Boutique Lifestyle Leaders Association (BLLA) held its first Digital Summit September 17–18th, welcoming international professionals to engage in two days of commerce, culture, and art via mobile or desktop app. Hotelier Ian Schrager and Thrive Global founder and CEO Arianna Huffington were among the headliners of this year’s program, which also included the 10th annual StayBoutique Awards.
“We exceeded our expectations on all levels for this day-and-a-half all-virtual event,” said Frances Kiradjian, founder and CEO of BLLA. “Besides selecting the best-of-the-best in boutique hospitality brands, investors, owners and founders, the added experiences such as speed-dating and mentor circles made this one of the best events this year—as heard directly from the feedback received from speakers, sponsors, and attendees. It is truly heartwarming during these special times in our world, to say the least.”
Through the app, attendees accessed programming from more than 80 speakers across 50 panels and webinars on topics ranging from investment and leadership to diversification and fostering loyalty—all linked to year’s theme, Dare to Adapt. Additional participants included Fauchon Hospitality, Standard International, EDITION Hotels, and the World Travel & Tourism Council. BLLA also partnered with research firm Metric Centric on a new consumer confidence report for the boutique hospitality sector, which revealed that travelers will seek safety and guest experience above all else in their future travels.