Tradeshow round-up: The Refinishing Touch attends IHG Tradeshow, BITAC West and Best Western Product Showcase

November 1st, 2013 by TRT Blog

BITACThis month has been jam-packed with trade shows and networking events across the hospitality sector. Just this week, we landed safely back in Alpharetta after spending three days in sunny California for the Buyer Interactive Trade Alliance & Conference (BITAC) Purchasing & Design West 2013 conference. As long-time attendees of BITAC events, we always look forward to these conferences.

With a full schedule of workshops, scheduled meetings, and team-building, we were grateful to have the opportunity to expand our networks and foster long-term relationships with hoteliers, purchasers, vendors and service providers like ourselves.

Adding to an event-filled week, from October 28-30 The Refinishing Touch flew to Las Vegas for the InterContinental Hotels Group Owners Association tradeshow. During our stay we met with thousands of owners and operators across the hospitality industry, and attended dozens of events available throughout the conference, resulting in many learning opportunities. We are already looking forward to next year’s event.

Earlier in our hospitality-filled October, The Refinishing Touch team attended the Best Western Product Showcase from October 17 — 19 in San Antonio, Texas at The Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center. During our stay we interacted with numerous travel and hospitality professionals and fellow vendors – which gave us the chance to discuss our furniture refinishing processes and exclusive hardware, stone and Touch Textile lines.

Did we miss you at these IHG, BITAC or the Best Western events? Visit our services page to learn more about our refinishing and upholstery services, or email us at sales@therefinishingtouch.com to get in touch.

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Tradeshow round-up: The Refinishing Touch attends ACUHO-I/APPA Housing Facilities Conference

October 25th, 2013 by TRT Blog

The Refinishing Touch tradeshow eventsLast week, from October 15 through the 18th, the Association of College and University Housing Officers  International (ACUHO-I)  hosted its Housing Facilities Conference in Providence, Rhode Island, alongside longtime partners APPA.

This event, which The Refinishing Touch is always eager to attend, brings together facility directors, operational and maintenance staff, and other professionals with a passion for a common goal – improving on-campus housing facilities for universities and colleges nationwide.

Throughout the course of the week we networked with attendees who are passionate about education, caught up with familiar faces and gained valuable insight into best practices for key focus areas such as facilities, maintenance, construction and our personal favorites – sustainability and renovation.

With a theme of ‘Excellence from Coast to Coast’, this year’s conference brought Vennie Gore, the vice president for auxiliary enterprises at Michigan State University  – former ACUHO-I president – as the keynote speaker. During his time at the podium, The Refinishing Touch crew was enlightened by his thoughtful perspective on the impact facilities have on residents: ‘buildings + people = student success’.

As is usually the case with industry tradeshows, we returned to Georgia with a reinvigorated passion for our furniture asset management services and new relationships within the community.

For a full event schedule, please refer to the ACUHO-I | APPA Housing Facilities Conference event guide. Our next stop is the BITAC Purchasing & Design West – will we see you there? Get in touch with us on Twitter at @RefinishTouch or email us at info@prompt-communications.com.

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The lodging industry is breaking more records and making more beds

September 24th, 2013 by TRT Blog

Government battles budget constraints“The good times are going to last for several more years,” said Hotel Interactive journalist Glenn Haussman.

Following his time at the 19th annual Lodging Conference last week, Haussmann reflected on the somber attitudes in 2009 and happily compared to the upbeat crowd he so enjoyed in 2013.

While many feel as though the hospitality industry isn’t in the clear just yet, statistics show that stability is on the horizon. With hotel stocks up 12%, high-demand and increased room rates driving profits, and record-breaking bookings – 108.5 million rooms were occupied in the month of July – it’s no wonder hoteliers filling the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa were so optimistic.

With increased revenue, profits and guest retention – renovation is on the rise. As budgets increase, hotel management is looking towards long-ignored Property Improvement Plans (PIPs) to ensure customer satisfaction and efficiency.

As a long-standing provider of furniture asset management services within the sector, The Refinishing Touch has seen the effects of the economic turnaround firsthand. In response to recent years, hoteliers are more budget conscious than ever – they understand that services such as refinishing, re-upholstery and remanufacturing provide the perfect on-site solution to improving appearance, extending the life of assets, and meeting sustainable goals.

Do you have furniture in need of a revamp? Get in touch with us at info@therefinishingtouch.com or request a free quote on our website.

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Tradeshow round-up: The Refinishing Touch attends BITAC Purchasing and Design East

August 9th, 2013 by TRT Blog

BITACbigWhen presented with the opportunity to learn more about the hospitality sector – one of our key target industries – The Refinishing Touch team packs their bags and prepares for travel. Last week, we landed in sunny Florida, and headed to The Westin Diplomat for a week of networking, educational industry insight and company-wide development.

