Providing Deeper Meaning

Laurent Haug, Jayson Seidman,

Markus Schreyer, Guy Dittrich

11:40am – 12:00am

A New Generation in The Hospitality Industry

This engaging panel about the next generation in hospitality featured those who could address this topic from vastly different perspectives. As a new hotelier whose experiences include wide-ranging real estate knowledge and a strong background in hotel finance, operations, design development, asset and portfolio management, and acquisitions, Jayson Seidman stated that its critically important for a hotelier to provide deeper meaning with every detail and decision that goes into a property. For example, he noted of The Drifter hotel in New Orleans, “There are no TVs in the room and just one piece of artwork. The goal is to get people out of the room and enjoying the property as a community. This could mean morning yoga by the pool, water ballet classes, spinning classes, or a swim club we’ve created that involves people within the larger local community and is not necessarily even about swimming! It’s so important not to be exclusive, but rather inclusive. People like to be a part of something.” Social entrepreneur Laurent Haug strongly concurred, pointing out that “people need real experiences. Technology may give us new possibilities, but it is also takes us away from things we can actually sense. Meaning is not spectacular, so we don’t talk about it. We tend to think that meaning comes from scale, globalization, and technology. But it’s everywhere.”


For Markus Schreyer of Design Hotels™, meaning is found in a movement the company has created to foster engagement and drive people to properties in large numbers and in the form of a united community seeking purpose and change. “With an event series that we’ve started called Further,” he noted, “we are connecting people through shared experiences and talks that give our community an identity and enable them to work toward a common goal. Using socially inspiring programming, music, and more, we bring people together with a purpose that is larger than themselves.


Amplifying the conference’s main theme of re-engagement and focus, Schreyer said that today’s culture of distraction has severely affected people’s ability to maintain focus. To combat this, he said, “a new breed of hoteliers is using minimalism as a method to create deeper engagement. The importance has shifted from objective design towards reaching a core value of the deepest essence or meaning for a place. As we know, with design we strip down to the most natural and purest forms. However, the new hotel movement utilizes this reductive, minimalist look not for aesthetic purposes, but as a method to shift the focus from design towards the people, the program, and the experience.”


Recap Overview