HOTEC Middle East 2017 was held in Azerbaijan and attracted hotel owners and operators as well as a large number of the region’s leading procurement, specialists, designers and specifiers.
This year’s edition of HOTEC Middle East was held at the Fairmont Baku Flame Towers in Baku, Azerbaijan, from 25 -28 April.
The annual appointment-based event brought together hotel owners and operators, procurement specialists, designers and specifiers to meet and network with suppliers offering a wide range of products and services to the hotel industry.
A regional event, with suppliers flying in from all over the globe to meet with buyers based in the GCC and surrounding territories, HOTEC’s organisers select different venues every year. This year, Baku in Azerbaijan provided the perfect setting for three days of meetings and networking.
The HOTEC team led by Iain Tonna, president of Questex-McLean Events and Stephen Pace-Bonello, event director for HOTEC Middle East welcomed this year’s participants at a welcome reception dinner on Tuesday, 25 April. This first engagement on the HOTEC programme served as an ice-breaker; delegates were introduced to one another and old friends and acquaintances reunited during a casual evening which kicked off proceedings.
On Wednesday morning, it was down to business with an educational seminar, which included a presentation about the hotel construction pipeline in the Middle East, delivered by Caroline List, international sales manager at TopHotelProjects.
This was followed by a panel discussion chaired by Hotel News Middle East’s Editor Patrick Ryan. The topic discussed was creative sourcing during challenging times with panellists: Murlidhar Rao, senior vice president, operations at Aiana Hotels & Resorts, Mohamed Soussan, group general manager at Ayla Hotels & Resorts and Suprio Ghosh, managing director at Benjamin West India.
Delegates were then invited to collect their appointment schedules and the first of two full-day meeting sessions got underway. Meetings at HOTEC are pre-scheduled after buyers and suppliers are asked to select their preferences during a meeting selection process two weeks before the start of the event.
The HOTEC ‘match-making’ system allocates meetings according to indicated priorities and all participants are presented with a personalised schedule of appointments. More than 20 product categories were showcased at this year’s edition, ranging from access control systems to furniture, bedding, cleaning products, spa and fitness equipment, kitchen equipment, lighting and linen, textiles, vanities and bath products.
While the one-to-one meetings are the main focus of the event, the networking programme plays an integral part in the HOTEC experience. A team-building activity was organised on Wednesday night, which gave participants an opportunity to explore Baku’s old town centre while engaging with each other during a treasure hunt around the town. The evening culminated in a casual dinner with local music and dancing for entertainment.
The second and final business day, Thursday, 27 April, saw delegates occupied with meetings all day and came to a close with a farewell dinner in the hotel’s ballroom. The evening held one final surprise in store in the form of a souvenir video prepared with footage shot throughout the event.
Box-out: HOTEC Middle East 2018 will be held at The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal in Abu Dhabi, UAE, on 17-20 April. For more information please contact Stephen Pace Bonello on firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.hotecme.com.