Independent Hotel Show launches its seminar programme

Sustainability, staffing and strategies for success will be some of the subjects in the spotlight at the Independent Hotel Show this year, with a range of in-depth discussions covering everything from ESG funding to powerful automations, to what it takes to secure industry accolades …

panel discussion chaired by Hotel Designs editor Hamish Kilburn at IHS

Inspiring independent hoteliers and hospitality industry experts are set to take to the stage at the Independent Hotel Show, on 4-5 October at Olympia London, for two packed days of learning and discovery. In addition to the sessions on the Innovation Stage, in partnership with eviivo, and the Hotel Vision stage, in partnership with HotelPartner, guests at the show will also have the opportunity to meet with independent industry experts at the Business Solutions Bar, presented by HOSPA & HMA, and gain confidential advice across tech, marketing and more tailored to their specific business needs.

The show will kick off with a session delving into an important feature area at the event: The Inclusive Hotel Room. Designed by Cocoon & Bauer, this immersive hotel room will showcase how thoughtful, intelligent design can prevent sensory overwhelm and create truly welcoming, inclusive and sustainable spaces. The session will see Hotel Designs Editor Hamish Kilburn interview Cocoon & Bauer’s Peter Turner on this year’s design, plus Nicholas Sunderland of NSI Design, designer of 2018’s Hotel Room of the Future, will reflect on the evolution of the room’s key themes and ideas four years on.

Highlights across the two stages include:

How do we join together as a community to fill the hole in hospitality staffing? Andy Boer of The Edge Hotel School is joined by UKHospitality’s Sandra Kelly, Veryan Palmer of The Headland Cornwall and Greg Fruchenicht of non-profit Saira Hospitality as they look toward the next generation of hospitality professionals and how we can keep them enthused and engaged for years to come.

Elevating the hotel restaurant. James Stagg, Editor of The Caterer, takes to the stage to moderate this all-star panel of chefs including Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa’s Ricki Weston, Howards House Hotel’s Andy Britton and Rob Jones of Upham Pub Group as they discuss the challenge of creating creative and delicious dishes in the face of supply chain issues, calorie counting menus and sustainability aspirations.

Hotels are not just a place to lay your head: the future is multifaceted. Independent Hotel Show Ambassador Peter Hancock talks alternative profit avenues, creative additional offerings and the evolution of the hotel business model with Hotel Brooklyn’s Paul Bayliss, Tara Robinson of Eden Hotel Collection and Chris Penn of Birch Community.

To connect or to disconnect: how should we be designing hotel spaces for the future? Design Insider’s Alys Bryan hosts this session on predicting the needs of the travellers in the years to come, and the importance of tech in the hotel of the future, alongside Design LSM’s Holly Hallam and Nicholas Hickson of THDP.

“I’m delighted to be part of a live panel at the show this year,” commented Tara Robinson, Eden Hotel Collection. “It’s always an event not to be missed: full of innovation, ideas and inspirational speakers. Plus, the show is totally unique as it’s geared specifically around the boutique hotel market.”

This year’s event will also see the return of the Social Business Space, sponsored by Planet and designed by Taner’s Sons, where sessions from the main stages will be continued in the form of informal roundtable discussions for hoteliers wishing to explore the issues further and hear from peers in the industry.

To view the full seminar programme for this year’s event, or to register for your complimentary trade ticket, head to

Main image credit: Independent Hotel Show