Hotel Magazine meets Independent Hotel Show’s, Event Manager, Glenn Wallace to learn more about the UK’s only trade event for the boutique and independent hotel sector, taking place on 16-17 October at Olympia London.

Please introduce us to the Independent Hotel Show and let us know what visitors can expect.

For over a decade, the Independent Hotel Show, in partnership with James Hallam, has continued to be a firm fixture in the events calendar for the UK’s boutique and independent hotel sector.

While the UK has a number of trade shows for the hospitality sector, our focus on the independent hotel sector makes the event a unique opportunity for hoteliers to meet their peers, network and explore issues specific to this specific part of the sector.

We’re proud to be a design-led show which reflects the high-quality of experience and service provided by the UK’s independent hotels, going far beyond your usual trade show to offer visitors a truly unique and immersive experience. This year we’re delighted to be partnering with a number of design agencies, including New Heritage Design, Design Command, Cocoon & Bauer, Rosendale Design and to bring the show to life.

Visitors to the show can expect to meet with a wide range of quality industry suppliers eager to work with independent hotels, ranging from design and décor, to amenities, technology, in-room F&B solutions and much more.

Our suppliers are carefully curated by the team to ensure that they meet the standards of the show and the audience it attracts, and we’re pleased to have become a trusted product sourcing resource for countless hoteliers since launching in 2012.

This year’s event will also see the launch of Hoteliers’ Choice, an initiative which invites hoteliers from across the industry to nominate innovative suppliers that are true partners to their business, with the top five companies nominated receiving a free exhibition stand at the 2023 show.

What can hoteliers and leaders in the hospitality industry gain from attending the show?

One of the major benefits of the show is the opportunity to hear from inspiring hoteliers and leaders in the hospitality sector through our unrivalled seminar programme.

The Innovation Stage, in partnership with eviivo and designed by New Heritage Design, will be a hub of new ideas and inspiring debates. Visitors can expect discussions on topics including sleep tourism, the psychology of design, effective brand marketing, ESG, sensory design and the hotel guest of the future.

Meanwhile on the Hotel Business Stage, in partnership with HotelPartner and designed by Design Command, panellists and speakers will be exploring topics including refinancing, building a diverse and inclusive workforce, outsourcing F&B and how AI might transform the hospitality industry.

As always, networking is also a major element of the show, and the popular Social Business Space will be hosting a range of networking sessions managed by our key event partners over the course of the two days.

Finally, this year’s event will see the return of the Business Solutions Bar, presented by HOSPA & HMA, where visitors can speak to consultants with a range of specialisms to gain bespoke advice and guidance for their hotel.

How has the event changed from last year?

We have a number of brand-new features, including an exciting partnership with LEVEN Hotels to showcase the LEVENverse and the practical applications the metaverse may have in the hospitality sector.

LEVEN Hotels will present a guided tour of the hotel and staffed interactive VR experiences with headsets, along with a talk by Timothy Griffin, Principal at Welbrook Hospitality and Co-Founder of LEVEN. Expect ambient soundscapes, scent machines, and other multi-sensory elements that will trigger your senses, elevating the overall immersion within the virtual space.

We’re also working with sustainability consultant and author, Sarah Duncan, to launch the ESG Hub, an area of the show where sustainable businesses and experts will help hoteliers learn and discover new services to make their hotel more sustainable.

This year’s event also sees an important change to the Independent Hotel Show Awards, in partnership with Preferred Hotels & Resorts, with rebranding of Hotelier of the Year to Hotel of the Year. This change marks the collective work that goes into making the UK’s best hotels truly great, and the importance of entire hotel teams to their success and innovation. It’s no coincidence that this year we had record entries for the awards, and our panel of judges had a tricky time whittling the entries down to our final shortlist.

The shortlisted hotels are available to view on our website, and the ultimate winner will partly be decided by an industry vote – so get online to vote for your favourite out of our eight finalists!

The results of Hotel of the Year will be announced at the end of the first day of the show alongside the results of GM of the Future, in partnership with The Master Innholders, which celebrates a talented rising star in the hotel sector.

Where and when is the Independent Hotel Show?

The Independent Hotel Show returns to Olympia London on 16-17 October 2023, and hoteliers can secure their complimentary trade ticket at