A number of leading exhibitors and lecturers challenge the hotel industry’s traditional way of thinking when the unique hotel event The Lobby is presented for the first time at Foodexpo 18-20 March in MCH Messecenter Herning.

James Soane from Project Orange, Marten Dresen from Good Community Group & Good Hotel and Frank & Patrik Riklin from Null Stern Hotel are just some of the speakers from whom visitors to The Lobby can look forward to hearing some golden nuggets of wisdom. Press photos.

When Foodexpo welcomes the industry to Scandinavia’s largest food industry fair on 18-20 March 2018, one of the ten exhibition halls is dedicated to the innovative hotel concept The Lobby, which has been developed in collaboration with design and lifestyle expert Mads Arlien-Søborg.

The Lobby focuses on challenging traditional hotel concepts, where the industry can gain inspiration for tomorrow’s hospitality and gain new input for trends, tendencies and creative design processes in the area. The Lobby thus creates the framework for a meeting place for the hotel industry, where visitors can look forward to meeting a number of interesting exhibitors, as well as gathering new knowledge from inspirational lectures with designers, concept developers and experts.

Strong brands in The Lobby
Exhibitors in The Lobby include the Danish design company and furniture manufacturer Gubi and the international textile and interior design company Kvadrat. Neither of the companies have participated in Foodexpo before, but both look forward to being part of a different universe:

– The Lobby concept is really exciting and attractive for us as suppliers.

The programme of lecturers looks promising, and the fair is an opportunity for us to get closer to our end users and have time to speak with them as individuals, says Heidi Christine Børresen, regional sales manager for Gubi in Denmark, and continues:

– At Gubi we work with lots of beautiful colours and shapes. We cultivate warm, comfortable and atmospheric spaces that visitors like to be part of. We love exploring the possibilities of interior decor, and our collection is a blend of bold and classic designs, which we look forward to showing visitors at Foodexpo.

Kvadrat are also looking forward to being part of The Lobby, and Dorte Pletner Bagge, sales director for Hospitality, promises that Kvadrat will put a clear stamp on the new hotel concept in more than one way. In addition to having a stand at the fair, Kvadrat has also used its international network to help put together the programme of lecturers in The Lobby.

– We have a comprehensive industry network from all over the world, which has its finger on the pulse of what is happening in the hotel industry. Together with Mads Arlien-Søborg, we have found some innovative people, who we believe will inspire and add value for the visitors, explains Dorte Pletner Bagge, and highlights the architect and author James Soane from the project Project Orange, who will provide new inspiration for the involvement of the environment.

No more standard concepts
During the three days of the fair, visitors will be greeted by a total of ten on-point and inspiring lectures. Mads Arlien-Søborg has high expectations for all of them:

– They are all incredibly interesting and they confront the hotel industry’s issues from every angle, so they can each inspire in their own ways, he says.

The lecture by Dutch Marten Dresen, founder of Good Hotel and Good Community Group, will give a major shove to the current perception of hotel operation, believes Mads Arlien-Søborg:

– They have created a hotel concept where social responsibility is more important than the commercial business plan. They are specifically targeting people who are judged to be out of the job market, who they have subsequently retrained for hotel work. They have enjoyed huge success with this concept, and it proves that hotels can do so much more. I hope this can inspire the industry to reconsider its philosophy.

The traditional hotel concept is also shaken up by the Swiss brothers Frank and Patrik Riklin.

– They waver on the border between an art installation and a hotel. They established their first hotel in an old World War II bunker, and this was where they created the concept “Null Stern Hotel”. They are proof that the value of a hotel should not be calculated in the number of stars, but measured in the unique experiences it can give to its guests. You can’t just take a solid concept and replicate it all over the world. Instead, you have to create a hotel that fits into the environment where it was established. It is when hotels chase the unique experience that guests start becoming attracted, and the hotels that are riding this wave are experiencing serious success, says Mads Arlien-Søborg.

The Lobby can be experienced in Hal H at Foodexpo in MCH Messecenter Herning on 18-20 March 2018.

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