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Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Top Takeaways from the 2023 Independent Hotel Show Miami

Top Takeaways from the 2023 Independent Hotel Show Miami

Since its United States debut in 2023, Independent Hotel Show Miami, with its unique balance of sublime exhibitors, superb educational programming, and sociable atmosphere that fosters lasting connections, is fast becoming known as the business event for the luxury, boutique, and independent hotel industry.

Between attendee and exhibitor feedback, as well as our own observations, we could not help but notice a few fascinating themes that emerged from the 2023 show. These observations will help inform this year’s show taking place September 18-19, 2024, in Miami Beach.

Here are the top four takeaways from the first Independent Hotel Show Miami.

Hospitality Industry Knowledge is Key
Often, independent, boutique, or luxury properties get so much information on what they could be doing to drive customers and increase revenue that they do not know what they should be doing. And often, they do not have the same size staff or budget as their larger competitors and need to be wise with where they spend their time, talent, and treasure.

Attendees found tangible as well as valuable knowledge in the show’s two educational areas. Star Auerbach, Owner of Stellar Suites had this to say:

The Independent Hotel Show Miami was a wonderful experience. I found the Innovation Stage to be particularly insightful, and the speakers had a lot of interesting and actionable things to say. The biggest takeaway for me was during the session on the importance of social media. Not only was it lively, but it took the guess work of navigating how I should be using my social media platforms.

Hotel Professionals Craved Connection with Other Hotel Professionals
To say that the hospitality industry is a people-driven industry is the understatement of the millennia. Much of these interactions is between professionals and their guests. When it comes to professional development, hoteliers are looking to have those deep conversations and connections with people who understand the joys and challenges of the boutique, luxury, and independent space.

But do not take our word for it. Listen to what Dina Belon, President of Staypineapple had to say about the Independent Hotel Show Miami:

The Independent Hotel Show in Miami was a great opportunity to collaborate with other independent hotel owners, hear about the challenges and solutions to what many in the independent space are experiencing, and learn about what innovations others are creating. The show provided much insight and creativity. Just like the hotels that were the focus of the Independent Hotel Show Miami. Hotels like the ones we own, ones that are unique and cater to the guest who seeks different and great hotels.

Independent Hotels are Ready for a Seat at the Table  
It is not enough to mention smaller, standalone properties during the education sessions. Inns and other independent hotels are drawing strength from their collective voices and asking for content aimed at their unique situation. Afterall, attracting and retaining the best talent for your property when it is an eight-bed converted house in a small, remote mountain town is a much bigger challenge for a small boutique hotel in the middle of a bustling city.

What the independents did appreciate was the fact that there were tangible solutions to many of the operational challenges they face. As Ryan Aubin, Owner of Mills Park Hotel says:

I found the Independent Hotel Show Miami to be enlightening, accessible, informative, and thought provoking. Other shows miss the mark with independently owned hotels. Their education programs are largely non applicable to the independent hotel owner, especially for smaller properties. What I found in Miami is what I’ve been looking for and I look forward to becoming more involved next year.

In an Industry Where Image is Almost Everything, Hoteliers Want Authenticity
A common theme throughout the two-day event was that more and more hotel guests are looking for more than a bed to sleep in, they are looking for an authentic experience. The same holds true for hotel industry tradeshows. More and more, hoteliers are looking for authentic relationships – business and personal – where they can truly develop relationships and not just find a vendor. Just look at what 2023 attendee, Jimena Santo Domingo, Hotel Director of Urbanica Hotels had to say about the show:

Last year was truly fantastic, it helped us a lot in getting to know new vendors, some of whom helped us with the hotels we have, and others because we are working on two luxury 5-star hotel projects, not part of a chain, and this was excellent!

In conclusion, we have been given a clear and concise roadmap on how to continue down the path to becoming the industry event that is on the calendar of every luxury, boutique, and independent hotelier. We look forward to keeping this feedback top of mind as we plan the next Independent Hotel Show Miami, taking place on September 18-19, 2024, at the Miami Beach Convention Center. We hope to see you there.

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