The recently concluded BITAC® Purchasing & Design West drew praise from hotel executives, who touted both the event’s intimate one-on-one format as well as the innovative product on display.
Held at the Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, the event included educational sessions, in addition to networking opportunities.
First-time attendee Megan Chinowth, interior designer, GH2 Architects, gave the event high marks. “I’m very impressed; I love how intimate everything is. There are so many one-on-one opportunities. Typically at conferences you’ll kind of meet for the first day and you just stick with them for the entire time. This is nice being almost forced to meet people; it’s been awesome. It’s really exciting and I can’t wait to come back,” she commented.
Michele Sweeting, president, MAS Worldwide Hospitality Services, reinforced the point. “What I love about it is you have real quality time to sit down with them [suppliers] and talk to them about things their product could do and maybe they can think about because you have a need or a customer has a need. You get the opportunity to spend time spend with them and actually have that undivided attention for a while,” she noted.
Alesha Calvert, project manager, Wynn Design & Development, also touted the event. “The setting is beautiful and it’s very well organized,” she said.
Calvert pointed out that in addition to catching up with a number of suppliers that the company has already had relationships with, she was introduced to some new ones. She cited specifically ShadeCraft, a Los Angeles-based robotics and technology startup.
Calvert referenced that meeting as an example of how the BITAC® format can be beneficial. “I’m not sure at a [traditional] trade show if that kind of technology can be as easily explained. Because this setting allows for more personal time you can really have that conversation so you can understand. You actually have the time to understand ‘it has a camera, it has this and that and all the bells and whistles,’” she said.
Calvert further added that as a result of a new Wynn expansion project that she had a particular interest in the company’s Sunflower solution, a robotic solar-powered parasol. “It wasn’t just interesting it was applicable to what I was doing. It’s something that fixes a problem that we can use. The technology and approach was very cool and it was different than what I’ve seen before,” she said.
Sweeting, meanwhile, took particular notice of San Diego-based Intelligent Blends, which provides in-room single-serve coffee and tea. “I thought that just the whole concept in terms of the new pods and some of the innovations with how the company is blending for hotels is really interesting. I love the idea that it has blended a unique roast for this hotel. That is very interesting to me because if you think about what everybody’s trying to do—which is to create something that’s a memorable, lasting brand experience for a guest—I thought they hit the nail right on the head,” she commented.
Sweeting further added, “I though the actual development of the product was really good; to me that was a stand out. Again it’s all about customization and curating something that’s unique and special for the guests.”
John Petrov, president, Baldwin Construction & Development, called attention to Everett, WA-based Electric Mirror, which provides lighted mirrors for hospitality.
“I really like the technology the way the mirrors are coming along; it’s amazing how they’re doing so well with that. Every year they seem to amaze me more and more, it’s just a great thing,” he pointed out.
Chinowth touted the offering from Aptations, a Dublin, CA-based company which provides LED bathroom mirrors. “It was great because you tend to use the same people over and over, but you don’t see them face-to-face. So it’s nice to actually sit down with someone, spend a few days with them and now you’re talking business. For that particular area I’ve never met the people that I work with all the time, so that personalization is really nice,” she said.
Chinowth also made mention of Seattle-based Grand Image, a resource for custom artwork. “I really enjoyed speaking with the folks there. It’s just providing another creative outlet that can really help me when I don’t necessarily have time to do that. So I can just hand it over to them,” she concluded.