Networking, Innovations and Trends at Hotel & Resort Design South 2024

From stimulating conferences to high-energy networking events, Hotel & Resort Design South (HRDS) 2024 is underway! Read on for our top highlights from the first day and catch everything you missed.

Before the Miami Beach Convention Center even opened its doors, delegates took to the New World Center on 5 June for the official HRDS Opening Party, sponsored by Andriali Contract, Global Marine Travel & MJM Marine. This lively event was attended by the movers and shakers of the hotel and resort design supply chain. Cruise Ship Interiors Design Expo Americas (CSI) attendees dressed to impress as they mingled and sipped drinks under a Miami sunset glow. By 7pm, the party was underway. Julio Iglesias Jr took to the stage to perform many smooth tunes, picking up the vibe as delegates prepared to party into the night.

Sunrise starts

Early risers gathered bright and early for Sunrise Netwalking, starting in front of the Nautilus Sonesta at Miami Beach. New connections were made while walking the Miami coastline and taking in the scenery. At the same time, invited delegates took the plunge at a HRDS-hosted Miami Breathwork & Ice Bath Experience at Kimpton Palomar. Icy waters shook away any tiredness from late night partying and woke delegates up ready for a busy day ahead.

HRDS opens its doors

At 10am, Hotel & Resort Design South and CSI Design Expo Americas 2024 opened with the ribbon cutting ceremony. Delegates began to walk the hall, catching new innovations and product demonstrations, and enjoying coffees and pastries while making new connections at the Welcome Breakfast, hosted by Sleeper.

With the show now in full swing, the first Speed Networking session began, with industry buyers and suppliers gathering for a series of fast-paced introductions and pitches. This session placed a particular emphasis on amenities, with suppliers including Agile Fabrics, Pineapple Hospitality, and Dragon Cellars in attendance.

The HRDS product showcase was bustling with activity as suppliers mingled with buyers from hotels and resorts, architects, and design firms sourcing for their upcoming projects. The plinths on display were impressive, particularly the sustainable material Polygood, supplied by The Good Plastic Company. Scent delivery systems Ecoscent offered a feast for the senses, while Local Language wowed visitors with their vibrant art collections.

Midday, delegates took to the HRDS lounge for the GMBHA Lunch & Learn session. This combined networking and content session saw delegates gather for a meet the brand Q&A with Bruce Goff, Manager, Property Improvement, Premium – Luxury & Lifestyle Brands at IHG.

Eco-tourism, regional travel trends, and a Caribbean spotlight

Following a morning of product sourcing and making new connections, the HRDS conference kicked off with Horizon Watch: Developments & trends in tomorrow’s designs and destinations. Speakers from Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, The Gettys Group, Royal Caribbean International, and Marriott International offered their expertise on the latest regional trends facing the hotel and resort design industry across the southern states, Caribbean, and LATAM regions. Delegates uncovered Gen-Z’s top bucket list destinations, latest developments in eco-tourism, and the creative ways designers can attract guests to remote destinations using crafted storytelling.

Even within the same brand you can have your guide for best practice but you do different things for your market.
Caroline Pinheiro, Vice-President – Development, LATAM, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

At 4pm, the Caribbean region took the spotlight as speakers representing HKS, Six Senses Galapagos, Iberostar Group, Hyatt and OBMI dove into the flourishing market’s many recent and upcoming projects. Discussions centred on island-specific challenges, particularly supply chain issues, recent project success factors, and whether designers can combine all-inclusive with luxury.

Eye-catching booths and product innovations

Alongside the product showcase, delegates walked the aisles to see hundreds of exhibitors exhibiting at CSI Design Expo Americas. Chelsom’s booth was also not one to be missed! At booth 754, many delegates were gathered to check out Pilolux’s stylish and comfortable furnishings.

Then, after a busy day of conference sessions, product sourcing, and meeting exhibitors, attendees kicked back and relaxed at the Happy Hour, hosted by Almaco, Somec Group, Greenhouse Fabrics and Aros Marine.

Don’t want to miss out?

There’s still time to catch day two of Hotel & Resort Design South 2024. Join us tomorrow for another day of product sourcing, knowledge sharing and networking. We look forward to seeing you on June 7 from 10.30am at the Miami Beach Convention Center!

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