The 2018 Seminar Programme will be published as our speakers confirm. Meanwhile, here’s the 2017 Seminar Programme:

Guy Dittrich

The Seminar Programme at HI Design Europe is world class and is included in your delegate package. Hosted and moderated by Guy Dittrich, variety and quality are guaranteed. 4 sessions are delivered over the two business days, providing insight, education, inspiration and a bit of fun. The first session normally sets the scene with the latest regional market info. from a top industry analyst. This may be followed by a keynote interview with a design legend. We also like to put a handpicked panel of hotel design pro's together to fight their respective corners on a contentious design issue. Finally, something thought provoking or a little left-field is thrown into the mix. Audience participation is always actively encouraged and tends to take things in a whole new direction, the merest whiff of controversy being doggedly pursued by our mischievous host...

Guy Dittrich, Freelance writer, Presenter and Moderator.

Freelance writer, presenter and moderator, Guy Dittrich is an independent commentator on hotels and design. He has been our expert moderator since HI Design began 11 years ago and is now an Event Partner for HI Design MEA

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Russell Kett
08.30 - 09.20

Trends and Opportunities in the European Hotel Sector: A review of the key issues affecting hotel investment in Europe & the outlook for 2017 and beyond

Russell Kett, Chairman of HVS

HVS are hospitality intelligence consultants, helping owners, developers, investors and more to make the right business decisions. Their industry insight is unrivalled and we are proud to announce their Chairman, Russell Kett, will be presenting our opening ’scene-setter’ session. Drawing on the up-to-the-minute hospitality intelligence of HVS and its 350 professionals in over 40 countries, Kett will reveal the factors behind the macro and micro trends which influence the decisions of those who drive our industry. Kett will be well known to attendees of IHIF in Berlin each spring where he regularly hosts plenary sessions, generously tapping into his 40-years of experience in the industry.

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Maria Vafiadis
14:50 – 15:50

Keynote Session - Global brands and local individuality – what’s next for hotel design?

Maria Vafiadis, Founder and Managing Director at MKV Design

Maria Vafiadis has a thought-provoking approach to hospitality design that balances creativity with pragmatism. An approach that has delivered an outstanding and wide-ranging body of work from projects in London, Vienna, Edinburgh and Bern to Baku, Budapest and Prague with the UAE in between and, of course, several in her homeland of Greece. She has worked with a multitude of internationally respected brands, including Starwood, Intercontinental, Hyatt, Regent, Kempinksi and Radisson, as well as with independent hotels. From resort to urban, boutique to brand she is at home in the creative process. Her award-winning work at the Costa Navarino destination set the bar high, and higher she goes with a number of mountain resort hotels – so many in Switzerland alone that she has opened an office there. She brings her experience to bear as a frequent judge of the AHEAD Europe awards and in Split will discuss some of her design ideologies before chatting more widely with the audience.

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Alok Nandi
08.30 - 09.30

The Power of Narrative

Alok Nandi, Interaction Designer & Creative Director

Continuing our innovative programming that has seen futurologists, branding experts and visionary thinkers address the event in recent years, for 2017 we introduce Alok Nandi, a Designer, Creative Director and Design Strategist.

The hospitality industries are busy reimagining the "user experience". Connecting "people" to "place". How do we shape the process of envisioning modalities of "well-being" for engaging? From scenario design to service design, from interaction design to user experience design, the answer to the "How?" question needs to be articulated again and again. Here comes the Power of Narrative. What is Narrative in a context where digital channels and augmented realities change the scape of the place for all the people and the stakeholders?

Alok Nandi is professor of design, creativity & innovation at the hospitality-culinary Institute Paul Bocuse, founded by 3* Michelin chef, Paul Bocuse.

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Alex Duncan Dylan Wills Graham Brown Michal Jackiewicz
13.05 - 14.05

The Panel - Moving Design – designing for hospitality on the go

Hospitality is all about travel so we take an in-depth look at the peculiarities of hospitality design in the realm of trains, planes, cruise ships, yachts and much more. What are the trends? Who are the clients? What are the restrictions in designing moving hospitality spaces and what can regular, land-based hospitality venues learn from this? What are guests of these lodging alternatives looking for? We ask specialists and visionaries in the field to fathom these and other questions put to them by you.


Alex Duncan, Design Director - Interiors, JPA Design

Dylan Wills, Studio Leader - Shanghai, Wilson Associates

Graham Brown, Director, Envelope Architects Ltd

Michal Jackiewicz, Owner & Executive Project Director, Tillberg Design