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Wed 4 Jun 2008 04:00 AM

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The Hotel Show highlights

What can visitors expect from this year's edition of the Hotel Show? Caterer Middle East talks to show organiser Maggie Moore to find out.

What can visitors expect from this year's edition of the Hotel Show? Caterer Middle East talks to show organiser Maggie Moore to find out.

What's new for the 2008 edition of the Hotel Show?

It's 20% bigger than last year, and I expect we will probably have about 18% more exhibitors, because some of our exhibitors are returning and taking up a lot more space.

Several of our exhibitors who tried it out last year are coming back this year with a much more prominent presence, because there is a huge interest.

The show will run from Zabeel Hall two all the way through halls one to six, and there is also the ballroom, which Al Aqili Furnishings is taking over as the Al Aqili Pavilion.

Our technology and security sector, which we launched last year, has been massively successful this year, and it has almost doubled in size.

Our key sponsor in that area is Samsung, which is sponsoring the technology lounge, where people can use as a breakout space for small meetings or to access the internet through wireless hotspots.

In Hall one this year we have a textiles section, which is taking the same space the technology section took last year.

There are some fantastic names in there: Maison d'Art, Rubelli Sahco, Jim Thompson and Nobilis.

We have also launched the Corporate Catwalk this year. Uniforms are an incredibly important part of any hotel, so it made sense for us to have a good look at that area.

There are four companies signed up to it - because it is our first year, we weren't expecting a massive response.

We are running a student design competition alongside the Corporate Catwalk, and the winner of that will get an internship with Simon Jersey.

That's really exciting; we have had three universities sign up to that.

Who are the key exhibitors?

All our exhibitors are key exhibitors, of course! But if you look at the larger stands, Tala Holdings is a new Japanese company that manufactures in the Philippines.

Baz Real Estate is a developer. The property it was showing last year has now become the Copthorne Hotel, so I imagine this year they will have another property on display.

We have a lot of big names in the technology sector - there are Sony, Bond Communications, Samsung, and Alpha Data - and it is part of the show that people take very seriously.

We are delighted with the response we have received from the textile exhibitors, and we are going to do our very best to make sure they have a fantastic show.

It is very gratifying to see them here in such force, and there are some great names there.

Sealy Mattress has taken a much bigger stand [than last year], and A Ronai has a large presence, and is sponsoring the Corporate Catwalk.

We also have Fino International, which is new this year; Nakkash Gallery, which is returning in force; and Depa, which is our industry partner again.

Al Aqili Furnishings will also be returning this year, and we have a new company with a very big presence called Moha Simplified, from Spain.

What are going to be the highlights of the Seven Star Conference that is running alongside the Hotel Show?

The conference is going to run across three days this year. We have 24 sessions with international speakers from everywhere, from Singapore to the UK, to Canada, Australia and Holland.

Trevira CS, which is sponsoring the conference, will be demonstrating videos of hotel room fires and the effects of different textiles in hotel rooms during a fire situation.We have an architect coming in from Brazil who is leading the push for more eco-friendly buildings in South America.

In many ways Brazil is facing the same problems as the Middle East in terms of large numbers of developments.

Global Futures and Foresight's Rohit Talwar will be making a report announcement on the first day of the show about the state of the Middle East tourism industry. He will also be taking two of the seminars.

E Horner and Associates' Ted Horner will be back, talking about the future guestroom, in terms of trends, challenges and the latest innovations.

Dimis Michaelides from Performa will be talking about the art of innovation, and he is using magic in his presentation, which will be quite interesting.

And Markus Oberlin from Farnek Avireal will be very interesting, because he believes hotels in the Middle East can save a million Dirhams a year off their bottom line just by controlling their air-conditioning better.

Godwin Austen Johnson partner Keith Gavin will be talking about the social sustainability of resort architecture. He has found that by going back to the designs of traditional Arabic villages you automatically save energy, because you have narrow streets, thick walls and small windows.

There is also a panel on F&B trends in the region, including the smoking ban and F&B, Sharia compliant F&B and new concepts in the region.

So there is quite a selection of things going on.

What do you see in the future for the Hotel Show?

Ultimately we are working towards proper sectorisation of the show. Hopefully, we will do a soft-opening on that next year, with a view to going live shortly.

It is such a dramatic change in the way the national pavilions will see themselves presented that you have to take a softly-softly approach, and you have to make it worth it.

