HD Expo + Conference celebrates the future of hospitality, industry resiliency

September 30, 2021
(USA) – HD Expo + Conference celebrated its return to Mandalay Bay Convention Center on August 24-25 after a two-year hiatus.

From expert panels and a show floor brimming with new products, to inspirational sessions designed to spark creativity and inform including keynote talks with the likes of 20 leading hotel operators and owners and featured conversations with visionaries like 21c Museum Hotels founder Steve Wilson, the show was a testament to the power of bringing the industry together once again. The event also debuted new branding and several new activation spaces designed to inspire and create an immersive experience.

“For many people, HD Expo + Conference was their first industry event in a long time. The feedback from attendees and manufacturers has been overwhelmingly positive, and it’s clear the industry was missing the face-to-face interaction and camaraderie of live events,” says Kevin Gaffney, Group Show Director and Vice President, Emerald, HD Expo + Conference’s parent company.

“It was amazing to be able to bring the industry back together again, safely and effectively,” says Stacy Shoemaker Rauen, editor in chief of Hospitality Design magazine, and SVP, Design Group, Emerald. “The more than 100 speakers brought much-needed in-person dialogue on top-of-mind topics, and the show floor was filled with inspirational new products. It was a true celebration of hospitality’s resilience.” 

The largest U.S.-based hospitality event of its kind, this year’s HD Expo + Conference served as the launch event for hundreds of product manufacturers and featured a robust lineup of industry veterans, thought leaders, and ones to watch in nearly 30 conference sessions. The HD Park, inspired by the industry’s many immersive outdoor experiences, hosted all CEU-accredited conference sessions with brand updates and deep dives into new concepts, while talks at the DesignWell Pavilion explored the ever-evolving $4 trillion wellness industry in a desert oasis-inspired space crafted by BHDM Design. A VR-led installation of Urban Robot Associates’ winning design from Hilton and HD’s The Box design competition in 2019 also previewed the full concept buildout that will be built out at the 2022 event. 

The Hospitality Diversity Action Council (HDAC), brought together by Hospitality Designmagazine, hosted a series of pop-up talks in a booth designed by Curioso throughout the two-day event. Comprising hoteliers, designers, landscape architects, and purchasers, the group strives to be a catalyst for addressing the issues of systemic and institutionalised racism which has contributed to the lack of diversity within hospitality. From barriers to access capital to defining Black design to creating inclusive LGBTQ environments, the topics sparked conversation about creating real change within the industry. 

Bernhardt Hospitality took home top honors in the annual Best Booth Awards as best in show, with booths from Lacquercraft Hospitality, CB2 + Crate & Barrel, and Society6 among the winners across nearly a dozen categories. View the full list of HD Expo + Conference Best Booth winners.

HD Expo + Conference will return as a three-day event to the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas on April 26-28, 2022.  

2021 Sponsors: Ambius, Arhaus, Artonomy Inc., Astek Wallcoverings, Bear Mattress, Bryan Ashley, Bryte, Brand Standard Furnishings, Cosentino, Crate & Barrel/CB2, Currey & Co., dormakaba, Draperies.com, Duggal Visual Solutions, Durkan, Fabricut Contract/FR-One, FLOR, Honeywell/Inncom, HotelFurniture.com, Inpro, Interface, Kohler, M Group, Mini Bar Systems, Mirror Image, Navien, Nourison, Porcelanosa, Quick Drain USA, RH Contract, Serta/Simmons Beautyrest, Shaw Contract, Sika Design, Sonny + Ash, SYNLawn, Symmons, Tarkett, TUCCI, TURF Design, Valley Forge Fabrics, Williams-Sonoma Business-to-Business, Yellow Goat Design

Association Partners: The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA), Boutique + Lifestyle Lodging Association (BLLA), The Commercial Interior Design Association (IIDA), The International Society of Hospitality Purchasers (ISHP), and NEWH—The Hospitality Industry Network.