We’ve just returned from the Independent Hotel Show at Olympia, London. This exciting event is aimed at independent hoteliers and industry professionals and is a firm favourite in our calendar. It’s a chance for us to meet new suppliers, catch up with all the latest industry trends, check out innovative products and systems and share best practice with like-minded individuals who all have similar challenges in a competitive marketplace. There are many upsides to doing business in Cumbria but sometimes innovation can be slow to reach the rural areas and this is a fantastic opportunity for us to get ahead of the game with new products and concepts.
This year was just as successful as previous years – mission accomplished on all fronts. We met with current suppliers Eviivo, Sealy Beds UK, Fever Tree Mixers and our wallpaper designer, Annette Taylor-Anderson. We caught up with AA and Visit Britain to check that we were on plan to meet required standards for the various accreditations we are currently working towards (gold stars all round.) And last, but not least, we met with some training providers to get news on opportunities for all our members of staff.
It was also a fantastic opportunity for us to get ideas and contacts for our 2019 project, maximising our kerb appeal! We looked at ornamental sculptures, lighting options, furniture for our beer garden, items to maximise our display areas and architectural landscaping services. We also reviewed our interior fixtures and fittings lists to make sure that we’d not missed anything from our newly renovated rooms.
Tickets for next year are already on sale and we’ve already got it booked in the diary. Here’s a roundup of my top 10 reasons why it’s good to take time out of the day to day routine and check out a trade show.
Ten good reasons to attend an industry show
- Network, network, network. Shows provide the perfect opportunity to network with other industry professionals. A great chance to meet up with old friends – and make new ones.
- Meet with new suppliers. Finding new products to add value to you brand is key to staying ahead of the game. Shows are a great way to meet with a high number of suppliers in a short time. Compare, contrast and establish new relationships.
- You can teach an old dog new tricks. No matter how much experience you have, you can always learn something new. Check out the demonstrations and attend the expert seminars. Explore new concepts, listen to the experiences of others and make the most of training opportunities. Adopting new practices can not only help improve your business but can also provide you with excellent PR opportunities.
- Break out from the four walls. It’s easy to get caught up in the day to day running of your business. A change of scene can add perspective.
- Observe, then add a twist. It’s a chance to look at what other people are doing and add your own spin to make it work for you.
- Dream and aspire. Meet industry leaders, hear their stories. Aspire.
- Buy and save. Take advantage of Show Offers. By purchasing on the day, you can often get a good discount. Take a list of things that you need and stick to it. Don’t get thrown off by impulse purchases.
- Shiny and new. You never know what you might find at an industry show. Pick up new products to add character and style to your offer. Pictures of quirky accessories can also make great social media content.
- Companies often give away testers and freebies. It’s a great opportunity to try new products before committing to a purchase. Take some home to road test and get feedback.
- Enjoy the buzz. There’s always a great atmosphere at an industry show. New people, new products, new relationships, new opportunities. Soak up the excitement, take inspiration and go home refreshed and invigorated.