Hospitality Design Show

Last week, The London Convention Bureau reported that the number of hotel rooms set to open in 2020 will reach 8,000. So it was interesting that turnout at the Hospitality Design Show / Hotel360 Expo in London today was surprisingly low; eerily quiet and not as big as previous years.

Still, we made the best of our time at the show. Hospitality design has been part of our business since we began – we have provided architectural services, sustainability strategies and M&E design for hotels big and small. So this is an annual pilgrimage to see what’s new and on trend.

Hospitality Design

Architecturally, this year’s show was limited to a few interiors, wall coverings and lighting stands; more interiors biased, but not much on display.

Of note were the stands from Verti Grow with some nice green wall solutions, and the lovely Clay Lime wall coverings which look and feel amazing (we’ll be using their products in the future given half a chance!). Walker bespoke furniture were exhibiting, with some nice furniture and bar fit out equipment – we love their work.

Key items from the show came from the guys on the Hafele stand. We have been specifying their products for years, but they were offering some nice new products and features, especially around door entry.

Energy & Services

Everyone and their dog had wifi charging stations for your hotel, for the bar, your bedside table or desk. Enough already – Hafele can integrate them in your joinery!

I had a good chat with the team at Swegon who showed me their AC/air handling and controls; their wireless control system is very clever and makes for a cheaper install and easy upgrades and replacements – handy for hotels and commercial users.

As ever, the IP TV services were there in force, including the guys at Hotel TV Company. Their hotel TV system was really slick, showing the standard welcome menu but also the screen broken down into additional info and menus for guests – very clear and simple to use.

A few years ago, we mapped out an online digital system based on the knowledge and experience gained from doing 200 surveys of Co-op stores and seeing where the information gaps were. Well today I met Elecosoft and they have a suite of amazing digital products that manage and store all your building information for each building through to portfolios of buildings. The amount of information and possibilities are too much to go into, but do check them out if you’re designing or looking after buildings.

Nothing on point of sale this year. I think that the CRM and booking systems have now integrated with online accounting softwares, so POS is not a big sale item, it’s just a standard.


In terms of the environment, it was nice to see Join The Pipe there, providing free access to drinking water and reusable water bottles. But there were so many stands giving away plastic bottled water and this seems to be something of a trend – how many disposable bottles of water do you need??

Overall, a bit disappointing this year. Not co-exhibiting with the Hotel & Spa Tech Live or Restaurant & Bar Design shows (as in previous years) has made me question its validity as a show, so I won’t be going next year unless its revamped!

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