07-10 February 2025


HORECA Business Lab

Marketing, management and digital trends… all at one event!

Analysis, data, opinions, trends and all developments for digital promotion, marketing and management for hotels and catering businesses were presented by leading marketers, business owners and market executives. From February 9-12, 2024, at the HORECA Business Lab on the stage of Hall 3, visitors had the opportunity, through workshops, case studies and panel discussions, to open their business horizons and learn about the developments and trends in marketing and management.

Digital trends & tools for hotels and restaurants

With topics related to the digital world of hotels and catering, the work of this year’s Business Lab of HORECA was completed, with a large attendance of the professional audience. The program started with the hospitality sector and a panel discussion on ‘Digital Marketing: The Next Day of Online Advertising’. Speakers were Mr. Angelos Dekavallas Head of Performance of Hellenic Technologies, Mr. Dimitris Mathioudakis Co-Founder of the company Mind The Ad and Mr. Elias Filis Digital Strategy Director of Kinesso. The discussion analyzed the topics of the most effective online advertising strategies for hotels, targeted advertising, and provided advice on how hoteliers can choose the right digital platforms and channels for their advertising campaigns. Afterwards, Mr. Vassilis Polyzos, Co-Founder of The VSCOPE, spoke about how to properly target customers abroad and how much such a campaign costs.

Viki Vamiedakis, Ilias Filis, Dimitris Mathioudakis, Angelos Dekavallas

Vassilis Polyzos

This was followed by Mr. Dimitris Serifis, CEO of the Nelios company, who analyzed the trends and changes in the design and content of all the digital tools of an accommodation and the necessity for businesses to enter a new era. Mr. Babis Hatzakos, Digital Strategist and Co-Founder of The FutureCats, spoke about Instagram and Tik Tok and how these tools can help hotels.

The second half of the event was dedicated to restaurants and started with the speech on “Which Social Media bring reservations to restaurants”, by Mr. Dimitris Lazaridis, Managing Director of Alpha Nicholson. It was followed by a particularly useful speech by Ms. Tina Michailidou Founder of the GR8 Communication company, regarding the content, where all the latest trends for Influencers, Bloggers, Photos, Text and Video were analyzed. The work of the event was concluded with a speech on the topic of “Criticism management in coffee catering with artificial intelligence”, where Mr. Efthymis Agapis CEO of Kabal presented the solutions provided by technology to this critical issue, giving valuable advice to catering establishments.

Sustainability, zero waste & digital payments dominated the speeches

The concept of Sustainability dominated the speeches and discussions during the third day of the Business Lab of HORECA exhibition, with experts shedding their light on the audience. The first part of the event was dedicated to restaurants, with Ms. Anna Mordechai, creator and owner of “Garden in Vari”, talking about Farm to Fork: How to make your own garden in your kitchen. She analyzed all the good practices she follows in the production chain of the raw material that reaches the tables of her restaurant, completely serving sustainability. This was followed by a speech by Mr. Tasos Pediaditis, F&B Consultant, about Zero Waste and how a catering business can save money and materials with the correct use of materials.

This was followed by a panel discussion on “Redefining the safety in the use of professional equipment”, organized by SEEME, with the coordinator Ms. Lila Karapostoli Public Relations & Marketing Manager of SEME and their speakers Mr. Panagiotis Hatzidimitraki President of the Association of Security Technicians of Greece, Mr. Yiannis Smarnakis president of the Panhellenic Association of Food Technologists, Mr. Ioannis Bertsatos president of the Hellenic Association of Accredited Inspection-Certification Bodies and Mr. Leonidas Avgerakis, Vice-President of SEEME.

Alexis Vaitsos, Evi Spanoudaki

Ignatios Litsas

Digital payments were put under the microscope, with COSMOTE presenting its new product that covers all the needs of any type of accommodation. With speakers Mr. Alexis Vaitsos CEO of COSMOTE Payments and Evi Spanoudaki Commercial Strategy & Execution Lead of COSMOTE Payments, payzy pro was also analyzed in accommodation, as an ideal solution to accept payments with QR on mobile and generate cashback for the business.

In his speech on “Sustainability: The only way for hotels to survive”, Mr. Ignatios Litsas Lead Auditor of Bureau Veritas Hellas presented the entire range of actions that a hotel can adopt today to have a sustainable operation. The Resort Sustainability Case Study followed, where the owner and creator of Dexamenes Seaside Hotel Mr. Nikos Karaflos presented the hotel located in Kourouta, Ilia, while the City Hotel Sustainability Case Study was the Athens Plaza Hotel presented by Ms. Rosa Tsirigoti Guest Relation & CSR Manager of the hotel.

