Sleep + Eat, Europe’s leading hospitality design and development event announces its speakers

The organisers of Sleep + Eat have just announced the line-up for this year’s Sleep Conference. Taking place on 20-21 November at London Olympia, the conference, which is recognised across the hotel design community as the event for thought leadership combined with a dash of disruptor ideas, is promising once again to be packed with foremost influencers shaping the industry today. The free-to-attend two-day Sleep Conference at Sleep + Eat 2018 show will be joined by a new Eat Conference.

The Conference will open with a guest speaker from the USA – Andrew Zobler, hospitality pioneer and founder and CEO of the Sydell Group. Named one of the 50 Most Influential People in global business by Bloomberg Businessweek, Zobler has recently received the AHEAD Americas 2018 Award for Outstanding Contribution. His company’s diverse portfolio of properties includes The Ned (London), NoMad (New York and Los Angeles) and the LINE (LA, DC and Austin), and, appropriately for a man with such stellar achievements to his name, he will be speaking about the hospitality industry today.

Andrew Zobler

The excitement around London’s hotel scene remains palpable with top-billing hotels opening virtually every month. On Day One, the Sleep Conference will delve into the rise-and-rise of hotels in the UK capital from the perspective of operations, architecture and design. This diverse panel will include Bruce Robertson, managing director of the Standard London, and Mark Bruce, director EPR Architects whose portfolio of London projects includes Great Scotland Yard, The Old War Office and the Kimpton Fitzroy Hotel, among many others.

Designing from the global perspective will be discussed in a panel that will bring together Russian, Belgian and American talent. Geraldine Dohogne of Zannier Hotels, whose latest project includes 1898 The Post in Ghent – a historic post office building converted into an eclectic boutique hotel – will be joined by Therese Virserius, co-founder of the award-winning Virserius Studio, and Moscow-based Sundokovy sisters.

In the annual Design Duos series, it will be the turn of Muza Lab’s co-founders, Inge Moore and Nathan Hutchins, to share their thoughts on luxury hospitality design and what guests today want out of their travel experience. From Shanghai to Botswana, the range of work by this award-winning pair includes trains, luxury boats and yachts and lodges as well as hotels, all completed or nearing completion in just the two years since they established their studio.

“I believe in quiet luxury with its sustainable and ageless quality, authentic values and power of discovery which stimulate, comfort and engage,” says Nathan Hutchins.

Muza Lab’s Inge Moore and Nathan Hutchins

Jamie Chappell, Global Business Director at Horwath HTL, will unpick the experience and knowledge of owners and investors in a panel session diving into the hotel turnaround game. Going full circle, this panel will focus on identifying opportunities, the elements of a successful turnaround (including design) and how an exit is achieved – the timing of when to hold and when to let go. This will be followed by the development Round Tables, offering visitors the chance for conversations with leading industry names including Samantha Sugarman, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts’ director of development; Harry Harris, founder of SUSD; Felicity Black-Roberts, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts’ vice president; and Philip Camble, director of Whitebridge Hospitality.

Day Two will start with a keynote presentation from leading Sleep Specialist, Dr. Alanna Hare, who will explore the science of sleep and its power to awaken creativity, increase our happiness, improve relationships and support our health and well-being.

The Sleep Sets, in which design firms are challenged to create a concept guestroom will be coming back this year as a quartet of installations looking at designing for a non-hotel brand, and in what has proved to be one of the most popular conference sessions over the years, each design team will reveal the thinking behind their set. Yasmine Mahmoudieh will present her Penguin Books concept, AB Concept will share their ideas behind their Maison Pierre Hermé Paris set, Denton Corker Marshall will talk about their West Ham United Football Club concept, and HBA London will present their Natural History Museum’s vision.

Other sessions will include a discussion about the contribution of lighting and sound to the guest experience, which will include Sally Storey of Lighting Design International, Tom Middleton of Sonux, and Tom Hupe of Perkins+Will, and a look at the rapidly changing world of hospitality transport design.

Priya Paul, the chairperson of the Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels (The Park Hotels), recently garlanded with AHEAD Asia 2018 Award for Outstanding Contribution, will be sharing her approach to creativity and innovation.

