The ninth HI DESIGN ASIA took place on 1-4th November 2017 at the Shangri-La Rasa Ria, Borneo. 320 senior position delegates attended, comprising Buyers, Suppliers, Speakers and Media Partners.

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Buyer Breakdown


138 buyer delegates representing 87 companies from 13 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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165 supplier delegates representing 89 companies from 21 countries attended HI DESIGN ASIA

Manufacturers of a wide spectrum of FF&E products and services applicable for hospitality interior specification across 19 product categories.

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This year a record 1881 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 2017 programme consisted of two sessions on both days hosted once again by Guy Dittrich. This years line up was as follows:

Spotlight on Asia Pacific - opportunities today and in the future
Damien Little, Horwath HTL, Director, Asia Pacific

Making sense of an area as large and culturally diverse as South East Asia requires a well-tuned ear for picking up the trends and drivers right across the region. Horwath HTL are specialists in global hotel performance data and Damien, who has worked for them for over 16 years, will present the most interesting and outstanding highlights of what has been going on over the last few years. It wasn’t just statistics and jargon, rather Damien leveraged his significant experience on more than 400 hotel related projects in 17 countries across the region to add some anecdotal flesh to the numerical bones of performance. Using pipeline data from STR we will also got a sneaky glimpse into the future of hotel development and where we can all expect to be working soon!

Keynote Seminar - Experiences Beyond Space
Ed Ng, Co-founder and Principal of AB Concept

We are suitably pleased to confirm that Ed Ng, Co-founder and Principal of AB Concept will be our Keynote Speaker this year. A graduate of Hong Kong Polytechnic University, with over 25 years experience in luxury hospitality, residential and commercial interior design, Ed has led AB Concept to become one of the world’s leading design studios.

Designing a truly luxurious space goes beyond the style, tone and materials/furnitures used. It’s about the emotion and experience a space generates for its owner and guests - the design goal being to create a space for one to feel, react to and be affected by.

The interactions and experience between human and design can be powerful and impactful, though a multifaceted challenge to realise. Exploring the emotional and experiential sides of real-life design practice, Ed Ng shared anecdotes from the front line with real examples that went beyond the design of space.

The Creative Brain - and how to use it
Caroline Williams, Science Journalist

Caroline Williams is a science journalist and editor who is both a regular contributor to and a consultant for New Scientist magazine. She is also the author of Override: My quest to go beyond brain training and take control of my mind (Scribe, 2017). Override came about after Caroline’s many years of reporting on the science of neuroplasticity (the idea that the brain retains an ability to rewire itself throughout our whole lives). No-one seemed to know how to use this information to get the best out of our brains. Determined to find out, Caroline spent over a year travelling around the laboratories of top neuroscientists, offering herself as a guinea pig in scientific studies and challenging scientists to make real-world changes to her perfectly functioning, yet imperfect brain!

As part of this brain-boosting mission, Caroline headed to Lawrence, Kansas, where a team is studying how the brain comes up with creative ideas. Joining in with their experiments she submitted herself to be brain-scanned and then stimulated with pulses of electricity in a bid to see if it helped the ideas to flow. What she found may come as a relief: you don’t need to be scanned or zapped to get into the creative zone. You just need to know how to get into the right state of mind to let creativity flourish. In this talk, Caroline Williams explained what happens in our brains when we combine existing ideas to create something entirely new. She also shared some research-based tips from her journey on how to make it happen more often. Finally, she gave us a glimpse of the future and how technology may provide shortcuts to moments of creative insight. No zapping was required.


This session looked at the increasing crossover of design between interiors and exteriors. Looking beyond the blurring of functionality between indoor and outdoor spaces in resorts, our experts from both design and operational backgrounds covered the impact at the urban level. The ways in which the revenue potential of roof spaces, terraces and balconies can be maximised. To say nothing of hotel gardens and internal green walls that resonate with the growing influence of local sustainability and awareness of the benefits of biophilic design

Supplier Showcase

During one dedicated 70 minute session on the first day, each of the 89 supplier delegate companies had table top space to present more of their products. This showcase allowed buyers to further browse and experience these products and in particular provided an 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. An informal dinner on the middle night where we took advantage of being on the beach and with a beach BBQ. We end with the farewell dinner in the grand ballroom where everyone danced the night away. 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 79 delegates who arrived a day earlier to the Pre-Event Tour. We departed from the hotel at 9am for a coach ride through the city to a jetty to get a boat to Gaya Island where everyone trekked through the rainforest and saw the mangroves. We then made our way back to the boats and had another short journey to the restaurant were lunch was served. We returned to the Shangri-La Rasa Ria by 4pm 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.

98.44% of buyer delegates either strongly agree or agree that HI Design is an excellent investment of their time.

91.86% of Buyer delegates agree that HI DESIGN really helps identify new design solutions/partners for their upcoming projects.

98.9% of all delegates rated the meetings as either excellent or very good.

87.5% of Buyers said they are definitely or likely to be specifying some of the suppliers they met.

99.1% of delegates thought the organisation and operations of the event was excellent or very good.

96.51% of Supplier delegates agree HI Design provides a really effective platform for doing business.

98.8% of delegates said HI DESIGN ASIA either exceeded their expectation or met their expectation.

For more testimonials, click here