An interview with... Adrian Ellis MI FIH, General Manager at The Lowry and Chairman of the Hotel Leadership Conference
Hotel Leadership Conference 2024, presented by the Master Innholders, is returning to the Park Plaza London Riverbank on 15-16 January. As a partner of Master Innholders, we spoke to Adrian Ellis FIH MI, General Manager of The Lowry, the curator of the two-day conference to find out what he's looking forward to the most!
Describe the Hotel Leadership Conference to someone new the event?
The Leadership Conference brings together 450 Hoteliers from around the UK to talk about the latest trends, developments, and opportunities within the industry. It’s the leading industry event of the year and attended by General Managers from most of the leading hotels in the country as well as senior representation from most of the UK hotel chains. Each year there is a conference theme, with the presentations revolving around this subject and how leaders should prepare themselves. There will also be an opportunity to explore new brands/products and services that are on display for delegates in the exhibition space. The conference provides updates and insights from the guest speakers and is also a great networking opportunity and chance to meet other hotel professionals from around the UK. The conference is spread over two days with a wide-ranging agenda and a black-tie dinner on the first evening to celebrate the best of our industry and a chance to meet industry colleagues.
Tell us more about the ‘Breaking Boundaries’ theme for the conference.
The theme for this year is ‘Breaking Boundaries’ which takes a futuristic look at the hotel industry. The conference will look at the onset of new technologies that are coming into the market. On day one the conference explores the technologies that are available today and what is coming up or being talked about for the coming 10 to 15 years. It will also encourage hoteliers to embrace the future and to get on board with technologies that are being discussed. The second day is much more about the human aspect of managing with technology talking about how to develop leadership styles, preparing your employees for the future and managing the ethics around new technology.
Are there any new speakers to the conference that you’re looking forward to hearing from?
There is a fantastic lineup of speakers this year with several new speakers to the conference. In particular, it will be inspirational to hear from Jeremy White and Ells Sy who will both talk about new technologies coming into the industry and how hoteliers should be prepared. The over arching message is that we don’t want delegates to be concerned about new technology but rather embrace the changes and prepare to take on board new ideas. On the second day topics will be more closely linked to how leaders can prepare for this new era and Leanne Walter-Hawkes will be talking about how to prepare for the employees of the future and what they will be expecting in terms of work/life balance and opportunities from employers. Professor Keeley Crockett will also be talking about the fascinating subject of ethics of technology with some practical tips about how to be better prepared to manage scams, deep fakes and data protection.
What excites you most about the conference?
I think the subject of AI and technology is very topical at this time and I think the line up of speakers at the 2024 conference will really provide an insightful look at what technology is already out there today and what could be coming their way in the not too distant future. The opportunities that this could bring to our industry is exciting we are hoping that hoteliers will embrace this new technology and find take aways from each presentation that they can take back to their businesses. We hope that delegates will find the conference topical, informative and at the same time thought provoking.
As the 30th anniversary of the conference, can delegates expect any exciting celebrations or anything new to experience?
With this being the 30th year, the conference theme will be around a futuristic look at the Hotel industry. Delegates can expect to see some new technology around including robotics, new technologies and apps and some futuristic new products/services from our sponsors. We will also be celebrating the Hotelier of the Year and GM of the future which will be recognised at the black-tie dinner. There promises to be a few surprises given the futuristic theme of the conference and we welcome potential delegates to visit our website to find out more.