Expanding the IH/M&RS Constituency

Expect a full house Nov. 11 when former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani addresses the 91st annual International Hotel/Motel & Restaurant Show. A reputed contender for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, Giuliani will deliver the keynote Hospitality Leadership Forum address of the lodging industry's premier event at 12:45 p.m. that Saturday. His speech officially launches four days of networking, product display, seminars, and educational sessions — along with a new focus on technology — at New York City's Jacob Javits Convention Center.

Prior to Giuliani's address at the Special Events Hall, there will be a CEO leadership panel featuring thought leaders from lodging and interior design.

The 9 a.m. panel will feature Matthew Hart, president and chief operating officer of Hilton Hotels Corp.; Julia Monk, partner in Brennan Beer Gorman/Architects and Brennan Beer Gorman Monk/Interiors; Edward R. Tinsley III, chairman of the National Restaurant Association and president and chief executive officer of Tinsley Hospitality Group; and Raymond “Rip” Gellein Jr., president of Starwood's Global Development Group. William J. Ferguson, chairman and CEO of Ferguson Partners Ltd. Advisory Group, will moderate.

Scheduled to run concurrently with IH/M&RS is the American Hotel & Lodging Association's annual fall conference. A highlight of the AH&LA presentation is an inaugural gala the evening of Nov. 12 at the Grand Hyatt New York. It will honor incoming AH&LA Chairman Robert L. Steele III, general manager of the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay. Tickets to this limited-attendance, black-tie event are $250 or $2,500 for a table of 10. Only the Leadership Forum and Gala will cost; otherwise, there is no charge for AH&LA members to attend the fall conference.

A less-formal soiree will take place Nov. 11: a second edition of “Late Night With IH/M&RS,” at the B.B. King Blues Club and Grill. Tickets to the 9 p.m. event are $60; more information is available at www.ihmrs.com.

In addition to new marketing partnerships — and old ones with the United States Air Force Services and U.S. Navy Visitors Quarters — this IH/M&RS will emphasize technology. Making its IH/M&RS debut this November is Guestroom 2010, an exhibit prepared by Hospitality Financial Technology Professionals (HFTP), sponsors of the Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference (HITEC), lodging's key annual technology get-together.

Guestroom 2010, which features 56 different technologies designed to showcase cutting-edge guestroom appliances and amenities, made its debut at HITEC in June, when thousands circulated through the display.

It will include innovations such as the futuristic Ammique bed, a $20,000 British import showcasing tension springs; the Guest-room Digital Assistant, a highly bundled guestroom environmental control device; and Fabric Freshener by Whirlpool, a portable appliance that minimizes the traveler's need for dry cleaning. It will be set up in Booth 4062 from 10 am. to 5 p.m. Sunday and Monday, Nov. 12 and 13, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 14.

Other highlights of IH/M&RS, which aims to link more than 35,000 industry professionals with 1,400 exhibitors, are 40-plus educational sessions, the Salon of Culinary Art, a demonstration kitchen, and the 26th annual Gold Key Awards for Excellence in Hospitality Design. New this year: the Luxury Product Collection, a selection of high-end furniture, linens, amenities and tableware.

The show is sponsored by the New York State Hospitality & Tourism Association, the Hotel Association of New York City, and the AH&LA.

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