In 2003, we took a look around our industry and saw silos; hospitality brands, designers, manufacturers, owners and operators connected on projects, but we lacked a way to exchange big ideas—the kind of information, goals, tools, priorities and processes that could elevate and transform our industry. Individual companies were developing innovations, but—all too often—those innovations were not tested and refined into even better solutions by a broader network of peers lending expertise from diverse perspectives.
In response, we developed a forum where we could all pool our resources and our brainpower to drive innovation. Collaborating with a valued group of incubators—Phillips & Co., Hospitality Design Magazine, the erstwhile Starwood Hotels, WATG and Joie de Vivre Hospitality—we launched a series of workshops that brought together over 100 hospitality-focused companies to envision the future.
More than a workshop, Hotel of Tomorrow® was developed as a methodology—a fast-paced process of asking questions, compiling research and inspiration, and collaboratively evaluating and elevating new ideas. You’re probably familiar with some of the concepts that originated in the Hotel of Tomorrow® workshops held between 2004 and 2006; participating companies ran with ideas that evolved into floor and wall coverings with integrated fiber optics, new systems for green walls and Aloft’s famous robotic butler, Botler.
Now, in a tumultuous 2020, our industry is more in need of this kind of innovation than ever before. In response, we’ve kicked off a reframed version of The Hotel of Tomorrow®—updated with the latest technology to fit our new remote reality and focused on the challenges that have arisen for hospitality in the era of COVID-19. Read more about it here.