The 11th HI Design EMEA took place on the 1-3 June at the Epic Sana in Lisbon Portugal

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280 senior position delegates attended HI DESIGN EMEA, comprising Buyers, Suppliers, Speakers and Media Partners.

Buyer Breakdown


Interior Architects, Interior Designers and Hotel project leaders responsible for hospitality interior design developments across Europe, Middle East and Africa. They are drawn from architect and interior design practices, hotel owners and operators, and procurement companies operating in the region.

117 buyer delegates representing 81 companies from 17 countries attended HI DESIGN EMEA 2016

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Manufacturers of a wide spectrum of FF&E products and services applicable for hospitality interior specification across 34 product categories.

153 supplier delegates representing 88 companies from 23 countries attended HI DESIGN EMEA 2016

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This year a record 1705 private, face-to-face meetings took place. These were conducted between the buyer and supplier delegates who had pre-selected in advance of the event whom they wished to meet.

When it comes to learning about new products and suppliers, it's the single best use of our time all year.

Quentin Dante – Studio Q

Another great Event bringing together many of the top Hotel and Design firms that naturally offer a Supplier organization a valuable and worthwhile opportunity to promote their products and cultivate genuine and long lasting business relationships that are often unavailable in other venues. A truly valuable event.

Clark Scott – Alger-Triton


The 2016 programme consisted of two sessions on both days and this years line up was:

'What on earth is going on?' - What's been happening and what's up next.
Jamie Chappell – Global Business Director, Horwath HTL
Rolf Schmidt, Founder and Managing Owner of TOPHOTELPROJECTS

We experienced double the excitement this year as Jamie and Rolf took the stage together to deliver a part historic, part futuristic picture of the hotel sector in the Europe region. The two speakers' companies, Horwath HTL and TopHotelProjects, teamed up in 2015 to collaborate on data sharing and presented jointly for the first time at HI Design. Horwath HTL are specialists in hotel performance data across the world, and Jamie, in his inimitable style, presented the most interesting and outstanding highlights of what has been going on over the last few years within the region, and more importantly, why.

TopHotelProjects specialise in tracking the hotel development pipeline. They maintain a comprehensive overview of all major hotel projects, refurbishments and extensions worldwide. Their online database currently holds over 5,000 live and confirmed projects. Rolf Schmidt presented the stand out details of what is expected to happen, where and why.

Keynote Seminar - 'Not looking back' - a chat with Michael Bedner
Michael Bedner, former CEO & Chairman of Hirsch Bedner & Associates and Partner, Apeiron Miami

A very rare opportunity was had to meet and hear from one of the true legends of the hospitality design world. Michael Bedner, with Howard Hirsch, founded the world's largest hospitality design firm, Hirsch Bedner Associates over fifty years ago. After Hirsch's death in 1997, Michael led the company as Chairman and CEO for many years. Hirsch and Bedner revolutionised hospitality design by creating a totally new professional discipline. In his time with HBA, Michael became a leader in expanding the vision of the hospitality design business to include resorts, boutique hotels, cruise ships, restaurants, casinos, spas and a myriad of other projects. Under his leadership, HBA raised the bar in every area of hospitality design.

Due to illness, Michael was unable to be at HI Design in 2011 to give his talk, yet bounced back at HI Design Asia later the same year and received a standing ovation from the delegates. His welcome return saw him in conversation with Guy Dittrich, giving some fascinating insight into his career as a top designer and leader, and also sharing some of the latest developments in his new venture, Apeiron.

No Straight Lines. What next for business?
Alan Moore – Author

Disruption in the last five years has arrived unexpected and unannounced at the door of every industry. So called Unicorn companies slay the business model of entire industries seemingly overnight, cheered on by slavering venture capitalists. We have buzzwords such as,“Big Data”,“IoT”, smart cities, 3D printing, drones and wearable tech. It leaves you stunned as to what exactly is going on. Then we get the tsunami of Artificial intelligence set to decimate 50 million jobs in a decade.

It has been in reality a two decade process of transformation of the business and social landscape. The final frontier Captain Kirk might say is in fact the financial sector. Fintech as it is known, combined with the mysterious blockchain technology is as revolutionary as Tim Berners-Lee’s invention of the www. If we would describe our industrial age as linear the world we now enter is non-linear. The world of No Straight Lines ushers in entirely new ways of thinking about how a business, an industry, an organisation works - what we make, and, who we make it with. So what does next for business look like?

