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Full Speaker and Keynote Line-Up Revealed for The Altos!

Our fourth annual Altos event is just under a month away, so it’s the perfect time to reveal our full speaker line-up — including our keynote. 

The Altos brings you an afternoon of insights combined with opportunities to forge meaningful connections within our dynamic industry, ahead of recognising and celebrating the most innovative hospitality operators in the corporate accommodation industry. Tickets are selling fast, reserve your space today.

From new business traveller demands and sustainability regulations to a changing European accommodation landscape, don’t miss expert insights from our dynamic speakers.  

Keynote Speaker

Simon Thomas, The Lanesborough

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We’re thrilled to announce Simon Thomas, Head Concierge at Oetker Collection's The Lanesborough hotel, and former International President of Les Clefs d’Or, as our keynote speaker. 

As we enter a new era of technology, he’ll share his views on why the “human touch” has never been so important in the corporate accommodation sector, and how apartment providers can embrace the concierge ethos to stand out.   

Simon is a leading figure among London’s concierges, and leads a handpicked team of 32 professionals — including chauffeurs, porters, and doormen — so you’ll also hear his take from the frontline of one of London’s most iconic hotels.

Captivated by London’s vibrant atmosphere in 1986, he began his journey in the hospitality industry as a pageboy at the Grosvenor House Hotel. At 25, he became London’s youngest Head Concierge with his role at the newly reopened Royal Garden Hotel. His career trajectory also includes prominent positions at the Renaissance Chancery Court and Rocco Forte’s flagship, Brown’s Hotel, before his current tenure at The Lanesborough, a 5-star hotel in London's Knightsbridge.

He’s also been sought after by luxury brands such as LVMH and Watches of Switzerland for his expertise in customer service and has also initiated a concierge mentoring program in association with American Express.

Formerly the President of the International Executive Committee of Les Clefs d’Or, Simon remains dedicated to promoting careers in hospitality as an active ambassador for the charity Springboard. 

Simon will be interviewed on stage by Matthew Parsons, Head of Content & Communications at AltoVita.

Panel 1: The Hospitality Strategies Fuelling Growth in Europe

Sana Shajarisales, Outsite

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Meanwhile, we’re thrilled to be joined by Sana Shajarisales, Investment Manager at co-living and community focused hospitality company Outsite, who’ll be sharing her perspectives on winning strategies across Europe, including “hybrid hospitality”, one of the fastest growing areas in this industry as digital nomadism takes hold.

Outsite was founded in 2016 to serve a new segment of location flexible professionals looking to integrate their life and their work. As Investment Manager, Sana is responsible for acquisitions in the EMEA and the Americas. She joined Outsite two years ago — during which time Outsite doubled its inventory of beds worldwide. 

Kearon McCarthy, Staycity

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Sana will be joined by Kearon McCarthy, Global Sales Director – Corporate Agents & Groups, at Staycity. With its eyes on further expansion across Europe, hear Kearon talk about the balancing act when securing leisure as well as corporate business. 

What else can corporate accommodation providers learn from these two industry leaders? Find out more on December 5. 

Panel 2: Redefining Extended Stay Accommodation for Tomorrow's Business Traveller

This cornerstone panel will dive into the changing needs and habits of business travellers.

Samantha Van Leeuwen, PwC

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With the boundaries blurring between travel for work and leisure, we’re thrilled to have Samantha Van Leeuwen, Head of Hotels and Venues, PwC join us. An experienced leader, Samantha is a specialist in hospitality and consulting, and one of the industry’s best strategic thinkers, and she’ll share what the consulting company wants from its accommodation partners, whether its interns or senior execs travelling the globe. 

William Parry, Altido

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Plus William Parry, CEO and Co-Founder at Altido, will lend his thoughts from the short-term rentals point of view. Will began his career in the short-term rental sector after co-founding the London Residents Club (LRC) with Tom Archer. In 2019, he co-founded Altido through a merger of four European companies (including LRC) and has held the CEO role since 2021.

This panel will be moderated by Jessica Dunderdale, Senior Director of Client Partnerships at AltoVita.

Panel 3: Navigating the New Sustainability Rules

Felicity Cousins, Journalist

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We’re thrilled that Felicity Cousins, an award-winning journalist and the founding editor of Sustainable Hotel News, is joining us on December 5. She’ll be moderating a panel that tackles perhaps the biggest topic of 2023 — sustainability. Having been writing about hotels and business travel for 18 years, she’s well placed to address the issues that matter with her panellists… 

Sarah Whiting, Thrust Carbon

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Travel technology and data professional Sarah Whiting, Channel Solutions Lead at Thrust Carbon, works with partners to design solutions and builds partnerships to propel Thrust toward effortlessly green travel. Working with clients like Altour, Tripstax and CWT, she ensures the company’s award-winning solutions, recognised by the International Air Transport Association, seamlessly align with client needs.

Vanessa de Souza Lage, Sustonica

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Vanessa de Souza Lage, Co-Founder & CEO, Sustonica, is an entrepreneur and marketer and has spent her entire career in the short-term rental industry: first as a short-term rental agency (Holiday Velvet), later as a distribution software (Rentals United), and now as a mission-driven CEO (Sustonica). 

The Sustonica sustainability certification aims to help owners and managers reduce the impact of their rentals while influencing millions of travellers to make similar lifestyle changes on their return home. Beyond her business endeavours, She’s also an advocate for women's leadership and is dedicated to ending gender-based violence.

James Fry, Beyond Apartments

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Having founded (2011) and built the Base Aparthotel brand in Switzerland, James moved back to the UK and started Beyond Aparthotels and Apartments. Beyond is a sustainable company first and foremost, that provides accommodation solutions, with multiple serviced apartment sites across London and is growing its operational aparthotel platform across the UK. 

Panel 4: Future Trends for 2024

It’s not The Altos without rounding off the afternoon with a peek into the future. For this event, hear from:

Michael McCartan, IDeaS

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Grab a bird’s eye view of the trends coming your way in 2024 courtesy of Michael McCartan, Area Vice President (EMEA) at revenue management software provider IDeaS. Michael is a dynamic pricing evangelist who has helped thousands of hotels, owners, and brands generate more revenue and improve profitability via the adoption of pricing automation and AI.

With a hotel and travel technology career spanning over 20 years, he has held executive-level roles in large and well-known companies as well as early-stage start-ups. He's a recognised and sought-after speaker in the hotel technology space and is widely seen as an influencer in global hotel revenue management.

Andy Conduit-Turner, Cartus

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Andy Conduit-Turner, Director, Growth Enablement at Cartus, will be able to share the global relocation company's point of view. Andy has worked in a variety of roles in mobility, attracted to the industry by his own experiences of international moves. Today, his team is responsible for monitoring emergent trends and needs within the industry and driving innovations to meet it. He is also passionate about sustainable solutions and co-chairs Cartus’ sustainability committee, which is following Cartus’s recent commitment to science based emissions reduction goals. Cartus provides corporate relocation services to organisations of all sizes, and with a global remit we're looking forward to hearing the latest relocation trends, and what RMCs like Cartus expect from their trusted hospitality partners.  

This panel will be moderated by Laura Marchand, AltoVita’s Partner Success Manager for EMEA.

Thank you to our sponsors IDeaS and Viridian Apartments, and media partners Urban Living News, Sustainable Hotel News, Serviced Apartment News, Independent Hotel Show and Globetrender.

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