Focus Filter: The Age of Re-Engagement


September 20–22, 2017



Lisbon, Portugal


Register Here

Lisbon offers an enticing mix of history, culture, and a glorious cityscape featuring wide boulevards, river views, and Moorish alleys bathed in a comfortable Mediterranean climate. Traditional yet modern, this future-oriented European capital, with its creative new born-from-crisis vibrancy, builds the right context for this year’s Arena*, Focus Filter: The Age of Re-Engagement. Inspired by our friends at leading foresight and consumer behavior consultancy The Future Laboratory, the latest edition of our annual members conference takes on the need to connect, engage and interact more deeply.

Especially in our age of digital distraction when the human capacity for concentration is being significantly challenged, brands must endeavor to cultivate in-depth focus in order to stand out. With a panel of experts and speakers from various industries, we will explore the benefits, challenges and opportunities currently facing the hospitality sector and discuss meaningful ways we can re-focus on what’s relevant to us. In addition to exciting presentations and panels, there will be multiple casual gatherings and opportunities to meet and share ideas with like-minded hoteliers from across the world.

Design Hotels™ looks forward to welcoming you in Lisbon!

Speakers at Arena* 2017

This year’s inspiring panel of experts and speakers will explore the benefits of connecting, engaging, and interacting in a deeper more effective manner, one that comes from filtering out the extraneous and focusing on what is relevant.



On the Attribute of a Good City

„Portugal is becoming young again“

Despite being one of the oldest countries in Europe, Portugal, as its president recently noted, “is becoming young again.” This visually stunning Old World destination is driven today by a creative spirit of rebirth and reinvention that is transforming its cultural landscape. The forward-looking government now prioritizes entrepreneurship and supports the start-up field, and Portugal today is multicultural, tolerant, and thinking globally, which enables it to build bridges where others build walls.


The statistics may still suggest an indebted economy facing austerity measures, but look beyond the financial reports and you’ll discover a thriving business environment led by innovation, small businesses, and a new cosmopolitan generation. According to Monocle’s recent Portugal Survey publication: “Portugal hasn’t found oil. It found itself!”



Crisis & Creativity

A bold new space for showcasing art, architecture, and technology that promotes debate, critical thinking, and international dialogue, Lisbon’s MAAT museum presents its latest exhibition, “Tension & Conflict: Video Art after 2008.” The exhibition gathers the works of 22 artists from around the world who have filmed their personal views on the effects of the great recession, its associated political turmoil, and the less visible social consequences of those events.


In a display that turns the museum into a variety of filmic spaces, artists present protests, demonstrations, news, and poetic visions in frequently unexpected ways. Moving through the space, one witnesses the troubling events of the past while experiencing the present in a new light.



Recap of Arena* 2016 in Barcelona

Last year’s Arena* in Barcelona—“Come Together: The New Culture of Collaboration“—was the most well-attended conference in our history, with more than 221 hoteliers and representatives from 171 member hotels as well as potential new members joining. Presenting an inspiring panel of experts and speakers from various industries, Design Hotels™ explored the benefits of collaboration and community endeavors in business today. Have a look at our video to hear behind-the-scene thoughts of our hoteliers and speakers.
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September 20, 7:30pm – midnight

Welcome Cocktail
at Memmo Príncipe Real

Set in the heart of Lisbon’s trendiest neighborhood, Memmo Príncipe Real captures the city’s grand history and its surging new vitality through a contemporary style. Add to this a stunning city view from the hotel’s terrace and you have the perfect spot to kick off this year’s Arena*.


September 21, 8:30am – 5:45pm

Conference Day I
at Teatro Nacional de São Carlos

Day one of our get-together will take place at Teatro Nacional de São Carlos. One of Lisbon’s most impressive structures and a living historical treasure, this landmark, serves as Portugal’s premier opera house. It’s also as dazzling an introduction to a city as one could hope to get.


September 21, 8:00pm – 3:00am

Dinner & Party
at Bica do Sapato

With actors/restaurant owners John Malkovich and Catherine Deneuve setting a stage overlooking the Tagus River, Arena* attendees will gather here for what is sure to be a memorable night of impressive views, authentic food, and a boisterous party.



September 22, 9:30am – 1:00pm

Conference Day II
at Museu Nacional dos Coches

Located in the Belém neighborhood, the Museu Nacional dos Coches exemplifies Italian neoclassical design that was created by acclaimed Brazilian architect and 2006 Pritzker-Prize-winner Paulo Mendes Da Rocha. Here, in a new ultramodern space, Arena* attendees will get an up-to-the-minute look at modern-day hospitality.


September 22, 1:00pm – 3:00pm

Museum Tour & Cocktail

Boasting an undulating form that connects its grand roof with a promenade on the bank of River Tagus, Lisbon’s stunning Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT) has become the city’s top new cultural center. Here, Arena* attendees are invited to experience the museum’s newest immersive exhibition and then gather for a scenic get-together of drinks and bites on the MAAT rooftop.