Singapore 31st May 2011
Today I spent the whole day at the HA+D (Hotel Architecture and Design) conference listening to interesting topics regarding the future of the hotel industry and networking with people I know, people I had not seen for ages and people I had never met before but had heard of and people I had never met or heard of before…it’s an interesting (and small) world we live in. It’s hard to believe that there are easily more than 100 hotel brands out there in the market. Only a small amount was represented in the conference. The conference was conducted in a ‘round the table” style with a moderator asking questions and the panellists from different back grounds giving their views, interspaced with questions from the audience.
The topics on this first day covered issues such as positioning, brand identity, the relationship between the brand and the designers, the rise of new brands, the influence of designers on the brand development and so on. Very interesting, specifically considering the varied back grounds of the panellists from leading brands such Raffles, Shangri-la to niche brands like Alila or more budget oriented brands like Onyx. A question from the floor on positioning asked what car they would be if their hotel was a car, benchmarking Raffles and Shangri-la as a Mercedes. An interesting question as it forced the panellist to actually think about it. Some wanted to be a Ferrari but admitted they were not much more than a Toyota… J
It was great to see that many mentioned good lighting design as one of the key components for a successful end result. It is a fact that lighting design definitely has found its footing in the hospitality design industry. What struck me is that there was not much talk about the impact on our environment and or the sustainability of the hotel developments, possibly due to the selected topics. As an exception one of the hotel operators (Alila) shared with the delegates that they were using a company called Earth Check in Australia, to monitor their sustainability on a monthly basis. After the conference we all adjourned to a watering hole were the real networking began…. J
In Light Watch today a link to the HAD EXPO and Conference. It is held yearly I believe and travels around the region. Last year’s one was in Macau. Check out the website at www.haplusdexpo.com
Light Watch 100: Picture of last year’s HAD Conference in Macau