Urban Living Festival brings blurred lines in to focus

UK: This week saw the staging of the inaugural Urban Living Festival in London.

The event, held at Tobacco Dock, was themed around three stages, STAY, LIVE and WORK. It focused on the increasingly blurred lines between hospitality and real estate asset classes, and featured a mix of presentations, panel sessions and interactive round tables discussing hotels, serviced apartments, coliving, coworking, BTR, PBSA, senior living and more.

ULF, which was hosted by SAN’s parent company International Hospitality Media, incorporated the Serviced Apartment Summit Europe, the Boutique and Lifestyle Hotel Summit and the ENGAGE! travel buyer fourm.

As well as engaging content, it provided exhibitions space and numerous networking opportunities all set against the backdrop of a festival feel, with pop-up food stations and a DJ.

The previous day, delegates enjoyed property tours and a drinks reception. Venues visited included Mason & Fifth, a coliving project in Bermondsey; WeWork in Devonshire Square; and Tower Suites, a new aparthotel in the City of London.

Click here to see presentations from the event, from the likes of STR, Colliers, Guesty, Savills, edyn, BNP Paribas and more.

ULF21 feedback

“It’s been a brilliant day so far. There’s a real buzz here in the room and it’s an amazing venue. There’s lots of little nooks and spaces you can go in to, as well as the stages. I’m having a great day and really enjoying it.”
• Alastair Mullens, managing director, Vertus at Canary Wharf Group

“I got the possibility to present on stage and it’s really an honour to be here. I wanted to come to the Urban Living Festival because it’s so good to see that senior living gets increasingly more attention.”
• Christina Kainz, co-founder, Lively

“It’s a really unique event where you’ve got the stay, work and live elements, and it’s been interesting to hear how they’re all blending together. To be able to connect with people we know and make new connections after all this time locked down, it’s been really good to have that face-to-face experience.”
• Rosie Willan, co-founder and director, Stay the Night

“We’ve seen the blurring of lines over the last few years, and it’s been really interesting to see the underlining piece around technology and hospitality and where those synergies are. The investment piece was interesting — to see where all these different sectors are heading. For me, it really enhances what I’m trying to achieve as a company and where we were looking to go to anyway. It’s been really informative. Yesterday was a really good day. The tours around the different properties and physically seeing what people were doing, I thought that was really impactful. I really enjoyed seeing all the different examples, it was a novel experience.”
• Deborah Heather, CEO, Quality in Tourism

“I’ve come here to learn more about the urban living environment. In many ways this is a hotel industry that’s morphing into hotel apartments, combined with coliving, experiences, sustainability… personally, I think everyone’s still trying to figure it out. I’m seeing companies here from the short term rental industry also now moving into other sectors… it’s been really educational. On the first day, it was great meeting new people who’d actually developed new businesses and to understand how they were approaching it. I talked to architects about how they’re redesigning buildings that fit with new concepts — it was really interesting.”
• Richard Vaughton, head of business development, Properly

“Urban Living Festival was an inspiring, engaging and very relevant event for our ever changing industry. Excellent content and networking.”
• Ricky Kapoor, managing director, UK, Palm Holdings

“Big thanks and congratulations for successfully delivering a new era of collaborative events! Super impressed!”
• Nouran Zarroug, VP global strategic partnership, AltoVita

“Huge congratulations to you all at IHM for staging such a professional and extremely well executed event. I take my hat off to you all for making it happen.”
• Dominic Sherry, CEO, Flying Butler Apartments

This story was originally posted on 29 October 2021 on ServicedApartmentNews.com

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