We had a fabulous Platinum Circle Awards event last week, where a who’s who of the industry—David Rockwell, Barry Sternlicht, Clodagh, Alexandra Champalimaud, James Packer, and a special appearance by Robert De Niro—helped to honor Gary Dollens, Hyatt; Kemper Hyers, Starwood Capital; and chef Nobu Matsuhisa with our career achievement award, and celebrate HBA for 50 years of innovation. I always feel a little sad the day after that it is over—a bit like wedding blues. It’s such a special evening with the industry dressed to the nines, the buzz of people visiting during dinner, the applause, cheers, and standing ovations during the inductions, the heartfelt speeches—I wish we could do it more than once a year.
That being said, we have a lot to look forward to in terms of events.
In two weeks, we are taking HD Conversations, our informal, interactive discussions from the HD Expo show floor, on the road. First stop is Art Basel (December 3rd at the Aloft South Beach), where we will discuss the importance of art in hospitality with an impressive group (if I do say so myself): Julie Frank, global director of design for Le Méridien Hotels; Jesse MacDougall, director of strategy and brand development for ICRAVE; Teddy Mayer, vice president of design for Virgin Hotels; and Lauren Rottet, founder of Rottet Studio. It should be an interesting chat, with live music and bites from Stephen Starr’s restaurant Continental. Special thanks to HG Arts, the Aloft South Beach, Drambuie, and Reyka Vodka.
And believe it or not, registration is now open for HD Expo, taking place May 4-6th at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. The conference panels—many bringing the pages of the magazine to life—are set and we will be adding the names of the amazing veterans and rising stars who will be tackling these inspiring and informative topics in the coming weeks. And stay tuned for our keynoters! There is so much great design happening in this industry, it has been such fun—albeit challenging—to bring it all together. And I am excited to see what Andrew Alford, chief creative officer of AJ Capital, dreams up for our Social Hub on the show floor. He’s crafting a Graduate Hotels-inspired lobby, and I am sure from his recent openings, it will be colorful and pattern-ful, and just awe inspiring. More to come on other show floor happenings as we have a few ideas that we are beginning to flesh out. One thing is for sure: Exciting things are in store for our 25th anniversary.