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HI Connect 2014 Attendees Declare Show Big Hit

Hotel Interactive Inc.'s HI Connect® was so successful, high caliber attendees just had to share their accolades about the event’s depth of opportunity.

Thursday, April 24, 2014
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The success of this month’s HI Connect® is reverberating around the industry and positive buzz is reaching a fevered pitch. Attendees are eagerly sharing their thoughts as to how in its third year, HI Connect®, which was held April 2-4 in Nashville, TN, is now an undeniably proven concept giving hoteliers the chance to not just experience the latest designs contextually, but also grow their businesses.

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. HI Connect® is the only trade show engaging professionals by cultivating interaction and relationships in a way hospitality executives would appreciate because of how vignettes, culinary experiences, accredited educational sessions and other elements connect people in meaningful relationship and business building activities.

Roger Bloss
Roger Bloss, CEO, Vantage Hospitality, which is the world’s eighth largest hotel company has attended each year since its inception. “We are doing a new prototype for Lexington Collection and what better place to find suppliers and new designers and ideas for my new prototype. This show will help me put it over the top.

"As a multiple brand leader, trade shows are not something I engage in on a daily basis. But here I get to see all the new products not

only by look and touch, I get to speak to the people behind them as well. The set up here is unique,” said Bloss, referring to how HI Connect® is the hospitality tradeshow reimagined, featuring the industry’s finest designers, suppliers, architects and purchasing companies that created 50 real environments, or “vignettes.” By presenting products in context, a more sophisticated level of conversation was inspired, officially changing the way industry insiders get business done.

Andrew Alexander
Andrew Alexander, President of Red Roof Inn also attended the event, walking the show floor to seek inspiration for his company that’s looking to up its design quotient with its new Red Roof initiative.

“It was a great experience, HI Connect® is a conference with a different feel than other industry conferences. This gives us an opportunity to learn and hear about design in the industry. We are about innovation and I came hoping to see different ways we can elevate the brand,” said Alexander.

Hotel ownership and management groups loved it as well. 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, or enjoyed a glass of wine or espresso while listening to top local talent in the unique Switch caf® while discussing implementing the ideas presented on the show floor. Attendees also shared handcrafted cocktails and conversation in the concierge lounge and bars as others explored experimental spaces that if implemented are sure to create loyal customers for developers and owners.

Jerry Cataldo
Jerry Cataldo, President and CEO of Hostmark Hospitality Group loves the different format of HI Connect. “We think it is the most unique show in the industry. And if you are a visual person it is a lot easier to see what a product will look like in your hotel or how it can be applied to your hotel. It’s a lot easier than looking at a design board or sketch,” said Cataldo.
Pratik Patel
Pratik Patel, AAHOA Chairman and Prinicpal of REM Hospitality said the event is a must attend for owners and developers.HI Connect® has taken the time to find the right partners for owners to make sure they get the exposure they need, but they also bring the creativity and the ideas that are inspirational. When you look around you see the value of their vignettes and see the future of the industry. I will definitely come back next year,” said Patel.

Meanwhile, companies like Marriott International and Starwood are looking forward to bringing their entire purchasing and design teams to next year’s HI Connect® taking place in Nashville from March 25-27, 2015.

Dave Lippert
Dave Lippert, VP FF&E Procurement, Architecture & Construction, Marriott International, who has attended all three HI Connect® shows thinks everyone who is qualified should be present next year. Marriott’s in house design team also created an award winning vignette this year. “It is really getting better each year and think you should give strong consideration to being here. I know I’ll be here,” said Lippert.

“We are always looking for new and different design firm talent to work on our brands and our projects and to take a look at vendors and new products available, said Bethany Warner, Design Manager at Starwood Hotels & Resorts. “For us this tradeshow was unique

Bethany Warner

compared to a lot of the shows we have been to. It has allowed us to spend time with designers and

vendors and engage with them and see their products and get an idea of what they do. The scale of the show is really great and you have the opportunity to create those relationships and have those one-on-ones.”

Mark your calendars now to ensure you’re free when HI Connect Design's returns to Nashville, TN March 25-27, 2015. For a taste of the 2014 edition check out www.hiconnectdesign.com. Information on the 2015 edition will be revealed in the coming months but if you want to get involved now call 631-424-7755 x150 for immediate assistance.

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