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Lodging Supplier Community Calls HI Connect Major Success

Suppliers experienced the HI Connect® difference and they’re already looking ahead to the 2015 edition.

Thursday, May 01, 2014
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While HI Connect® was heralded by attendees as a massive unprecedented triumph; suppliers too are sharing a similar sentiment. During the three days of HI Connect®, held April 2-4, 2014 in Nashville, TN, suppliers loved this exciting vision for a reimagined tradeshow 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.

This format drew a higher level of decision maker, and the show floor was flooded with hotel brand CEOs and Presidents, hotel owners, management company leadership and top level hotel company buyers.

At HI Connect® attendees were able to shop and learn by understanding how products work together contextually to create winning guest experiences. And that proved to be the key to engaging attendee buyers in making on site purchasing decisions.

Massively scaled in size, HI Connect® is the hospitality tradeshow reimagined and featured the industry’s finest designers, suppliers, architects and purchasing companies that created real environments, or “vignettes” in more than 100,000 square feet of show space. By presenting products in context, a more sophisticated level of conversation was inspired, officially changing the way industry insiders get business done.

Suppliers are already marking their calendars to ensure they’re part of HI Connect® when it returns to Nashville, TN March 25-27, 2015.

Skip Weitzen
Skip Weitzen of JVA Art Group said his company has participated in all three HI Connect® shows to date because it gives his company a benefit other trade shows by nature cannot offer. “The advantage of HI Connect® versus a typical tradeshow is that we are able to put the art into context. We are able to explain in an actual room setting why art works.

“Here we are able to take a product and put it into an actual setting as if the room was going to be translated for an owner in his actual project. So HI Connect® is a place we are able to engage with designers and hotel owners and build relationships and begin discussions of projects they have where we could then begin translating our art into their venues. We are not able to execute that at a typical tradeshow,” Weitzen concluded.

HI Connect® is also focused on forging career long relationship building starting with holistic collaborations due to the unique structure of the event. And unlike other industry events, that pre event collaboration led to supplier sales months before the show began.

Javed Bhaghani
Javed Bhaghani, President of Biscayne Hospitality, a case goods manufacturer, said unprecedented relationship building is the HI Connect® difference for his company.

“What I enjoy about HI Connect® is we are in a very linear industry, manufacturers on one side, end-users on the other. But HI Connect® is making this industry very circular because the event is about collaboration. With collaboration we can create a better product faster and with more success. One of the advantages of HI Connect® is we believe we are in the trust building business. Whereas other tradeshows are real product focused, here at HI Connect® you are able to create trust in relationships,” said Bhagani.

Robert Dubani
Robert Duban, EVP Sales Kravet Contract, which creates fabrics, furniture, wall coverings, trimmings, carpets and accessories, loves the ability to partner with vignette designers to show a lot of breadth of what his company can do.

“At HI Connect® we find from a vendor standpoint is our ability to work with many different designers and showcase a lot of product. It is getting better and better every year. HI Connect® is the tradeshow for us,” said Duban.

But participating in vignettes is not the only way suppliers are finding ways to build their businesses in an event allowing only qualified suppliers and buyers to attend. They’re finding unbeatable networking opportunities in spaces designed for and conducive to impromptu meetings.

Robert Dubani
“This is a very different trade show in that you get to mingle with the people here because it is not about them walking up to a booth,” said Michael Turnbull, Sales Manager, Totally Green. “You network while walking around, which makes it far more engaging than any traditional other trade show I have ever been to. I will definitely be back next year.”

Mark your calendars now to ensure you’re free when HI Connect® returns to Nashville, TN March 25-27, 2015. For a taste of the 2014 edition check out www.hiconnectdesgin.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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