Boutique Design’s annual East Coast trade fair and conference draws 6,900+ hospitality design professionals and 615 exhibitors to New York’s Javits Center, November 13-14, shattering previous records for attendance and exhibit square footage

More than 6,900 hospitality design professionals from the eastern United States, Canada and Europe took part in the seventh Boutique Design New York (BDNY) trade fair and conference, held Nov. 13-14 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. The event charted a 19 percent increase in attendance over the 2015 fair, continuing a pattern of double-digit, year-over-year growth since its inception.

Exhibit space grew by 37 percent, to 112,000 net square feet, showcasing 615 manufacturers and marketers of furniture, fixtures, lighting, seating, wall coverings, accessories and other design elements for hospitality interiors. The mix included more than 77 international exhibitors/sponsors from 12 countries, including Canada, China, Denmark, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, Taiwan and the UK.

“We were thrilled with this year’s attendance, particularly the increase in notable hospitality ownership groups and brands headquartered in the region,” said Michelle Finn, president of Hospitality Media Group (HMG), which produces BDNY and sister trade fair BDwest, held each spring in Los Angeles. “The hospitality design community—local and national—supported BDNY in a meaningful way, and our customers reaped the benefits.”

Exhibitor Tyler Jones, senior director of sales at Boca Raton, Florida-based Decolav, said BDNY is becoming the preeminent hospitality trade fair. “It seems every year is busier and better for exhibitors and attendees alike. We can credit countless projects and relationships coming from this show, and we plan to continue to be a part of it,” he said.

Finn attributes BDNY’s dramatic growth to its elevated atmosphere, product displays, conference programming and unique features. “This year’s trade fair was our most interactive yet, with guest artists Chor Boogie and Bruce Rosenbaum inviting attendees to ask questions, even join in, as they developed large-scale works on the exhibit floor,” she said. “And the new Incubator space gave attendees a chance to try out the very latest VR/AR and 3D printing applications for hospitality designers and their clients.”

The Incubator featured hands-on demos by presenters from Chicago-based design communication agency SONNY+ASH (formerly Studio Rendering, Inc.); Warren, New Jersey-based integrated design and engineering firm PS&S; Brooklyn, New York-based 3D printing service Make Mode; and SoCal-based design firm CarrierJohnson + CULTURE.

“BDNY is my favorite trade fair,” said repeat attendee Monica Meade, interior design manager, Marriott International. “The size of the booths and intimacy of the spaces allow you to see all of the unique products that are offered. I will definitely attend next year.”

BDNY CONFERENCE

An expanded 2016 conference program kicked off Sunday morning, Nov. 13, with a keynote address from internationally renowned designer Karim Rashid, who challenged hospitality to stop thinking about style and focus on the human experience—from avoiding the usual low table-and-sofa arrangement which makes it hard to snack, work or connect to creating smart guest rooms that are customized literally with a tap of an app. Rashid’s remake of Temptation Resort & Spa Cancun was featured in Boutique Design’s July/August 2016 issue.

Following Rashid’s breakfast presentation, Boutique Design executive editor and HMG conference director Mary Scoviak moderated a discussion with CEOs of leading lifestyle brands on the trends, challenges and skills that win commissions in their dynamic segment of the hospitality market. Panelists for “Living the Lifestyle: A View From the C-Suite” included Scott Gerber, principal and chief executive officer, Gerber Group; Ingo Schweder, chief executive officer and founder, GOCO Hospitality; and Josh Wyatt, president, Equinox Hotels.

“Design has evolved from decoration to marketing and now to a guest service. The Lifestyle Leaders’ panel underscored the need to create interiors that organically deliver what guests want, when and how they want it. A cool look is essential, but it has to work within the priorities of each guest’s lifestyle,” said Scoviak.

The session lineup featured more than 35 interactive discussions with 100+ hospitality owners, developers, designers and purchasers, including leaders at AKA, Cachet Hotel Group, Champalimaud, Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties, Ennismore, FRCH Design Worldwide, Gensler, Gettys Group, Hilton Worldwide, HOK Hospitality, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, KHP Capital Partners, Lark Hotels, Marriott International, Martin Brudnizki Design Studio, Purchasing Management International, Rockwell Group, sbe, Studio Munge, TRU by Hilton, Vision Hospitality Group, WATG | Wimberly Interiors, Yabu Pushelberg and more.

Eight sessions offered continuing education credits with the AIA and IDCEC, including “Latin America: Opportunities, Challenges, Design and Development,” moderated by Liliane Moura, managing director, Benjamin West, and featuring executives with deep experience and expertise in the Latin American hospitality market.

Panelists included Alinio Azevedo, vice president acquisitions, Loews Enterprises; Sandy Benitez, principal, Design Atelier; and Richard Katzman, managing director, HVS Mexico City.

Other conference sessions addressed topics such as biophilia in hospitality design; reimagining the hotel bar; how art defines a hotel; crafting the perfect selfie spot; completing renovation projects in less time; and maximizing the appeal, efficiency and success of F&B concepts.

DESIGNED SPACES

The two-day event also featured the unveiling of five new Designed Spaces for attendee education and networking on the BDNY exhibit floor, each created by a leading hospitality design firm using a curated mix of exhibitor/sponsor product.

Designed Spaces for 2016 included “The Bar Archipelago,” designed by Santa Monica, CA-based DESIGN360 unlimited; “Ooh-La-La!,” designed by New York-based Stonehill & Taylor; “Runway,” designed by Philadelphia, PA-based Floss Barber; “Midnight Garden,” by Bethesda, Maryland-based Marriott Intl. Global Design; and “Darling Nikki,” designed by San Francisco-based P3 Design Collective.

SOCIAL EVENTS

BDNY attendees took part in multiple sold-out social events held in conjunction with BDNY, beginning with an afternoon design tour of the recently opened Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown, led by designers from Yabu Pushelberg, on Saturday, Nov. 12. That evening, the industry came together at the ISHP Annual Fundraiser and the BDNY Opening Reception, both held at the 583 Park Avenue building.

On Sunday, Nov. 13, social events included the Opening Keynote and Lifestyle CEOs Panel Discussion at the Javits Center and the NEWH NY Product Runway Accessory Edition fundraiser held at Marquee New York.

Networking opportunities continued on Monday, Nov. 14, with the signature Boutique Design Power Players: Women Leaders in Hospitality Breakfast & Panel Discussion, featuring IIDA executive vice president/chief executive officer Cheryl Durst keynoting and seven additional industry visionaries joining Durst on the panel. NEWH presented its $5,000 NEWH Women Leaders Scholarship, sponsored by HMG, at the breakfast, to Washington State University Student, Breanna Hendrickson.

The Gettys Group Tea, a discussion with industry insiders on the future of the luxury hospitality market, followed in the afternoon. The BDNY weekend culminated with the 36th Gold Key Awards Gala held Monday evening at the Waldorf Astoria, New York.

BDNY 2017

Boutique Design returns to New York City’s Javits Center for its eighth annual East Coast trade fair, November 12-13, 2017, and will again be co-located with HX: The Hotel Experience (formerly IHMRS). Details about exhibitors, sessions, speakers and social events—as well as attendee registration and exhibitor/sponsor information—will be available at bdny.com.

To learn more about exhibiting at BDNY or sister trade fair BDwest, contact Nicole Panzeca, 513-263-9307, nicole.panzeca@hmgllc.com.