass of wine or espresso while listening to top local talent in the unique Switch café to discuss implementing the ideas presented.People also shared handcrafted cocktails and conversation in the concierge lounge or bar spaces as others explored experimental spaces that if implemented are sure to create loyal customers for developers and owners.
That merging of worlds is in essence the most intriguing facet of HI Connect, how it's bringing together typically uniquely powerful groups of hospitality professionals. While most events focus on a single discipline such as design or development, HI Connect successfully bridges that seemingly unpassable chasm uniting all elements of the hotel industry into a cohesive event experience.
Sure the top purchasing decision makers were on hand but so were the industry's top ownership groups, management companies and CEOs of major hotel brand companies.
Take his is morning's CEO panel which featured industry leaders.There was Roger Bloss, President & CEO Vantage Hospitality who represented one of the world’s largest hotel companies and whose newest brand Lexington Collection is in the midst of creating a new construction prototype who was seeking smart design ideas from the HI Connect crowd.
Andrew Alexander, President & CEO Red Roof Inns shared how his company is transforming itself into a highly stylized upscale economy lodging product. Then there’s Brian Wogernese, President and CEO, Cobblestone Hotels, whose company’s product is exploding in owner/developer popularity because it fills the small town niche. In just three years the company has 39 open with 14 under construction and astounding 45 more in the pipeline.
Finally Sean Worker, CEO, BridgeStreet Global Hospitality shared the secrets of creating a successful serviced apartments business that now has 50,000 units under six distinct brands.
During their panel discussion they too espoused the need for heightened design aesthetic but with a keen sense for how it relates to the hotel owner while still meeting consumer needs. Read about it here.
Stay tuned to hear more about how HI Connect has galvanized and re-energized the industry by bringing together the top minds in hospitality.
Next year HI Connect 2015 returns to Nashville March 25-27.