AGENDA

17 June 2019 | 1 Hotel South Beach

Our un-conference rips up the rulebook on conventional conferences with an immersive programme designed to promote collaboration, maximise creativity and cause conversations that will inspire the future of contemporary travel.

FORMAT

Through a series of talks, panels, workshops and experiences, we give you the tools your business needs to translate future trends into the world of contemporary travel.

2019 AGENDA

The stage is set, the location is locked down, and we’re busy filling up an agenda designed to future-proof your business and reframe your view of the world. Here’s how the schedule’s shaping up so far; keep checking back for regular updates.

10:00 - 11:00

NETWORKING

11:10 - 12:00

WHY YOU NEED TO IDENTIFY YOUR BRAND CAUSE AND GIVE IT MEANING

A recent study by Edelman noted that 51% of consumers believe brands have more influence to affect change in society than government. While some organisations are using this as an opportunity to galvanise, without alienating, their consumers, others have opted for bold – and potentially divisive – statements. Against a backdrop of politically aware consumers and engaged media, we’re seeing a new wave of activism that calls on brands to take a moral or political stance.

Delving into the meaning behind brand messages, this session will explore how to identify your brand cause and position it in an authentic, meaningful way, while defining a road map committed to action that avoids lip service.

Read More

11:10 - 12:10

WHY HOSPITALITY IS THE RETAIL INDUSTRY'S NEXT FRONTIER

Shopping malls may be closing at an alarming speed, but unique, memorable retail experiences are thriving as travel destinations. In response, hotels are doubling down on experiential retail: think London’s Hotel Café Royal’s “Fashion Now” service in partnership with matchesfashion.com, or 11 Howard’s trunk show and pop-up shop series. Meanwhile, brands such as Shinola, Muji and West Elm want a piece of the hotel pie, creating physical manifestations of the lifestyle they embody – that are now available for purchase.

This session will discuss the intersection between hospitality and retail, providing an understanding of how and why these industries are more intertwined than ever before – and what brands can do to be part of this movement.

Read More

11:10 - 12:00

HOW THE GLOBAL NOMAD IS SHAPING CONTEMPORARY TRAVEL

Recent years have seen a surge of micro hotels across cities and continents. Just like WeWork spaces, Uber rides, and TaskRabbit jobs, micro hotels are lauded as an inherently millennial concept designed for global nomads. But there’s a lingering question: are they just glorified motels or a new form of hospitality? Microhotels obsessively shave every last amenity down to the barest essentials, which can be interpreted either as minimalism or as cost-cutting (or both). Technology plays a big role in the micro hotel experience, as do big communal spaces. This is the exact opposite of the legacy hotels playbook, and this panel will explore if these two forms compete for the future of hospitality, or peacefully coexist.

Read More

12:10 - 13:00

USING SUSTAINABILITY AND CREATIVITY TO BUILD A BETTER BUSINESS

Embedding sustainable initiatives into the hotel experience is now a well-established trend – and frequently an expectation of the creative class consumer. As we move into this new era of conscious consumption, sustainability poses a new creative challenge: how can brands influence behaviour and create a meaningful legacy?

Following on from the first part of the session, a panel of hoteliers will explore how brands are using innovation and savvy communication to transform consumer and company behaviour; and use case studies to show what happens when creativity and sustainability converge to solve problems across the customer value chain.

Read More

12:10 - 13:00

THE ACQUISITION GAME: WHAT'S NEXT FOR BRAND TAKEOVERS?

If the past year has taught us anything, it’s that the global race for market share among the industry’s big players shows no sign of slowing down, and their sights are set on one thing: ‘brand’. However, we’ve learnt from experience that navigating an acquisition isn’t always conducive to maintaining brand identity, guest experience and customer loyalty.

This panel will discuss what lies ahead for M&As in hospitality; question whether it’s possible to maintain brand integrity after an acquisition; and explore how this will shape the future landscape of the industry.

Read More

12:10 - 13:00

DESIGN THE FUTURE: WHAT LIES AHEAD

13:00 - 14:10

LUNCH

14:10 - 15:00

FROM TRANSFORMATION TO SELF-ACTUALISATION: EXPLORING A NEW NOTION OF LUXURY

Today, inner journeys are as important as physical ones. They are inherently linked to a contemporary definition of luxury, where the most valuable and rare commodities are time, privacy and the ability to disconnect. The ‘luxury’ offerings of today revolve around these new scarcities – think spiritual guides, meditation retreats, wellness supplements and life coaches. Forget about being branded in Gucci, Prada and Balenciaga, the wealthy are on a journey to self-actualisation – not the nearest shopping mall.