Once the show gets to this sort of size, however, and appeals to a broad audience, you need some sectorisation.

An accountant coming to the show looking for a system to control his food stock is not wanting to go from one end of the show and back to look at three different companies - he's going to want to find everyone in the same place.

We ask the exhibitors each year what they would like to see next, and what we can do to make it bigger and better.

Ultimately, we are going to please the exhibitors by pleasing the visitors, and making it easy for them.

What do you want people to get out of the Hotel Show this year?

I want people to be able to find their way around the show easily, and to have a comfortable and pleasant experience while they are looking at products.

For the exhibitors, I hope they meet interesting, knowledgeable and important visitors - the decision makers who know what is happening in the industry and what direction it is heading in.

And I want everyone to have a really good time!

With the industry spotlight on going green, what is the Hotel Show doing to be more environmentally friendly?

The overriding topic of this year's seminar programme is sustainability, so we are having a green show.

Outside the seminars, we are giving out jute bags, instead of laminated cardboard bags.

It is a totally natural fibre, and hopefully people will take these bags home with them and use them when they are shopping instead of plastic bags.Our conference folders are also made of jute, and with those you are going to get a pencil and a couple of sheets of paper, and you are not going to need much more because the conference handouts are going to be loaded on the website each morning - so there will be no paper handouts.

Our press office at the Hotel Show is going to be paper-free, as much as we can make it. We are asking anyone who has anything to announce to the press to bring it on a memory stick or CD, so it can be given out electronically.

We have the website set up to take that, and there will be a download facility for journalists working at the show.

Going green is definitely a consideration for the industry, and therefore it's something the suppliers to the industry are going to have to take seriously.

Guests are being given the option to go green, and they are also being encouraged to take that option.

The Hotel Show 2008 runs from June 8-10, from 10am to 7pm daily, at the Dubai International Exhibition Centre, Dubai.

Conference scheduleJune 8

10:00 The Power of Details Henry Wong, president, WGD Architects

11:00 Comparison Room Burn Demo Anke V, manager market development, Trevia

12:00 Sustainability in the Brazilian Construction Context Vanessa Gomes, assistant professor at the School of Civil Engineering, Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce

13:00 Update to Follow Dr Gerald Huber, Schletterer Wellness & Spa Design

14:00 The Future of Travel and Tourism in the Middle East Rohit Talwar, CEO and founder, Global Future & Foresight

15:00 The Future Guestroom - Trends, Challenges and Innovations Ted Horne MD, E Horner & Associates

16:00 Sustainability for the Flooring Industry Wiley Jones, regional ice president, Shaw Industries

17:00 The Perfect Principles of Global Leadership for Hospitality Managers & Executives Kelly Watkins, founder, Expressive Concepts

June 9

10:00 New Technology for Spas and Clubs Mike Preston, founder, Prismea

11:00 The Art of Innovation - Integrating Creativity in Organisations Dimis Michaelides, MD, Performa

12:00 Simplicity and Sustainability Vanessa Gomes, director of design, Ministry of Design PTE, Singapore

13:00 Win-Win for Hotels and the Environment - how to reduce energy consumption and cut costs Markus Oberlin, GM, Farnek Avireal

14:00 The Social Sustainability for Resort Architecture Keith Gavin, partner, Godwin Austen Johnson

15:00 Convergence in Hospitality John Grew, ICT Consultancy & Project Management Services

16:00 Flowers are Free - In the Luxury Hotel Market Steven Eisenhart, founder, Flowers by Contempo, and guest speaker Nemo Nauta, Dutch Floral Master and European Floral

Design Champion

17:00 Food & Beverage Trends in the Region - Non-smoking F&B, Sharia-compliant F&B, Outside Catering - Panel Discussion with Guy Roukaerts, consultant

June 10

10:00 Ensuring the Sustainability of your Travel Proposition Rohit Talwar, CEO and founder, Global Future & foresight

11:00 Staff Retention: Tips for Rookie Managers Leslie Grogan, Marketboomer International

12:00 The Changing Landscape of Hospitality Technology Harbans Singh, president,

Soft Brands

13:00 Updates to Follow Rudie Hoess, GM, Belight

14:00 Design for Sustainability and Innovative Materials for the Hotel Industry Claude Brube, senior designer,

FIIDA

15:00 Making the Most of Network Opportunities Katrina Prentice, author/speaker/strategist

16:00 Using Technology to Create Smart Buildings Shukri Eid, CISCO

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