We are presented with a design challenge - how can we make business not only more efficient, and more effective but also more beautiful? Human beings experience the world through their senses. It is to these we must now pay serious attention.

Designing experiences which delight, inspire, and salve the minds and bodies of travellers, explorers and anyone else that might turn up on the doorstep of a hotel for a few nights stay. This has always been the mainstay of the hospitality industry. In this world of No Straight Lines it will be the most innovative and most creative who design their businesses to be beautiful in every way that will thrive.

Eat, drink and design – the future of F&B design in hotels - Panel Discussion
Martin Jones, VP Food & Beverage Europe, FRHI Hotels & Resorts
Afroditi Krassa, Founder and Principal, AfroditiKrassa
Damien Follone, Project Designer, F&B | Wimberly Interiors
Elodie Noel, Area Director Technical Services , West Europe - North & West Africa, The Rezidor Hotel Group

Looking at the feedback from delegates over the past few years, it was clear that there's a real appetite for a F&B Design session. Arguably the fastest moving area in hospitality design and one that can be very profitable, getting the F&B offering right is not just desirable, it's absolutely critical. A Regional Food & Beverage executive and a Corporate Interior Design Director from two of the world's leading hotel groups, joined by two F&B Design specialists with high profile F&B Design successes under their belts discussed how important good F&B design really is within hotels. Also discussed was - are the design factors that lead to profitable outlets? Can great design really trump a poor F&B offering? How does the F&B requirement within hotels differ across the Europe region? What's next on the menu in the ever evolving world of hospitality F&B?

Supplier Showcase

In one dedicated session, each of the 88 supplier companies had tabletop space to present more of their products. The showcase allowed buyers to further browse and experience products as well as provided an opportunity for additional meetings outside of the pre-scheduled meetings programme.


Breakfasts, lunches, evening functions, excursions and free time periods provided abundant opportunities to network for the benefit of the delegatesʼ business. All delegates attended the Welcome buffet, Middle Night informal dinner and a Farewell dinner on the three evenings providing a means for everyone to relax and enjoy networking with their peers in a way simply not possible at traditional trade shows.

We also hosted our Buyer Only networking session, which allowed the Buyers to mingle with each other exclusively, exploring mutual interest opportunities. The Suppliers also had the opportunity to network with each other at the Supplier Networking session, sponsored by TOPHOTELPROJECTS.

Some most informative discussion, along with some great new contacts.

Jason John, The Parker Company

Several new potential clients and pushing current projects forward. a great "one-stop-shop" experience.

Emily Mann – P/Kaufmann Contract

Pre-event excursion

This years pre-event tour took place in the afternoon before the Welcome dinner. Delegates took the opportunity to meet informally with some of their fellow delegates before the event. The afternoon consisted 17 TUK TUKs arriving at the Epic Sana and the delegates getting in groups of 4 and heading off for a city tour. Various stops where made – firstly stopping at the highest point in Lisbon allowing us a spectacular view of the city. Then stopping at one of the towns to sample an award winning ‘Ginjinha’ a sour cherry liquor, and finally stopping at Belém to see The grand Mosteiro dos Jeronimos and sample the very delicious Pastel de nata (custard tart) at the best bakery in town Pastéis de Belém. We returned to the Epic Sana around 5:30pm allow delegates time to freshen up before the welcome dinner.

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Facts and Figures

Every year we ask all delegates to tell us about their experience at HI DESIGN EMEA to ensure that we continue to provide a quality, successful event for all those who attend.

97.14% of buyer delegates either strongly agree or agree that HI Design is an excellent investment of their time.

94.29% of Buyer delegates agree that HI DESIGN really helps designers with confirmed hospitality projects to develop relationships with the right partners.

98.32% of all delegates rated the meetings as either excellent or very good.

89.48% of Buyers said they are definitely or likely to be specifying some of the suppliers they met.

74.24% of Suppliers said they are definitely or likely to be specified for future projects.

91.24% of delegates thought the organisation and operations of the event was excellent or very good.

98.48% of Supplier delegates would recommend HI Design as an effective alternative to a traditional trade show.

97.9% of delegates said HI DESIGN EMEA either exceeded their expectation or met their expectation.

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