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NEWH Leadership Conference 2017: Key Highlights

Incredible Insight at NEWH Leadership Conference

The hotel industry design community came together last week to attend the bi-annual NEWH Leadership Conference. The event, which was held in Denver, CO, was a chance for industry suppliers and the design community to learn, swap ideas, network, and pay it forward through the awarding of scholarships to the next generation of hospitality design professionals. In all, about 600 people attended the event.

The NEWH was originally started to advance the role of women in our industry and now a major networking resource for the hospitality industry providing scholarships, education, leadership development, recognition of excellence, and business development opportunities. In fact, last year the organization provided about $500,000 in scholarships.

What we like about the event is the supportive and collaborative nature of the community attending the event. With a clubbier feel than other events, it’s one of those conferences that truly make you feel like an insider. Today, we want to make you feel like you’re an insider, so here’s a rundown of the most interesting elements of the event.

Designers are crazy busy

This is really good news, but it comes with a shade of negativity. Right now, the hotel industry is seeing massive new hotel development and it’s sucking up the resources of the hotel design community. Most of the folks we spoke with are thankful for the flood of business, but are simultaneously stressed regarding the ability to meet constant deadlines.

The pressure is also mounting as there is increased emphasis on custom products, which lengthens the design period and makes every project more complex. Though it’s great for creating potentially memorable room and public space designs, it does make it harder to get as many projects done at the same time. Plus, design firms are sometimes reluctant to hire on new staff as they worry the good times will end and they’ll have to lay people off.

Manufacturing Issues

Another side effect we’re seeing lately is significant stress placed on manufacturing facilities. As product demand rises, the factories in which products are built are not always expanding their production ability in direct correlation to demand. This has the potential to create delivery delays for new and existing hotels. New hotels must order FF&E products further in advance than typical to ensure the property can service guests on opening day.

Existing hotels have a shortcut option. Executives at these hotels can refinish their existing furniture to make it like-new without any meaningful delay. Plus, it saves up to 80% compared to buying new. In fact, hotels that refinish their furniture through The Refinishing Touch, for example, have rooms back in service the very same day their furniture was refurbished.

Furniture getting technology

Another massive trend discussed on stage and in the hallways during the NEWH Leadership Conference is the electrification of furnishings. Not only has LED become a great way to set mood through lighting, it’s also being used to heighten the guestroom experience. Headboards, for example, are seeing increased usage of lighting as well as pieces utilized within the bathroom. But the biggest change is the inclusion of traditional outlets and USBs in many other pieces within the room. From the desk to end tables, and in most public spaces, furniture is now being designed to meet the needs of power hungry guests that need to charge multiple devices.

The Refinishing Touch can reengineer furniture to include the latest technology, rescuing older pieces that were purchased before the mobile technology revolution. Plus, pieces can be redesigned to better meet today’s design aesthetic.


In all, the event was a wonderful experience for all who attended. People laughed and learned and celebrated a very healthy hotel industry. The NEWH will hold its next Leadership Conf in Miami during the winter of 2019. We’ll see you there!

Event roundup: BITAC Symposium

We always love the chance to travel, network, learn and explore that our industry tradeshows present. Last month’s BITAC Symposium was held at the Fairmont Banff Spring in Banff, Canada – a property we know well because we’ve completed furniture asset management projects there.

BITAC events are rated number one in the hospitality industry and there’s a number of reasons why they are held in such high esteem.  First, the quality of the content with keynote speakers including John Havens and Josh Linkner, and the quality of the time we spent with our customers, prospective customers and peers.

This year’s event was a bit different from others because we also got to enjoy Canada’s natural beauty. Our marketing director, Ryan, spent time networking whilst hiking through the Johnston Canyon Falls and then on a trip down the Bow River. Meanwhile our president and founder, Mario Insenga, enjoyed discussing furniture asset management, budget-saving strategies and sustainability facts on the fairway.

Take a look through the image gallery below for a view of the beautiful Fairmont property and Canadian wilderness.

If we missed you at BITAC, get in touch today at sales@therefinishingtouch.com


Tradeshow round-up: The Refinishing Touch’s recent travels

If you’re a subscriber of our quarterly InTouch newsletterout today – then you’ll have read a roundup of some events we’ve attended or will be attending. In the interest of looking  back at Q2, we’d like to take some time to reflect on various tradeshows our crew has showcased at in recent months.

The Refinishing Touch tradeshow eventsThe events we attend reflect the industries we lead in – higher education, hospitality and government. To continue conversations and to demonstrate the consistent impact of furniture asset management the events we’ve attended include The Hampton Inn Owners Vendor Fair Orientation, the 2014 Homewood Suites Leadership Meeting & Tradeshow and ACUHO-I.

The Hampton Inn Owners Vendor Fair Orientation at Tennessee’s Memphis Botanic Gardens provided our team with an intimate setting to network with new owners of Hampton Inn and Hilton Garden Inn brands, for which  we are approved vendors.

Next, we traveled over to New Orleans for the 2014 Homewood Suites Leadership Meeting & Tradeshow – a great opportunity for The Refinishing Touch to discuss strategic initiatives in the hospitality industry for the coming year.

Then we made our way up to  Washington D.C for the ACUHO-I conference. This is a premier event for the higher education industry and you can read more about our time at this conference in today’s newsletter.

If we missed you at any of these events, get in touch with us today to learn how furniture asset management can save your time, money and environmental impact.

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

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.

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

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.

The lodging industry is breaking more records and making more beds

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.