Sam Hall, Fairmont Hotels and Resorts.
‘good opportunity to meet some local suppliers.’ 12th September 2011
1. Intro – a little bit about Fairmont’s presence and mission in Asia Pacific, and where you fit into it all.
Fairmont have a very prominent presence in the US and Canada but we have a number of properties in the Middle East and Asia – these are big developing markets for us. As India and Asia are opening up for us, we decided to contact HI Design.
My role is Design Director and I’m based in our Dubai office. From there we deal with the Middle East and Asia. I liaise directly with the Interior Designers and we also have our Preferred Suppliers whom we recommend to our Designers and Property Owners as appropriate.
2. Are there any projects you’re particularly excited about right now?
Well, we have 2 projects coming up in Asia, in mainland China so we’re really interested to find partners in the local market. We’re constantly looking for authentic regional suppliers – authenticity is very important to us. We’re not a ‘cookie cutter’ brand and we like to work with regional suppliers who understand where we are in the world.
We also have 2 projects we’re working on in India so we have lots to talk about at HD.
3. How did you hear about HD and what’s your understanding of it?
Our European counterparts were talking about it and suggested we take a look. They see it as a good opportunity to ‘speed date’ with a lot of potential suppliers in a short time. Fairmont have attended HI Design EMEA twice.
4. What actually convinced you that it would be a good idea to attend?
To be honest, it’s partly the location – Vietnam. I think it will be a good opportunity to meet some local Suppliers, although I see from the list that there will also be a lot of global Suppliers there, which is just as good. Just to come away with 1 or 2 new potential partners in Asia would be great. The quality of information and the conversations are more informative than when you go to an exhibition – it’s hard to judge from a stand what someone’s all about.
5. Can you rate your expectations going into the event? Score out of 10 (I’ll ask what your score is after the event).
My expectations are fairly high – 8/10. I know a lot of Designers and Operators who have attended previously. If I can come away with 1 or 2 contacts to build really positive relationships with, that would be great.