Supporting the hospitality industry is what comes naturally to us. It is what HOSPA is all about. During the Spring of 2020 it quickly became apparent that we had to overhaul our plans for HOSPACE – HOSPA’s annual conference and exhibition. We already had our space reserved at The Royal Lancaster Hotel and were keen to honour our commitment to them but we recognised that the classic HOSPACE format just couldn’t work this year. The challenge was to keep as much as possible of what makes HOSPACE unique - our networking and overriding ambition to share knowledge and experiences.
The result is that HOSPACE 2020 will be a hybrid event with a mix of live - with up to 100 attendees - in the hotel and an on-line conference for many more virtual attendees. The virtual element will be accessible the day before by all attendees so that they can familiarise themselves with the software / plan their schedule / meetings with sponsors etc. Then, on the Conference day itself there will be the exciting live content and on the following day attendees will be nudged to review the previous day’s events and continue sponsor communications.
In the past we have always charged our senior hospitality operators who attend. This year however, we are encouraging operator attendees to qualify for a complimentary pass if they commit to a certain number of sponsor meetings. This is a true win/win, as the operators are likely to be keen to meet new and different suppliers to address their new needs, and gives sponsors guaranteed operator interaction through the software that will be utilised.
We are delighted that so many of our existing and new sponsors are keen to help us support the hospitality industry this year - they will be forever known as our hospitality heroes!
Hospitality is full of entrepreneurial spirit. Never has the flexibility and adaptability of the industry been more apparent than during the COVID-19 crisis. Therefore, I know you will understand that we are making decisions based on the information we have right now. We do not expect to make and significant changes to this format, but please be aware that should official guidance be updated, then we will react accordingly.
HOW IT WILL WORK
Whilst HOSPACE 2020 will be a Hybrid conference we will retain many of the features that have made HOSPACE such a success in past years whilst taking advantage of the new technology being used this year - to the benefit of operators and sponsors alike. This means that we will run the live event as usual at The Royal Lancaster Hotel with socially distanced in-person attendees whilst capturing the content online for our virtual attendees. There will be a similar programme to last year’s event, with plenary sessions, presentations and a live panel discussion after each keynote speech. We will also run workshops with on-line break-outs for those attending in-person and virtually.
One of the core strengths of HOSPACE is the networking. We plan to continue this as much as we always do in the live event and offer a networking lounge at the virtual event, with chat rooms and virtual discussions. Through a dedicated networking page we will offer the opportunity to conduct 1-2-1 live video chats as well as text based messaging with like-minded industry professionals. This can be ad hoc or scheduled throughout the event. In exchange for free attendance operators will be expected to meet a number of sponsors they select during at the Conference.
As a valued sponsor you will get the opportunity to take pride of place in our 3D Welcome lobby through a virtual stand which will direct attendees to a bespoke page which will host your content such as bio, videos, images, links to websites and a button to schedule a meeting with you during the event.