Expert Dialogue 04: 2023, Aktionshalle Stanzerei in Baden, with Markus Conzelmann, Grégoire Allet and Ladina Spiess.
For the fourth time, Glaeser Projekt AG invited an exclusive group of guests to the Aktionshalle Stanzerei in Baden. The two panellists, Markus Conzelmann and Grégoire Allet, engaged in an absorbing discussion encompassing passion, design, skills shortages and innovation in the hotel industry. The different approaches taken by a hotel chain compared with an independent hotel provided fascinating insights into somewhat different day-to-day operations. Moderator Ladina Spiess led the guests through the afternoon.
How are skills shortages, innovation and design matters addressed in a large hotel chain versus an independent hotel? What is their leadership style, who makes decisions and what are the priorities of their businesses? How do they deal with negative online reviews? Are Swiss hotels lagging behind internationally in terms of design and innovation? These and other topics were the focus of this year’s expert dialogue.
Ten years of Glaeser Projekt AG
Following a welcome by Ladina Spiess, it was the turn of Managing Directors Heinz Schönholzer and Anja Häusermann-Putignano to address the guests. With Glaeser Projekt AG celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, they reported on their highlights from the past ten years and what, with the benefit of hindsight, they would have done differently. In short, exciting projects and a great team!
Always being «on stage», approachable leadership and passion
Moderator Ladina Spiess asked panellists Markus Conzelmann, General Manager of the Radisson SAS in Lucerne, and Grégoire Allet, Director of Hotel Seaside in Spiez, exactly how they organise their day-to-day work and what challenges they face. Markus Conzelmann said it was clear that he would become either a hotelier or an actor. As he pointed out, when you work in a hotel, you are always “on stage” and no two days are the same. Transforming a training centre for butchers into a hotel for holiday guests has been no easy task, according to Grégoire Allet. Both men reported how requirements and preferences have changed since the pandemic, with guests looking for more from their holidays and more flexibility in the rooms. Their tolerance levels are decreasing, and little things lead to bad online reviews. It’s not plain sailing for the two experienced hoteliers. What’s more, the shortage of skilled workers is becoming more and more acute in the hotel industry. Their recipe for success? To be approachable leaders. The door to Markus Conzelmann’s office is always open to every employee, and Grégoire Allet knows the names and birthdays of all his staff. The discussion offered exciting insights into contrasting approaches that ultimately arrive at the same conclusion: whether you have a job in housekeeping or you’re a hotel manager, being passionate about your work is essential!
The post-event buffet and drinks gave guests the opportunity to chat with the two experts and to exchange new ideas and takeaways from the panel discussion.