Arguably one of the UK’s most comprehensive events for the hospitality industry, Hotelympia is set to put design at the heart of its offering when it returns to London’s ExCel from 28th April - 1st May. With a new date in the diary and a brand new four-day format, the show is set to unveil ‘Design at Hotelympia’ – a show-within-a-show boasting a dedicated seminar programme and exhibitor line-up befitting of the very best in hospitality interior design.

As always there will be a roster of industry experts taking part in Hotelympia’s expansive seminar programme. Content for the design theatre has been developed in partnership with the Society of British and International Design (SBID) – the national representative organisation to the European Council of Interior Design and Architecture.

Some of the most respected names in the business will grace the stage to discuss and debate hot-button topics and trends including: design across the pond, Asia, the future of hotel design, cutting edge lighting, first impressions, kitchens, the new consumer and the evolution of new materials.

“The SBID is in full support of Hotelympia 2014,” says President of the SBID, Vanessa Brady. "The brand new, dedicated space – Design at Hotelympia – sends a signal to the industry that this is a show that takes design seriously. As such, our members are greatly looking forward to finding inspiration from the exciting programme of events, speakers and initiatives.”

Making a welcome return to the fold is the Hotelympia Design Award. In 2012, the search was on to find the UK’s most luxurious suite, with the opulent, yet quintessentially English, Royal Suite at London’s Mandarin Oriental taking the spoils. In 2014, the show turns its attention to the UK’s best designed new hotel.

The three finalists, selected in the face if steep competition as outstanding examples of modern design excellence, are:

• ME by Melia, designed by Foster+Partners
• The London EDITION, designed by Yabu Pushelberg & Ian Schrager
• Great Northern Hotel, designed by Archer Humphryes Architects

The expert panel of judges included: Steve LaBouchardiere, co-founder of award-winning interior designer, designLSM; director at hospitality architecture and design specialist, Scott Brownrigg, Una Barac, and director at Fox Linton Associates design studio, Dennis Irvine. Fittingly, Jan Wilson, managing director of RPW Design – the company behind 2012’s winning suite – is also part of 2014’s judging team, offering unrivalled insight into what it takes to scoop the accolade.

Each of the finalists will be featured on a dedicated display wall situated by the Design Stage, and the awards will culminate with a special presentation and champagne reception on the main Stage on Monday 28th April at 3.30pm.

Hotelympia’s standard-bearing Innovation Awards also make a welcome return to the fold, providing Tabletop & Design exhibitors with a free high profile platform and an unprecedented means of recognition for new product launches.

Six finalists in each category – including Tabletop & Design alongside Food and Drink, Catering Equipment and Technology – will be required to pitch their products before panels of leading industry experts in a highly charged behind-closed-doors-arena. Each product will be on display in a dedicated area throughout the four days, offering show visitors an unmissable snapshot of the six most innovative, new products in the world of hospitality design.

Amongst the expert panel confirmed so far for 2014 are Nick Sandler, creative chef for Pret A Manger; acclaimed restaurateur, chef and ‘Spice Man’ Cyrus Todiwala OBE; chief executive of London-based pub and bar group, Grand Union, Adam Marshall, and David Russell and David Bentley from respected catering consultancy, The Russell Partnership.

In addition, Hotelympia has partnered with hospitality consultants and recruiters the Buell Group to offer free specialist advice to visitors across all four days of the show. Located in the Technology Section at Hotelympia, but highly relevant to design businesses, will be the Buell Business Advice Clinic which will offer one-to-one specialist mentoring on some of the most vital components to running a successful hospitality business including: F&B concept development, marketing & social media, avoiding the pitfalls of design & development, Organic Growth & Development, Legal advice, and strategic business reviews.

The clinics will also feature a range of bespoke packages from Buell Consulting, the advisory division of the group. Visitors have the unique opportunity to discuss any aspect of their business in complete confidence, with six defined packages on offer ranging from advice for inexperienced start-ups to business recovery and refocusing support. 

All sessions are available to pre-book now on a first-come-first-served basis. Those interested in taking advantage of this exceptional opportunity should email tora.stanistreet@buellconsult.co.uk indicating the area of advice they are after along with a preferred date and time.