The Buyer Interactive Trade Alliance & Conference (BITAC), as produced by Hotel Interactive, hosts a series of conferences each year, designed to bring industry leaders from across the world together under one roof in a greater effort to address the current challenges and areas of improvement within the hospitality sector.

As frequent attendees of BITAC conferences, we settled in and began listening – eager to explore all the ways in which hospitality has changed over the past year. In a survey conducted by the event orchestrators, various economical questions were posed. Here’s what BITAC attendees had to say about the recent hospitality boom:

  • Nearly two-thirds (63.8%) of BITAC attendees are increasingly optimistic about the state of the economy
  •  35.4% are feeling ‘very much’ more economically confident in relation to years past
  •  Almost half (42.7%) raised their ADR (Average Daily Rate) by 3-5% so far in 2013, thanks in large part to the heightened interest in travel

With the industry as a whole boasting a record-high RevPAR (revenue per available room) in the first five months of the year, hoteliers nationwide are looking forward to ramping up their property improvement plans (PIPs) and increasing overall guest satisfaction.

With each BITAC event, The Refinishing Touch team learns more and more from our peers – enabling us to consistently improve upon our cost-effective, sustainable, and disruption-free furniture asset management services. In addition to gaining industry insight, we also walk away from the conference with new contacts that we look forward to connecting with again in the near future.

Did we miss you at BITAC Purchasing and Design East? We’d love to talk to you about the event – tweet us at @RefinishTouch. If you’re interested in meeting a member of The Refinishing Touch at future tradeshows, please email us at info@therefinishingtouch.com

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Tradeshow round-up: The Refinishing Touch attends HotelPoint, Hilton Worldwide’s ONE: Full Service Summit Tradeshow, and ACUHO-I

June 28th, 2013 by TRT Blog

The Refinishing Touch tradeshow eventsThe Refinishing Touch, we place great importance on meeting with our industry peers, staying up-to-date with trends across our three target sectors, and having the resources to deliver award-winning furniture asset management solutions to our customers – and a big part of that is achieved by attending interesting, informational tradeshows across the country.

Over the past few months, we’ve attended key events in Colorado, Texas and Minnesota, starting with the HotelPoint conference, held this year at the Broadmoor Resort in Colorado from April 28 to April 30. The event brings together hotel brand executives, owners, operators and suppliers, to explore the most innovative architecture, construction, renovation and engineering trends in the industry, in addition to exploring new business and relationship opportunities.

Next, as we made our way west across the country, we stopped at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, Texas for the Hilton Worldwide’s ONE: Full Service Summit Tradeshow, from April 29 to May 1. The Refinishing Touch has been working with the Hilton brand for years, making its Full Service Summit Tradeshow event not one to miss, as it gathers general managers and sales directors for three of Hilton’s full-service hotel brands: Hilton Hotels & Resorts; DoubleTree; and Embassy Suites.

Finally, we found ourselves at the ACUHO-I Annual Conference and Exposition in Minneapolis, Minnesota from June 15 to June 18, to discuss the changing landscape across college and university housing. The event featured keynote speakers, sessions, and networking opportunities with the goal of discussing and implementing the best services and products available in the university housing industry.

It has been a successful and productive past couple of months for The Refinishing Touch, and we look forward to sharing our knowledge and connecting with even more existing and potential clients at the tradeshows we plan to attend in the second half of 2013.

Are you attending a government, university or hospitality tradeshow in the coming months? We’d love to hear from you about the possibility to connect in person! Please email us at info@therefinishingtouch.com or connect with us on Twitter: @RefinishTouch.

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Earth Day 2013: Coming together for greater environmental good

April 19th, 2013 by TRT Blog

earthdayThis upcoming Monday, the world will celebrate Earth Day for the 43rd time. The Refinishing Touch is dedicated to preserving the world’s resources year-round, but we welcome this day of environmental celebration and sustainable awareness with open arms.

The first annual Earth Day took place in 1970, and boasted participation from nearly 20 million people. Next week, it is projected that an astounding one billion people, across 180 different countries, will join together to commemorate the special day and make a difference to the environment we all share.

Our premier clientele, which include hotels, college dormitories, on-base army barracks and more, possess the ability to make impactful changes. Our world’s environment greatly depends on the act of not only individuals, but organizations at large. Whether you’re in a position of power at a global corporation, or simply trying to increase environmental awareness in your own home, here are a few reasons to go green on Earth Day and for years to come:

- The amount of wood and paper thrown away each year is enough to heat 50 million homes for two years. To cut down on such environmentally-hazardous routines, increase the amount of recycling bins in your edifice and repurpose existing assets whenever possible.

