NEW YORK — Besides its traditional pre-show PR blitz, the International Hotel/Motel & Restaurant Show (IH/M&RS) is trying something new to pique interest in the 94th annual event here next month: unusual appeals from pitchmen whose perspectives have, until now, been silenced.
“I’m feeling turned down,” reads the thought bubble rising from a pillow on a nicely appointed bed at www.lonelybeds.com.
At www.lonelytables.com, an unoccupied table for two at a corner café pleads, “Won’t you please have lunch on me?”
Dig a little deeper into these websites and you’ll find bed/table photos tagged with profiles reminiscent of online dating services. It’s a tongue-in-cheek approach to remind hotel operators and restaurant owners of how they can utilize the show’s vast resources to prepare for better business ahead.
“These are still lean times for many hotels,” reads a passage on one of the sites created by GLM, the show’s manager. “And from where we sit, it looks like low rates and low occupancy will be extending their stay for a bit longer. That leaves two options: lay back and wait for the economy to fully recover or discover how to turn things around now” by attending the IH/M&RS.
“The IH/M&RS is where industry professionals need to be in November, as we start to see light at the end of this dark economic tunnel,” says Lynn White, show manager. “Perspective, insight and knowledge of emerging trends and products — all of which can be gathered at this year’s IH/M&RS — will determine who comes out on top.”
POSITION YOURSELF FOR RECOVERY
The latest product launches from more than 1,000 exhibitors, timely seminars focused on topics such as the economy and social networking, and opportunities to gather with industry leaders are projected to draw 35,000 industry professionals to the Nov. 7-10 event at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.
Owners, operators and high-profile industry leaders will share insight, discover the latest products, and make decisions that will help sustain them through tough economic times and position them for success upon recovery, GLM says.
Exhibitors representing all vertical markets within the hospitality industry — including food and beverage, furnishings, technology, equipment, linens, amenities, tableware, cleaning and more — will showcase their latest technologies, products and services to the industry’s most influential buyers.
Categories related to laundry services and linens will be served by a number of exhibitors. (See company names and booth numbers as of Sept. 24 here.)
The Hospitality Leadership Forum returns on Saturday, Nov. 7, presenting more than 20 seminars geared toward senior-level hospitality managers. Topics will include 2010 occupancy forecasts, purchasing strategies, navigating a challenging economy, social networking, customer service and more.
Educational sessions will continue on Sunday and Monday, Nov. 8-9, with topics ranging from benchmarking your property’s ecosystem to bouncing back from a down economy.
IH/M&RS registration is $50 per person; a separate fee of $139 is required to attend the Hospitality Leadership Forum.
Lodging and foodservice professionals can register online at www.ihmrs.com, where they can also find more information about educational opportunities, special events, participating exhibitors, lodging and more. Attendees can also get show information by calling 914-421-3237 or e-mailing email@example.com.
Concurrently, the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s Fall Conference brings the federation leadership to New York City to meet on key industry issues. Delegates attend committee meetings as well as social functions.
Online conference registration is available at www.ahla.com. For more details, call the association at 202-289-3177.