An insight into the planning of an event where hotels meet MICE agents

Kai Schömann of Hotel Republic
Kai Schömann of Hotel Republic talks to Sydney Paulden
Hotel Republic events in London are becoming a yardstick with which to measure the success of marketing ideas in the MICE sector. They are fun, a spectacle of colour and they are effective at creating the right environment for serious business talks between conference hotels and event agents.

ITCM has been a guest on several occasions in the past few years. We have attended a party on a rooftop in Kensington, with everyone sporting something in the colours of the host hotel group; a dazzling white-themed gathering by the Thames in Blackfriars; a unique celebration on the streamlined Sunborn yacht alongside the ExCel Exhibition and Conference Centre; and a fun-filled Agency Bake-Off in London’s East End.

At this very moment agents all over the UK are receiving links to a video that asks them to save the date of 2nd April 2020 for the next Hotel Republic event. It is to be held at one of Hotel Republic’s client properties, the Kimpton Fitzroy London Hotel, in Russell Square, Bloomsbury.

‘At least 16 of the hotels we represent will be hosts alongside our Hotel Republic team’, says Kai Schömann, MD and founder. ‘All the hotels as well as Hotel Republic will pay a share of the costs.’

He explains some of the planning that will ensure that the guests will enjoy the event and that the host hotels will have a great opportunity to get close to important potential clients at a moderate cost.

‘There will be about 120 agents attending’, Kai goes on, ‘and they have been personally selected by their Hotel Republic account managers, so that they are all known personally. I was really proud when I saw the list, to see such an array of quality buyers with whom we do regular business.

‘Those guests who travel some distance, such as from Leeds or Manchester in the North of England, are being offered free overnight accommodation.

‘The guests will be arriving at staggered times from 5.30pm onwards, as there will be one-to-one meetings with hoteliers and we want to arrange a continuous flow without any crowding.’

As one group of agents finish their meetings, they will enjoy drinks and snacks, whilst the next group meet the hotels of their choice.

‘As required, our team will be able to advise both parties on whom to meet, as they will be familiar with all their preferences.

‘Once the meetings phase is complete, everyone will move to the hotel’s Ballroom for a sit-down three-course dinner.’

Kai has given a lot of thought to the dining plans. He has decided that, on this occasion, vegetarians will not be treated as exceptions, to be provided with something as an alternative to the main cuisine. ‘Instead’, he says, ‘we will serve a totally vegetarian meal for all. This will be very special, will appeal to all the guests, vegetarian or not, and will also show what the hotel’s chefs can achieve’.

Seating will be at separate tables, with one hotel representative at each table. ‘Then’, Kai explains, ‘after each of the three courses just the hotelier will move to another table. This will combine good dining with valuable networking, with the guests sitting comfortably throughout the dinner.’

There is still time, Kai adds, for additional conference agents to apply to attend. If approved, candidates will be sent invitations.

Is Hotel Republic able to take on new hotel clients?
‘Yes’, says Kai. ‘Obviously on condition that they are of the right quality and reputation and that they are not in locations directly competitive to our existing properties. We still have some gaps in our coverage’.

‘For example?’, I ask.
‘Well’, he replies, ‘we would be happy, say, to consider an enquiry from a quality conference property in Amsterdam’.

To see a video of a Hotel Republic event, please visit:

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