- Recycling a newspaper each day would save about 250 million trees each year, yet only 27 percent on Americans currently recycle the daily read.

- An individual goes through seven trees each year in paper, wood, and other products made from trees.

- Furniture asset management services, like The Refinishing Touch’s refinishing and re-upholstery, can reduce a large-scale renovation project’s greenhouse gas emissions by 90 percent.

After 35 years of delivering cost-effective, sustainable furniture asset management services within the hospitality, higher education and government sectors, we’ve taken pride in the amount of reduced greenhouse gas emissions and preserved landfill space resulting from repurposing furniture assets. From our studies, The Refinishing Touch estimates it has saved approximately 2,250,000 pounds of wood from making its way into landfills nationwide since our inception in 1977.

If you would like to learn more about The Refinishing Touch’s fiscally-responsible and environmentally-friendly refinishing, re-upholstery and remanufacturing solutions, visit our website or request a free quote here.

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Tradeshow round-up: The Refinishing Touch attends ALIS and BITAC Purchasing & Design West

April 5th, 2013 by TRT Blog

Along with providing high-quality furniture asset management services to our clients in the US and Canada, The Refinishing Touch also tries to spare some time to attend tradeshows, giving us the opportunity to hear more of the research, innovations and trends in our key industries.

Over the past quarter, we’ve packed our bags not once, but twice, to attend two conferences in the sunny state of California. To start off the New Year, we made our way to the Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS) in Los Angeles, California. From January 22nd until the 24th, we attended the leading hotel investment conference in the world, accompanied by over 2,400 top industry leaders. Through networking, seminars and panel discussions, we walked away from the event with in-depth knowledge of the hospitality sector, which we have served for over 35 years.

BITAC tradeshowNearly one month later, we found ourselves at yet another tradeshow – this time at the Buyer Interactive Trade Alliance & Conference (BITAC) Purchasing & Design West, in Dana Point, California. Each and every year, as blogged about in the past, we make it a priority to attend this conference, as it provides us with a great venue to meet with past customers and future prospects. From March 10th through the 12th, our team experienced a warming reception, relationship-building dining, interactive educational sessions, one-on-one meetings, and evening entertainment. We had a wonderful time getting to meet industry professionals, and informing them of our award-winning furniture refinishing, re-upholstery and remanufacturing services – we already can’t wait for the next BITAC event!

While the first quarter of the fiscal year 2013 was certainly busy, filled with renovation projects and tradeshows, it was also very rewarding. By attending these conferences, we connected with potential clients, learned more about how our existing clients operate and were able to help spread the message about the work we do.

Were you at the BITAC or ALIS events with us this season? We’d love to hear more about your own experiences, and connect with you! Please email us or tweet us your feedback: @RefinishTouch.

To find out which events we will be traveling to next, be sure to subscribe to our InTouch quarterly newsletter by visiting our past archives here. The next edition will be hitting email inboxes on Tuesday, April 16th – you don’t want to miss it!

New Jersey talks green tourism: Trends, challenges and traveler requests

March 19th, 2013 by TRT Blog

The Refinishing Touch reports on sustainable universitiesOver the past 35 years in business, The Refinishing Touch has been proud to provide sustainable and fiscally-responsible furniture asset management services to some of the largest, most well-known hotel corporations, including the Hilton, Hyatt, Best Western, IHG and more.

From our work, we’ve witnessed firsthand the tremendous progress in sustainability and environmental leadership throughout the hospitality industry – from the smallest gestures, like adding more easily-accessible recycling bins, to larger-scale initiatives like the construction of green roofs and solar panels.

Recently, the Global Sustainable Tourism Council hosted a conference where individuals and businesses alike shared this one common goal – making the world a better, greener place. Held in New Jersey, the conference highlighted the major trends and achievements in sustainability both in the city and worldwide.

Some of the key takeaways from the event included:

- 41% of leisure travelers today expect some progress in energy efficiency, waste recycling and water conservation in hotels

- Nearly two-thirds of business travelers cite an establishment’s eco-friendly initiatives when booking a room

- Wyndham is the greenest hotel company, according to Newsweek, while Fortune rates it as ‘the most admired company in the industry’

With these figures in mind, it’s important that property managers think outside of the recycling box, when attempting to further sustainable practices. For example, when undergoing renovations, one should think twice before buying new furniture in an effort to help prevent wood from making its way into landfills. Not only will The Refinishing Touch’s refinishing, re-upholstery and remanufacturing help reduce the amount of waste, but it will also lessen a property’s carbon footprint and prevent deforestation.