This session will look at the traveller’s journey as a whole and identify ways in which brands can tailor their offerings – before, during and after a guest’s stay – to those looking to return home as more fulfilled and transformed versions of themselves.

Read More

14:10 - 15:00

NAVIGATING THE CONSUMER CLIMATE IN THE NEW AGE OF SOCIAL ACTIVISM

#MeToo, #BlackLivesMatter and #NotMyPresident are social movements, communities, calls to action and brands. But while these campaigns might act as a connective tissue for those with shared opinions, they also accentuate the gaps to those who oppose their views. Yet in spite of this fragmented social landscape, a recent study by Grey found that 88% of consumers recognise a need for unity. So, what role do brands play in this predicament?

Putting the customer mindset under the microscope, this session will explore how brands can navigate the current consumer climate and use creativity as a vehicle to connect, represent, reconcile or activate those they speak to.

Read More

14:10 - 15:00

THE MAP AND THE TERRITORY: NAVIGATING THE INTERNET'S AESTHETICS IN THE REAL WORLD

From cosmetics to hotel lobbies to fashion products to food and airport lounges and physical stores and gyms, Instagram is redefining our global aesthetic sense. What we consider beautiful is very much attributed to the feed, which created a new aesthetic genre that performs well on- and off-camera. Products, settings and spaces that are highly Instagrammable, like millennial pink packaging or bright faux-fur coats, are more popular and get made more. Instagram share-ability has become a legitimate design decision across industries, as most items/contexts/spaces are going to be viewed exclusively online. This panel is going to explore the changes in production, distribution, marketing, and consumption that this visual evolution is going to bring, and some likely future visual identity-building scenarios for brands from different verticals.

Read More

15:10 - 16:00

EMBRACING THE NEW CONSUMER DEFINITION OF 'LOCAL'

So many brands now claim to engage with the ‘local’ community or offer ‘local’ experiences. But in an age where consumers are increasingly scrutinising and authenticity is everything, stocking your mini bar with beers from a ‘local’ supplier, or sourcing furniture from ‘local’ designers, is not enough.

The new definition of ‘local’ is the focus of this session – which will help brands understand how they can truly give back to the communities and societies in which they operate in order to make a genuine, long-term impact as vehicles for social change.

Read More

15:10 - 16:00

ARTECHULATING THE FUTURE OF HOSPITALITY: SOLVING FOR COMMUNITY THROUGH TECHNOLOGY

The modern traveler seeks out meaningful moments in the face of digital anonymity. As the experiential economy expands, hotels are faced with the unique task of creating collaborative, responsive spaces that integrate the new global nomad. Beyond connecting guests with the space, the hotel as community gateway must connect guests with each other, with the local surrounds, and to a brand story that inspires long after the stay. Technology was always meant to connect, not divide; this conversation will explore technology’s role in transforming the hospitality industry for a future in which function empowers the emotional, and new capabilities engender curiosity and genuine connection.

Read More

15:10 - 16:00

WAKE UP CALL: WHY IT'S TIME TO STOP NEGLECTING SLEEP

Despite being crucial to our wellbeing and performance, sleep is a necessity that all too often we neglect. This session will explore how hotels can put sleep back into the center of its experience to drive customer loyalty and improve guest experience. It will also provide tangible tips on how to balance and improve your personal high-performance lifestyles through sleep.

Read More

16:10 - 17:00

WHY HOTELS ARE POISED TO REDEFINE THE ART WORLD

Contemporary art and boutique hospitality is surely a match made in heaven – and both industries are starting to note. With innovative partnerships like The Silo and Zeitz MOCAA, MoSA at Citizen M, and 21c’s ‘museum hotel’ model pushing art to the forefront of the guest experience, it looks like the stage is set for further creative collaborations.

This discussion will centre on whether hotels are poised to become the new cultural hubs of the areas they occupy, and if they have the potential to disrupt the art world in its entirety.

Read More

16:10 - 17:00

HOW TO USE AI, BIG DATA AND BLOCKCHAIN TO REVOLUTIONISE YOUR ROI

For retail brands, using AI to crunch big data and in-store analytics to track consumer behaviour are commonplace. Blockchain is also slowly making its way into the mainstream. Understanding how customers – on a large scale – navigate a space, interact with merchandise and make purchasing decisions is a fundamental part of business strategy, enabling them to improve efficiency and maximise revenue.

With a focus on understanding customers, improving the guest experience and driving ROI, this session will explore how hospitality brands can get to grips with AI, blockchain, and big data to better utilise the untapped potential of data they already have.

Read More

17:00 - 18:00

HAPPY HOUR