A talk with Keeli Schmidt, Sales Director at HD Expo + Conference, who unveils to Italian Contract 4HD some hints about 2023 edition.
The largest U.S. hospitality event of its kind, HD Expo + Conference features the latest products, services, and innovative developments from leading industry manufacturers.
How is the Italian Contract 4HD pavilion perceived by attendees?
HD Expo will be in its 32nd year and a lot of exhibitors go to launch products and to show new lines, and attendees are going to see that as well. Our feedback from the attendees about the exhibitors that participated with Italian Contract 4HD was very positive especially this past year because there’s not a lot of time for international travel. So to be able to see high quality products from Italy and to see what’s new and to meet new companies is the biggest feedback we get from our post show survey from attendees. They really want to meet new companies and see new products – of course a lot of the attendees go to see companies they work with all the time, but they’re really going to see what’s new and they go discover who has a new launch or new line or something that they are looking for their projects. So the companies that participated with Italian Contract 4HD were very well perceived. They were individual stands and views that really showcased themselves well but being as a group together with other Italian companies was also really wonderful. Attendees can walk around the whole area and see what’s high and upcoming in Italy and what can be represented in the States.
Coming to the next edition: how is the state of space selling for HD 2023?
We sold a lot at the show and we’re continuing to talk to companies. We are seeing now companies that have not been with us for the past 3 years coming back for next edition. Some companies set out for the past 3 years because of the pandemic, and now the budgets are coming back, the projects are coming back, so they they’re having a presence now being with us at HD Expo. So we’re taking more space next year and we’re even adding another entrance and the hall is starting to really be full. We’re expecting probably around 600 companies and we’re really excited about that.
Any special news for the show floor?
We’re continuing to add on activation spaces in the hall so we’re having engaging areas on the show floor that are in different corners and different areas. That really gets the attendees to walk the whole show floor. The aim is just keeping attendees on the floor and engage as much as possible, so they can really navigate and see the whole show instead of leaving and going downstairs to a session. So we’re creating and we’re building new spaces that are beautiful spaces to see and that’s what we’re really focusing on for next year and then.
For next year we will have our Social Hub that’s being designed by Kimpton Hotels and that’ll be an area where we have talks and sessions.
We’re also doing our Design Well Pavilion and that’s going to be designed by Highgate Hotels. That’ll be on the show floor too and talks and sessions will be going on there about Wellness, Wellness and design, Sustainability and how that is involving in our industry.
Then the third space that we’ll have on the show floor will be the HD park and it’s a massive space that’s being designed by Williams-Sonoma again with an outdoor theme.
We’re increasing the footprint for the Social Hub, Design Well, and HD park because they were well received in 2022 and they’re going to be more of a draw. It had a lot of positive feedback from exhibitors too last year because they were really excited to know they could go listen to a talk too if it was going on the Social Hub or Design Well pavilion without having to pay for a separate conference badge. So interesting just to hear what top attendees are saying about projects and what they’re seeing in their forecast and just learning what’s going on the industries nice to have going on the show floor for free.
Can you can you reveal something new for 2023?
We are doing a hosted buyer program where we sponsor for 100 top high profile attendees to come to the show. We really are trying to make sure about the quality of attendees. They have a diverse portfolio projects, so we’re really investing in making sure that the right people are there.
In addition to what we started this year – but we’re really promoting it – we’re giving the matchmaking program to all exhibitors. That’s included in the exhibitor package, they don’t have to pay extra for it. When the exhibitors register (and we encourage exhibitors to register early so that they can get in and set meetings with attendees before the show), they can see the list of attendees, what they’re interested in seeing and reach out to them to set up these appointments. We are doing it a hybrid wave this coming year for 2023 where exhibitors can select whether to meet at their booth or we also have HD matchmaking lounge at the show.
Italian Contract 4 Hospitality Design, besides coordinating the participation of Italian companies to Hospitality Design Expo + Conference, connects suppliers with professionals of the contract sector in the US.