Hotelympia goes heavy on industry debate at 2016 show

Hotelympia entrance

Hotelympia’s 2016 stage line-up has been revealed, with the ExCeL London halls set to ring yet again with the sounds of lively debate and inspirational ideas when the show returns this February.

Key issues and topics planned for the event include improving profits, future trends, crowdfunding, banishing bad service, biophilic design, foraging, the chef crisis, Britain’s best new restaurant, the role of the multimedia chef, and affordable interiors.

Hotelympia 2016 is offering visitors the unique opportunity to get up-close-and-personal with some of the most respected names in hospitality, in an itinerary of daily Stage sessions.

Each will offer their own take on the issues of the day – covering multiple topics in depth –giving show visitors the practical advice and know-how to take back to their own operations, a key part of Hotelympia’s ‘Your Show’ remit.

At the beginning of days one, two and four of the show (11am), hospitality veteran and founder of FoodProfits, Marcus Kilvington, will present an energising and thought-provoking business seminar, revealing several tried and tested ways in which to improve profitability. Each day, Kilvington will examine a different sector with hotels, pubs and restaurants firmly under the microscope.

Profit analysis soon turns to trends, with a Monday midday state-of-the sector address from Peter Martin of the Coffer Peach Business Tracker – the industry sales monitor for UK pubs and restaurants.

Keen to know how to attract more custom and which business sectors are the strongest and the weakest? In this session Martin will present an accurate picture of how the pub, hotel and restaurant sectors are trading, while analysing future business trends across hospitality.

At 2pm on day one of Hotelympia, Edwin Kramer, Hotel Manager of the London EDITION, will reveal the secrets behind the success of one of London’s most talked-about boltholes, a magnet for celebrities and stars of film and television.

With crowdfunding proving one of the most hot button areas of discussion in the past 12 months, a dedicated panel including Eric Partaker, co-CEO of Chilango, Fraser Thompson, CEO of Chapel Down and Thomas Davies, Chief Investment Officer, Seedrs, will, on Monday 29th (3pm) debate the risks and rewards of raising capital through this means.

From structure to customer participation and life after crowdfunding, anyone looking to grow their business in this manner should head to the Stage for more insight.

Two key awards are also set to be determined before the close of day one (4pm), the Hotelympia Design Award, which will be crowning the UK’s best designed new restaurant and latterly the culmination of the original Innovation Awards. 18 finalists – showcasing the year’s most ground breaking products in catering equipment, interiors and technology – will be whittled down to just three sector champions and one overall winner.

Tuesday at midday sees award winning hotelier, Robert Nadler, Nadler Hotels, Martin Williams of M Restaurants and Ian Leigh of the Thai Leisure Group talking about how a concept can retain its commercial success and how to roll-it out without losing its personality.

The session will also look closely at existing, well-known brands to discover the secrets of continuous and profitable brand growth.

At 1pm on Tuesday, arguably the best restaurant manager in the business, Diego Masciaga, is set to offer show visitors a unique insight into what it takes to run the front-of-house at a Michelin-starred outlet. Admired and respected by his peers, his leadership has inspired hundreds of young people to progress careers in the hospitality and catering industry.

Tuesday is rounded off in style by celebrity designer, author, writer and TV presenter, Oliver Heath, who will discuss biophilic design – the practice of using elements of nature to create healthier and happier interior environments – and how for some its usage has yielded marked spikes in staff productivity.

Wednesday begins with one of Britain’s most celebrated restaurant designers, Afriditi Krassa, talking about her award-winning work and the inspiration behind projects for Heston Blumenthal, Hilton hotels, Itsu and Dishoom (11am) while acclaimed wild food restaurateurs, Richard and Oliver Gladwin, will follow with a fascinating presentation on the art of Foraging, advising on what to look for, where to find it – in towns and cities as well as in the countryside – and how to add it to the menu (2pm).

At 3pm on Wednesday, one of the biggest stories of the year, the chef shortage, comes into play with a dedicated panel, chaired by Martin-Christian Kent of skills and workforce charity People 1st welcoming a number of high profile guests from the recruitment, training and apprenticeship, college, hotel and restaurant sectors, respectively.

With the industry needing to recruit an additional 11,000 chefs by 2022, the panel, which includes chef recruitment consultant, Dominique Crapart, Marriott Hotels’ European Senior Executive Chef, Sean Kelly, and John Hyde, Executive Chairman of HIT Training, will be looking for solutions to this worsening crisis and welcoming audience input.

Hotelympia’s final day sees one of the most respected and admired industry experts, Hugh Taylor, OBE, offering hints and tips to hotels about maximising their marketing efforts and securing competitive advantage with minimal spend.

The chief executive of hotel management consultancy Michels & Taylor will be imparting simple yet strategic ideas to help operators fulfil their own marketing objectives.

Ella Jade of Ella Jade Interiors will be recognised by many as one of the young stars from BBC’s The Apprentice. She has since forged a successful design business using her design flair and business acumen. At 1pm on Thursday 3rd March, Ella will be offering design tips and advice and looking at trends for the future – a chance for operators to do different and impress new and existing customers with fresh and striking interiors.

The curtain comes down on Hotelympia 2016 with a panel discussion on the rise of the multimedia chef, curated by the London Restaurant network and featuring some of the industry’s most respected names including, Adam Byatt of Trinity Restaurant, restaurateur, chef and author, Mark Sargeant, and Sophie Michell, chef at Pont Street Restaurant.

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