With dynamic speakers from Brazil, Sweden and the UAE, the third annual HotelSpaces retreat had an international flavor, maintaining its intimate atmosphere while drawing more than 200 hospitality leaders to the Casa Marina Resort in Key West, FL.
Speakers like architect and TV host Danny Forster (“Build It Bigger”/”Prefab Nation”), Michael Tall (Charlestowne Hotels), Nick Muir (citizenM Hotels), Benjamin Calleja (Livit) and Himank Goswami (Emaar Hospitality) shared unique insights on a range of cutting-edge topics, including modular construction, adaptive reuse, how AI can enhance the guests and successfully tackling escalating construction costs.
Participation in HotelSpaces is by invitation-only. Invited guests lead development, design, construction and engineering for the world’s top hotel brands and owners/operators.
Mentalist Oz Pearlman
HotelSpaces 2018 featured an opening night oceanfront dinner with a performance by renowned mentalist Oz Pearlman. Almost perfect weather allowed guests to get the most out of a 28-mile Jet Ski Tour around the Island and a leisurely, scenic bike tour of the town, offering a behind-the-scenes look at the private homes and the unique architectural mix of this historic community.
“We want it to feel more like a retreat than a conference,” said Michael Owens, Managing Partner of New York-based influence group, which produces the event.
Intimate and Impactful
Speakers and guests praised the event, not only for the content and networking but for its core purpose—bringing top vendors and hospitality industry executives together in a way that facilitates one-on-one networking and builds long-term friendships, Owens said.
HotelSpaces curates a diverse group of leading suppliers with one-on-one meetings scheduled prior to the event. Participants included development, design and construction executives and vendors representing flooring, roofing, lighting and other services as well as architects and designers.
“Compared to a typical big trade show, at the end of HotelSpaces you should feel you know the majority of the people there. There is tremendous access. Everyone who attends is open and willing to share insights and best practices. There’s an overall vibe of collaboration that you never get at a traditional conference or trade show,” he emphasized.
“We believe offering great events is just the beginning. We’re in the relationship business, something out repeat customers understand.”
Danny Forster, a returning speaker, was excited to address an audience eager to learn more about the modular projects his firm is designing. "It was great! I had the honor of speaking at the first HotelSpaces three years ago. It was an engaged audience. With a group like this, you can speak more intensely about the topics,” he said.
Architect and TV host Danny Forster
Attending for the second time, Sao Paulo-based Paulo Mancio, AccorHotels’ SVP Design, Technical & Construction, found HotelSpaces: "Very well organized and very professional. People who missed this event, missed out on good networking. All of the big companies are here and the good qualified vendors/suppliers are here. I would advise everyone to come to HotelSpaces."
"I was at HotelSpaces last year as well and it is one of the finest hospitality networking events that I have ever been to,” Himank Goswami. Senior Manager, Design and Technical Services- Emaar Hospitality Group, while David Black, Managing Director, Project & Development Services, Hotels & Hospitality for JLL, added, "I find HotelSpaces to be a great venue for an intense/collaborative effort with a lot of different owners. It's a casual environment where you get to know people on a personal level as well as a professional level."
Randy Gaines, Senior VP Operations & New Development for Hilton Worldwide, summed it up: "One word that describes the HotelSpaces experience is Collaboration. It's fantastic!"
Check out over 300 photos from HotelSpaces '18 here.
“This is especially cool for our guests because they’ll be able to see the resort just a few months after its gone through a complete transformation. Plus we will be in town during the Austin City Limits festival. It’s gonna be another unforgettable gathering that hotel execs won’t want to miss !” Owens said.