Operating a sustainable hotel is not only beneficial to the environment; it is also a low-cost way to capitalize on short- and long-term ROI. By up-cycling furniture assets, one can save up to 80 percent in renovation costs – a critical factor when faced with the increasing number of budget cuts. While some may view ‘green tourism’ as a pricey goal, it is now more cost-effective and attainable than ever before.

For more information on The Refinishing Touch and its refinishing, re-upholstery and remanufacturing in the hospitality, government and higher education housing sectors, please visit our website or listen to an audio overview here.

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National Telework Week: corporate America committing to environmentally-friendly initiatives

March 5th, 2013 by TRT Blog

As a company that prides itself on providing our government, higher education and hospitality clients with cost effective, innovative ways to enhance sustainability, celebrating and supporting environmentally-friendly initiatives is important to us.

National Telework WeekOne particular initiative that we’ve discussed on our blog before is National Telework Week, and yesterday marked the start of the event’s 3rd year anniversary. Brought to you by Telework Exchange and Cisco, employees vow to work from home during the entire week in order to aide in minimizing their individual and our nation’s carbon footprint.

Last year, more than 71,000 people pledged to work from home for the first week of March, ultimately saving the planet $5,651,890, 3,453 tons of air pollutant, and 6,413,006 miles of gas fumes.  Telework Research Network found that on average 20 to 30 million people work from home at least one day a week, while 3.1 million work from home full time – and if these figures continue to increase, carbon emissions will continue to decrease.

While employers may be weary of letting their staff work from home, studies have shown that not only will productivity increase but so will revenue – big time. Each employee that no longer makes the trip into the office will cut bills in half, resulting in savings worth thousands.

Teleworking was reportedly conceptualized back in the 1990’s during the Information Age when personal computers and high technology advancements really took hold. Then in 2010, President Obama declared his support by signing the Telework Enhancement Act, an act requiring Federal agencies to create policies for teleworkers, and Telework Week was officially born.

The idea of teleworking has its critics, but for one week negative connotations can, and should, be put aside for the greater good. The five-day event not only reduces waste for the week, but brings wide-spread awareness to the pollution problem that affects our planet every day, a critical first step towards improving our environmental future.

To join the movement and take the pledge, click here.  To learn more about how The Refinishing Touch is helping our clients reduce their environmental impact through furniture asset management solutions such as refinishing, re-upholstering and remanufacturing, visit our website: www.therefinishingtouch.com.

 

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Responsible Tourism Day: Thoughts and hopes for the future

November 16th, 2012 by TRT Blog

“Sustainable practices navigate successfully through time and space, while others crack up and vanish.” – Bruce Sterling

Responsible Tourism DayLast week travel operators, hospitality organizations and professionals celebrated Responsible Tourism Day, an event introduced five years ago by the World Travel Market (WTM) Responsible Tourism Day and supported by UNWTO. Its vision includes several key elements: bring the travel and hospitality industries together to educate travelers on responsible behavior; explore how travel destinations can be more sustainable; and best practices to encourage the debate and drive change of key environmental-related issues.

One of the most interesting aspects of this event and movement is it provides different individuals and groups the opportunity to drive a range of positive messages, helping take the tourism and hospitality industry forward.  To show the breadth of these messages, each driven by an individual interpretation of ‘responsible’, here are a few items that caught our eye:

An interesting post from Harold Goodwin, professor of Responsible Tourism Management at Leeds Metropolitan University and founding member of the International Centre for Responsible Tourism, created at the first World Responsible Tourism Day.  Professor Goodwin discusses how the responsible tourism movement has developed to cover all forms of tourism – including individuals with disabilities or limited financial means – and has worked to “escape the tiny ecotourism niche”.

- In a news story titled ‘Responsible Tourism Day: Ban plastic bags for a healthier environment’, Pakistan’s The Express Tribune, associated with the International Herald Tribune, wrote about high school students in the region who went around to local shops asking them to stop using plastic bags. The students also joined local government officials in a walk, holding placards which said: “Say No to Plastic Bags”.  According to The Tribune, 500 million plastic bags are used each year, and it takes between 60 to 100 million barrels of oil to make those bags. It’s estimated that it takes 10,000 years for a plastic bag to decompose.

- In a passionate blog post on The Travel Word, Ethan Gelber encourages individuals to get involved and take action, highlighting how sustainable, responsible practices are common across so many industries. Gelber notes that while there are still challenges, unsustainable practices are frequently being replaced in the travel industry.

As a team that has been encouraging, challenging and enabling sustainable practices across the hospitality, government and education sectors for the last 35 years, we couldn’t agree more with the sentiments of these articles and the mission behind Responsible Tourism Day. We hope that individuals and organizations alike will continue to embrace responsible, environmentally-friendly actions, and that sustainable education remains at the forefront of change.

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