Staff training, financing programs & digital payments

With a rich theme and great response from the audience, the 2nd day of the HORECA Business Lab was completed. The first part was dedicated to the hotel sector, where Mr. Argyris Daouliaris, Founder of Innjobs.net, spoke about the search for talent and the utilization of staff in the hotel industry. As he pointed out, proper evaluation, training, and serious motivation are required in order for an employer to be able to create and maintain the right team for his hotel. Then the Statistician of the Institute of the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (INSETE) Ms. Evangelia Lambrou, spoke about the Greek Hotels Evaluation method, as a tool that helps hoteliers to improve.

A panel discussion followed on the subject of Financial Programs and Subsidies for hotels, moderated by journalist Ms. Viki Vamiedaki and speakers Mr. Kostas Vamvakas CEO of VK Premium Business Development Consultants, and Mr. Paris Geronikolos Director of BoD Member DBC diadikasia. The discussion analyzed all the programs available to the hotelier, the Development Fund, the new NSRF and the Recovery and Resilience Fund, with the speakers stressing that it is the best time of all time for tourism businesses in Greece to take advantage of the various programs, to develop and evolve.

Alexis Vaitsos, Evi Spanoudaki

Vicky Vamiedaki, Stavrialena Gkotzou, Sokratis Efstathopoulos

The program of the workshops continued with the presentation of COSMOTE’s new digital payment program, payzy pro, which is now also available to catering businesses across the country. Mr. Alexis Vaitsos CEO of COSMOTE Payments and Ms. Evi Spanoudaki Commercial Strategy & Execution Lead of COSMOTE Payments analyzed the solutions provided by payzy pro in the areas of promotion, QR payments as well as customized cashback for catering businesses.

This was followed by a panel discussion on Mechanization and Quality Control in catering businesses with speakers Ms. Stavrialena Gontzou, Marketing & Content Manager of the Butler company and Mr. Sokratis Efstathopoulos of Imagepro, who explained the benefits of computerization both in the operation of the business and in customer satisfaction.

The critical issue of staff management and training for catering establishments was analyzed by PADA professor Mr. Giorgos Papadogoulas, presenting the steps an entrepreneur must take in order to create a proper team.

The section concluded with Mr. Thanasis Vasilaina, owner of the “Vasilainas” restaurant, who recounting the 100-year journey of his business, being the third generation at the helm, spoke from the heart about how a restaurant business can go smoothly to the next generation.

The latest trends in Catering & innovations in the hotel industry at the spotlight

With the most important topics of the HORECA industry, with panel discussions, speeches and case studies, the first day of Business Lab, the leading event of the hotel and catering industries, was completed.

The first speech was dedicated to cooking, with a panel discussion on the latest trends, where the question “Back to pots?” was asked and analyzed the trend prevailing in recent years in Greece. The coordinator was Ms Penny Georgakopoulou, Managing Partner of the Smart Ideas company and the speakers were the Michelin-starred chef of The Margi Hotel Mr. Panagiotis Giakalis, the journalist Ms. Maro Paraskeioudi, head of gastronomy for the 24 Media group and the president of SEEME, Mr. Panos Moraitis. From the discussion it emerged that the new trends impose the principles of sustainability, with all the ramifications that touch both the authenticity of the raw material and the local cuisine, as well as the role of professional equipment, but also the right communication. Then the journalist of Olive Magazine and FnL Guide Mr. Vassilis Dimaras presented the current Greek bar scene and analyzed the international trends in alcohol.

Vicky Vamiedakis, Stella Tsantila, Theodoros Katsimbras, Vassilis Riavoglou

Τίνα Τσιαμπάου

On the increasingly important role and application of artificial intelligence in focus spoke Ms. Lila Karapostoli in charge of Public Relations & Marketing of SEEME. A very interesting study with a lot of data on the consumer behavior and habits of the public in restaurants and hotels was presented by Mr. Giorgos Argyropoulos EMEA Client Solutions Director of CGA.

The hotels section started with the panel discussion on Online Sales moderated by News 24/7 journalist Ms. Viki Vamiedaki and speakers Mr. Theodoros Katsimbras COO of BookOnlineNow, Ms. Stella Tsantila co-Founder of INcrementUM Hotel Online Sales Management Company and Mr. Vassilis Riavoglou Senior Business Development Manager East Med & Balkans of Lighthouse company. From the discussion emerged the need for the proper management of hoteliers’ online sales, through the many and efficient tools that technology offers today, while the first online data for the course of the 2024 tourist season were also announced, which are optimistic for Greece , but also the competing countries. Immediately after the issue of Direct Bookings through the hotel sites, was analyzed by Ms. Tina Tsiabau, Account Manager of webhotelier | primalres.

Markos Georgiou

Vasilis Dimaras

Booking Platforms and Distribution Channels were the subject of the speech by Mr. Markos Georgiou, Managing Director of Loguers, who gave advice and instructions to hoteliers, while the section concluded with the speech and analysis of Mr. Alexandros Kapsetakis, Revenue Manager of company RevitUp which was about the best practices for Hotel Performance and Revenue.

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