HD Expo, the Hospitality Design Group’s annual signature event celebrated a landmark year in Las Vegas, May 14-16, 2014. In it’s second year at Mandalay Bay Convention Center, the show, the leader in design for the hospitality industry, marked a 15% jump in attendance from 2013, remaining the largest event in the industry. With world-renowned designers, architects and designers in attendance for the three-day event, it provided the industry with a newfound excitement for the trends and opportunities to come in the next year.
With over 900 exhibitors gracing the show floor, brands including Kohler, Durkan, Rohl, Tai Ping, Aceray and more provided attendees a unique glimpse into the latest products and services changing the design world. This year, many chose to debut at HD Expo including Ken Koenig, Vice President of Meadow Lighting, a new division of JLF. Complementing those who started anew, the show also saw the return of some devout exhibitors, including Jesse Kalisher of Kalisher.
In addition to the standout exhibitors, the show floor saw new additions including a Social Hub, the epicenter of the floor, designed by the Morgans Hotel Group and the Creativity Corner, a place for attendees to connect with their inner creative genius. More than ever, those walking the floor experienced a lively, colorful environment, a unique attribute to HD Expo.
The show kicked-off with the VIP Party on the eve of the first day and was one of three unique networking opportunities for exhibitors and attendees of the show. The Opening Night Party at House of Blues and Party by the Pool, the most popular event at HD Expo, completed the signature events, which allow those in town to meet contacts both old and new, connect in a casual and fun environment and discuss the latest happenings in the industry.
The standout panelists who graced the HD Expo stage at respective conference sessions were some of the most superior to date. Michael Bedner, Chairman of the Board for Hirsch Bedner and Associates was the keynote address, sharing an informative and unique retrospective of his work, in conversation with Michael Adams of Hospitality Design magazine. Larry Traxler, senior vice president, global design services, Hilton Worldwide, Gary Dollens, senior vice president, finance & brand development, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, Richard Senechal, AIA, executive vice president, facilities, Loews Hotels and others participated in the staple Owners’ Roundtable discussion. Julie Frank, global director of design, Le Meridien Hotels, Sam Suleman, vice president-development & operations, Equinox Hotels, Michael Mina, chef/restaurateur, The Michael Mina Group and Arash Azarbarzin, president, hotel group, SLS Hotels all participated in discussions ranging from the rise of millennial hotel brands to the importance of chef/designer relationships.
Next ahead for the group is HD Americas, taking place in Miami Beach, September 16-17, 2014. The show, now in its second year, will carry on the same feel of HD Expo, but in a more intimate environment and will be catered toward those in the Latin America, Caribbean and South American markets.
posted by: Eric Fujimori