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Press Release

29 Jan 2014

Branding Challenges and Investor Insight: Just Two of the Important Topics to be Discussed During IHIF 2014

BERLIN (29 January, 2014): Continuing the long standing commitment to delivering a varied and comprehensive educational programme, the International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF) Berlin will host some of the most respected and learned speakers from across the world. Over the follow weeks, we will highlight some key topics to be addressed across the broad IHIF 2014 programme.

The relationship with brands continues to spark debate across the hotel community. IHIF are delighted to announce that Peter Shaindlin, Chief Operating Officer, Halekulani Corporation will be delivering the conference keynote address entitled “Brand Blur; The Benefits And Perils Of Brand Alliances”. Shaindlin is recognised as one of the leading visionaries and change agents in the global luxury hospitality industry. Speaking on his forthcoming keynote address, Shaindlin said: “In recent years there’s a bit of ‘brand mania’ taking over the industry:  we’ve seen the proliferation of core hotel brands, augmented by those same brands selectively partnering with other luxury brands from fashion designers retail, to restaurants, cars and the like. The past two years or more has also witnessed the birth of countless sub-brands, these ‘offspring’ of long-established brands designed to capture broader markets than their just their own original consumer base. There are both internal and external challenges these efforts sometimes provoke. Internally, the physical expression of the product, given the vast array of direct competitors, can result in a sort of collective ‘blur,’ where competitive brands’ product strikes the consumer as suspiciously similar—often the same designers and architects are used inadvertently within a comp set, and externally, many brands contract the same leading restaurant operators as their direct brand competitors. What’s the result of all this? ‘Brand blur,’ a condition where the homogeny of a collective brand comp set—regardless of star level—seems to be growing exponentially with the proliferation of brands themselves. What does this mean for chain brands, and what does it mean for independents—and their consumers? We’ll examine these phenomena during the session at IHIF and resulting issues while identifying both opportunities and solutions that will help those riding these waves navigate successfully and prosperously.”

Exploring investors’ appetite and motivations in 2014 will be high on many delegates agendas. Russell Kett, Chairman, HVS London Office will seek to understand the strategy, mood and foresight of investors as he moderates “Investors Respond; How are Investors Managing Given the Economic Landscape”. HVS are committed supporters of the conference and will be releasing both their European Hotel Valuation Index and European Hotel Transactions publications at IHIF. Looking to the session, Kett said; “My aim as moderator is to extract as much information from the panel as possible. The challenge will be that their respective investment strategies are kept under relatively close guard. I want the panellists to share with the audience where in Europe they are seeking to invest, whether that be cities or provincial locations, the type of hotels they see as sound investments, the various tenure considerations and the preferred terms of business they seek to negotiate with management companies. I’m also going to probe them for further insight into the recent deals we have seen, particularly those that my panellists have been personally involved with. I’m expecting a really insightful panel with honest and genuine investor sentiment being shared”.

On his panel, Kett will be in discussion with Dr Frank Billand, Member of the Management Board, Union Investment Real Estate GmbH; Mike Goodson, Head of Hospitality, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority; Majid Mangalji, Founder and President, Westmont Hospitality Group and Jim Risoleo, Executive Vice President and Managing Director Europe, Host Hotels & Resorts.

Peter Shaindlin’s keynote address will take place on Monday 3rd March 16.50 – 17.30. Russell Kett will be moderating the Investors Respond session at 14.50 – 15.30 also on Monday 3rd March.

Branding and investor sentiment are just two of the important topics to be debated at IHIF. The conference consistently addresses all the main areas affecting the hotel investment industry. Our next programme focus will look at the regularly anticipated CEO panel and – new to IHIF 2014 – a session dedicated to understanding how tourism ministers from around the globe are attracting new investment to their regions.

This year’s conference will take place on the 3-5th March 2014 at the InterContinental Hotel Berlin, Germany. IHIF is known as THE place where deals get done and is Europe’s largest gathering of senior-level global hotel industry leaders. Visit for programme details and to register for the 2014 event.

Follow IHIF 2014 on Twitter @IHIF_News and use #IHIF2014 to stay up to date with the latest news from the leading annual meeting place for the industry.


Editors notes:

About Questex Media Group

Questex Hospitality + Travel, the largest multimedia organization in the world dedicated to hospitality and travel, drives revenue, productivity and value creation for these related industries through strategic investment and deal-making forums, powerful lead-generation tools, interactive online business solutions, world-class events and industry-leading publications.

Questex Hospitality + Travel operates throughout the United States and Americas regions, EMEA and Asia/Pacific through a variety of market-leading properties and services including International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF) Berlin, North America Hotel Investment Conference, Asia Pacific Hotel Investment Conference, Asia Pacific Tourism Destination Investment Conference, Brasil Hospitality Investment Conference, Russia & CIS Hotel Investment Conference, Turkey & Neighbours Hotel Investment Conference, HOTEC Design North America and HOTEC Operations & Technology North America; lead generation portal; industry news delivery services in print, online and mobile worldwide via IHIF: Hotel Investment News along with Hotel Management and HA+D magazines. For more information please visit

About ISHC

The International Society of Hospitality Consultants is a professional organization of 200 members with work experience in over 60 countries. Membership in ISHC is by invitation only and members are viewed as leaders in their respective areas of expertise. And with over 40 different areas of specialty expertise represented within the organization, ISHC represents a one of a kind collection of experience and expertise worldwide in the hospitality industry.  In 2013, ISHC commemorated a special milestone, as it marked the 25th anniversary since its founding in 1988.  Additional information about the organization, along with a directory of ISHC members, is available on the ISHC website at 

About Bench Events

Bench Events has a long track record of delivering, with its partners, the premier hotel investment events across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Bench Events’ Chairman, Jonathan Worsley, works in association with the highly successful International Hotel Investment Forum which is now in its seventeenth year ( In 2005, he was responsible for launching the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference in Dubai (; and in 2008 launched the Russia & CIS Hotel Investment Conference (  In 2011 Bench Events added two events to its portfolio, co-hosting the Turkey & Neighbours Hotel Investment Conference ( and launching the Africa Hotel Investment Forum which in 2013 was held in Nairobi, Kenya ( In 2014 Bench Events will launch the Global Restaurant Investment Forum (
Bench Events recently supported the Kenyan Red Cross following the Westgate Mall shootings and the anti-poaching efforts of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

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