In conversation with Mark Gordon, Sleep + Eat


The Sleep event has been a staple event for anyone in the hospitality interior industry. For the last few years it has been hosted at the Business Design Centre, Islington but 2018 marks a year of change with the show moving to the impressive venue of Olympia and adding ‘Eat’ to its name.

We spoke to Mark Gordan, Brand Director at Sleep + Eat to find out more about all this change…

Mark Gordon

Sleep has moved. Why the change in venue?

The reasons for relocating the event are to improve the visitor experience and move the show forward. Sleep has always evolved, introducing new and reworked features in response to our community’s feedback and, as a result, visitor numbers have steadily grown. Obviously, the decision to move the event was only taken after careful consideration and we think that in the National Hall in Olympia we have found the best new home. Its interior is reminiscent of the main hall in the BDC, which will mean that the architectural backdrop to the show which everyone appreciates will remain, while the great bonus will be that the larger floorplate will enable us to place all the exhibitors and installations in one hall where everyone will benefit from the energy and cross-fertilisation of each other’s visitors.

We will also have the space to invest in a stunning entrance feature, a larger, more centralised bar and in more cutting-edge content. Whereas before, we just had one conference theatre, we will now have two, allowing us to double the number of sessions on offer. So, all in all, we are giving visitors more reasons not only to visit the show but to stay much longer by giving them more of what they want.

Copyright 2016 Matthew Shaw. See licence supplied with this image for full terms & conditions. Copy available at: Not for use by architects, interior designers or other hotel suppliers without permission from Matthew Shaw

So, are visitors going to expect something different at this year’s event?

Nothing that has made Sleep so popular in the past is changing other than giving them an even stronger platform. However, this year we are really building on the show’s success and creating even more opportunities for the industry to encounter innovative design and inspiring ideas. Our objectives remain the same: to deliver an exciting and focused event where business is done, high quality products are showcased, ideas are explored and where the European hospitality design and development sector comes together.

Eat has been added to the name this year. What will this entail?

Our decision to add “Eat” grew out of the recognition of the growing interdependence of hotels, restaurants and bars in creating the full hospitality experience. A good deal of convergence has happened recently and, as we talked with our exhibitors and design partners, we realised that many of them either were, or wished to be, working in this space. For this year, the new component will introduce four Eat Sets – concept rooms each offering a creative interpretation of what a restaurant, café, cocktail bar and nightclub could look and feel like. There will also be a new conference stream entirely focused on restaurant and bar design and development, located in the ground floor theatre.

Are you still doing Sleep Set? Because we loved it last year!
Absolutely we are! Four Sleep Sets, each created by a renowned architectural or design practice with the intention of provoking, challenging and engaging our visitors.

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Is there a theme at this year’s show then?

Our theme is: “Recognisable and New”. In a world where major brands are looking to expand into new markets, we are seeing more of them venture into hotels. We will be exploring this in our Sleep Sets by pairing designers and architects with a well-known brand and challenging them to transpose its values into a hotel guestroom. You won’t be surprised to hear however that we have interpreted this in our own somewhat unconventional way…………………..think hotel guestroom meets heritage book brand or one of our best known football clubs!

What are you most looking forward to seeing at this year’s show?

Well, so much really. I am very excited to see the response to our new features – we have some great designers involved in putting these together. I’m also confident that we are going to experience some of the best content ever, and, obviously, I’m looking forward to seeing our exhibitors embrace Sleep + Eat’s message through the numerous product launches they are planning. Finally, I can’t wait to meet friends, old and new, around the central Sleeper Bar.

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You can register your interest for Sleep+Eat 2018 here

Design Insider and the BCFA will have a stand at the show so we look forward to seeing you all there



About Alys Bryan

Alys is a knowledgeable design editor who is focused on instigating conversations, both online and in-person, with industry experts which challenge, educate and advance the commercial interior sector. Her training and 15 years of professional experience as a furniture designer for the commercial sector makes her uniquely placed to lead Design Insider as Editor
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