Speaker Panel – Sleep Conference 2018. Above left to right: Sally Storey, Tom Middleton, Mark Bruce. Below left to right: Dr. Alanna Hare, Tom Hupe, Therese Virserius
Sleep Conference’s curator and host Guy Dittrich

Packed with the foremost influencers shaping wining and dining experiences, the Eat Conference will be hosted by food and beverage strategist Heleri Rande and will debate the challenges and aspirations driving the industry forward. These will encompass the convergence between independent and hotel restaurants; how to keep up with the rate of change in the sector; the role of AI; appealing to Millennials; and the re-invention of afternoon tea.

Eat Conference’s curator and host Heleri Rande

A panel discussion about the growing interdependence of restaurants, bars and hotels will launch the Conference with a session entitled “What’s Cooking?”, which will reveal how to navigate the fast-paced hospitality environment, where trends change faster than hotel restaurant projects can become reality. Whether design should take this into consideration will be debated by Conran and Partners’ director Tina Norden, Aukett Swanke’s Associate Architect Nick de Klerk, and CRÈME Design’s founder Jun Aizaki, who is also creating the show’s Sleeper Bar.

Over the last few years, hotel public spaces and F&B have gained a tremendous importance in the hospitality industry. The first day will focus on “ ‘Made-to-Measure’ Restaurant Design”, with editor Harry McKinley and the duo behind eponymous studio B+K Architecture – Alon Baranowitz and Irene Kronenberg – recognised internationally for such benchmark work as Mr. Porter and Duchess restaurants at the W Amsterdam. For Sleep + Eat, the pair will delve into the art of collaboration and the evolving nature of restaurant and bar design.

Alon Baranowitz and Irene Kronenberg

Change is inevitable for any business to stay relevant and competitive, and embracing Artificial Intelligence (AI) is slowly yet steadily gaining importance in the hospitality industry. Benjamin Calleja, CEO of Livit Design, the world’s leading Food & Beverage design company that acts as strategic consultants to restaurants in 43 countries, will explore in a disruptive presentation “How AI Can Improve Operations”. Benjamin will share real-life success stories from major brands and from his company’s test-lab restaurant on how data can be used to improve the customer experience and drive sales through integrated technology.

The afternoon brings “GM Talks: Reinventing Afternoon Tea”, a review of the quintessential British tradition andits evolution in numerous luxury hotels. From art to fashion to detox, each property is now looking for ways to re-invigorate the lobby space with an afternoon tea offering and tap into the experiential hunger of the modern traveller.

The conference will also highlight the growing importance of the drinks offering due to both the level of sophistication that customers demand and the bottom line it can generate for owners and operators, with the result that hotels now think harder about “The B in F&B” and partner with industry leaders in designing their bar programme. The Eat Sets are debuting this year as a trio of concept rooms based on restaurant, café and nightclub. The first day of the conference will culminate in each design team – ECHO Architecture, 3Stories, and Shalini Misra – presenting their thought processes and challenging assumptions about what makes a meaningful café, restaurant and nightclub experience in today’s demanding R&B scene.

Day two will kick off with the story of HIDE, one of the most talked about restaurant openings in London this year. The designer Rose Murray will be sharing her story of the three distinct concepts within – Above, Ground and Below – and how working with three female artists on the project was more than just a collaboration. Another headline-grabbing London opening this season – Hotel Café Royal – has enjoyed a major renewal of concepts and design over the last year and Managing Director Guillaume Marly will divulge how this particularly exciting project was executed in collaboration with celebrity chefs, Albert Adrià and Laurent Tourondel. This presentation will be followed by “Design Case Study: Fitz’s at the Principal London”, a keynote talk by Robbie Bargh, founder of Gorgeous Group.

The panel discussion “Moving East” with Melita Skamnaki (Double Decker London), Valeri Chekheria (Adjara Group) and Michael Ingemann (Claus Meyer Holding) will highlight award-winning hotel F&B spaces in Tbilisi, Vilnius, and Gdansk that are setting the pace in restaurant and bar innovation.

Speaker Panel – Eat Conference 2018

The show will be open from 10am- 8.30pm on Tuesday 20th November and from 10am-6pm on Wednesday 21st November. For more information and to register for a complimentary pass, please visit

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