The eighth HI DESIGN ASIA took place on 2-4th November 2016 at the JW Marriott Hanoi, Vietnam. 300 senior position delegates attended, comprising Buyers, Suppliers, Speakers and Media Partners.

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Buyer Breakdown


137 buyer delegates representing 81 companies from 17 countries attended.

Interior Architects, Interior Designers and Hotel project leaders responsible for hospitality interior design developments across Asia Pacific. They are drawn from architect and interior design practices, hotel owners and operators, and procurement companies operating in the region.

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161 supplier delegates representing 88 companies from 23 countries attended HI DESIGN ASIA

Manufacturers of a wide spectrum of FF&E products and services applicable for hospitality interior specification across 27 product categories

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This year a record 2016 private, face-to-face meetings took place. These were conducted between the buyer and supplier delegates who had pre-selected in advance of the event whom they wished to meet. A high number of additional informal meetings were also held during the networking sessions at the event.


The 2016 programme consisted of two sessions on both days hosted once again by Guy Dittrich. This years line up was as follows:

What's been happening in Asia and what's up next?
Rolf Schmidt, Founder and Managing Owner, TopHotelProjects

Due to unforeseen circumstance unfortunately Rolf could not be with us in Hanoi, so his colleague Caroline List stepped in at the last minute.

There doesn't seem to be a more relevant way to open up proceedings than this traditional 'scene – setter'. A quick fire, annual update on how countries, cities and hotels have fared in the last year and why. Using bang up to date information from Horwath HTL, who are specialists in performance data across the world, Caroline presented the highlights and lowlights of Revpar, occupancy levels, room rates etc within the Asia Pacific region and attempted to explain the reasoning behind the figures. The focus was then switched to the future and, using TopHotelProjects unique data, we were presented an up to date picture of the Hotel Development Pipeline in this same region.

Keynote Seminar - An hour with Loh Lik Peng
Loh Lik Peng, Hotelier and Restauranteur

Dynamic, multi-award winning Hotelier and Restauranteur, Loh Lik Peng was in conversation with Guy Dittrich, discussing how he made the transition from lawyer to hospitality entrepreneur, developing a string of successful ventures in Asia, Europe and Australia and how this year, at the tender age of 44, he has managed to win a Lifetime Achievement Award at the World Gourmet Summit.

How can a dragon attract mice? A case study of the JW Marriott Hanoi

Opened in 2014, our host hotel can justifiably claim to be the best MICE hotel in Vietnam. Supporting this claim would certainly be the HI Design team, who have not seen a better one in the sixteen years that they have been running their events. So, what is the story behind its creation and why has it been a success since the start? We heard, individually at first, and then in discussion, from the VP of Interior Design of Marriott, Karen Kim, from the Interior Designer who worked on the project, Peter Silling, as well as the architect who created such a striking, yet successful building, Carlos Zapata

PANEL DISCUSSION - Tougher than new build - Refurbishment, Re-use and Restoration

Following the earlier look at our host hotel, a new build hotel, we turned the tables to look at the various wide ranging aspects of conversion and refurbishment. The major hotel brands have significant legacy portfolios that beyond their usual maintenance cycles are in constant need of upgrade and re-positioning vis-à-vis the new competition. The questions were asked - How easy or not is it to do this? What are the essentials and the ‘nice-to-haves’ when taking on this task? The adaptation and re-purposing of properties with former uses - offices, warehousing, religious buildings, factories, schools, hospitals, etc - gives designers potentially interesting stories to build on. But it requires great skill and know how to make them fit-for-purpose and achieve operational efficiencies. And what of the preservation and patrimonial issues that arise upon intervention within historic properties? These questions and more were discussed by our panel who all have significant experience in these aspects of hotel design.

Supplier Showcase

Available throughout the event and in one dedicated session each of the 88 supplier delegate companies had tabletop space to present more of their products. Located in the meetings area, the showcase allowed buyers to further browse and experience products as well as provided opportunity for additional meetings outside of the pre-scheduled meetings programme


Breakfasts, lunches, evening functions, excursions and free time periods provided abundant opportunities to network. All delegates attended the Welcome buffet a traditional Beer Hoi evening, an informal dinner on the middle night where we took all of the delegate to The Museum of Vietnam and enjoyed a beautiful evening in the court yard, and finally a farewell dinner on the final evening at the Grand Ball of the JW Marriott where we were entertained by one of our Buyer delegates Andy Tait and his band the Privateers. All three evenings provided the means for everyone to relax and enjoy networking with their peers in a way simply not possible at traditional trade shows.

We also hosted our Buyer Only networking session, which allowed the Buyers to mingle with each other exclusively, exploring mutual interest opportunities. The Suppliers also had the opportunity to network with each other at the Supplier Networking session, sponsored by TOPHOTELPROJECTS.

Pre-event excursion

Following the success of last years’ tour, this years pre-event tour took place on the Wednesday (arrival day), so the 68 delegates who took part either arrived a day earlier or on the morning of the Pre-Event Tour. We departed from the hotel at 1.30pm for a coach ride that begun our city tour this involved a short stop at one of the many Temples in Hanoi, followed by a stop in the Old Quarter of town to experience a traditional rickshaw ride, and then ending with an amazing water puppet show. We returned to the JW Marriott by 5:30pm in plenty of time for the Welcome Dinner.

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Facts and Figures

Every year we ask all delegates to tell us about their experience at HI DESIGN Asia to ensure that we continue to provide a quality, successful event for all those who attend.

97.2% of buyer delegates either strongly agree or agree that HI Design is an excellent investment of their time.

95.8% of Buyer delegates agree that HI DESIGN really helps identify new design solutions/partners for their upcoming projects.

98.7% of all delegates rated the meetings as either excellent or very good.

87.1% of Buyers said they are definitely or likely to be specifying some of the suppliers they met.

98.7% of delegates thought the organisation and operations of the event was excellent or very good.

96.2% of Supplier delegates agree HI Design provides a really effective platform for doing business.

98.6% of delegates said HI DESIGN ASIA either exceeded their expectation or met their expectation.

For more testimonials, click here