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INDIE Confab: Washington D.C.
April 17, 2018 | The National Union Building
INDIE Confab:
Washington D.C.

The Independent Lodging Congress is taking things on the road.

This half-day event takes a deep dive into Washington D.C.’s independent hospitality scene. We’ll look at its thriving food scene, what hotels are doing to attract global travelers, and why the Nation’s Capital is for more than just tie-bearing politicians.

INDIE Confab: Washington D.C. will be the first barrier-breaking event to connect creative provocateurs and disruptors from hotels, F+B, design, and finance.

After a stimulating day of engaging panels and INDIEtalks, we will enjoy an evening of Hors d’oeuvres and cocktails with fellow visionaries in the space.

In ILC fashion, we promise to keep things raw, original and intimate. More to come.


National Union Building
918 F Street NW
Washington, DC 20004


2:00 – 2:40pm
Registration + Networking

2:40 – 3:00pm
Hotel Marketing Needs to Hit the “Reset” Button

The hotel marketing ecosystem has a history of being wildly disruptive. There was a time when hotel bookings happened through travel agents or by phone. Then, OTAs–which, largely, fueled the dot-com boom–became a viable channel to fulfill bookings. When Facebook reached a mass audience, digital marketing was disrupted once again. Our digital landscape continues to evolve, and yet hotels’ marketing KPIs are stuck in the past. Hotels need to get “woke” and realize that the KPIs of yesterday are not relevant today. How can hotels focus on what really drives revenue in today’s complex landscape? Hotels need to hit the “reset” button on their thinking and look towards a more sophisticated marketing channel. For the first time, thanks to big data, we can measure what inspires consumers and see the ROI on how it influences and drives sales. Let’s hit the reset button to measure what was not measurable–the point of inspiration–and increase revenues all around.

Jeralyn Gerba

Co-Founder + Editorial Director

Mike Keriakos

Co-Founder & CEO

3:05 – 3:45pm
The Changing Landscape of Hospitality

Bradlee Bartram

EVP Restaurant Development
Starr Restaurants

Thad Paul

The Wardman Group

Matt Wexler

Co-Founder + Managing Partner
Foxhall Partners

4:30 – 4:50pm
INDIEtalk: Hotel Hive + &pizza, A Perfect Partnership

Indie hotels have had a long history of partnering with outside brands to help deliver a unique experience for both guests and the local neighborhood. The seamless partnership between D.C.’s first micro-hotel Hotel Hive and local fast-casual pizza brand &pizza has kept the Hive Bar lively. So, what elements help to create a mutually beneficial and successful partnership? Jim Abdo, CEO of Abdo Development and creator behind Hotel Hive, and Michael Lastoria, Co-Founder, CEO + Creative Director of &pizza, will explore just that.

Jim Abdo

President + CEO
Abdo Development + Hotel Hive

Elizabeth Keating

Partner & President
Revolver New York

Michael Lastoria

Co-Founder, CEO + Creative Director

5:00 – 5:40pm
A Lasting Impact: Culture, Community + Craftsmanship

What makes an impactful creative community and how do you let it flourish inside and outside hotel boundaries? D.C. has long been looked at as a home for tie-bearing politicians but a heavy history of culture, art and activism have an overwhelmingly strong presence. Alleyways with colorful murals splashed on the sides of buildings, independent chefs cooking up a storm, artists and socially conscious activists gathering in maker-spaces around the city. How do we create a space where these creatives can thrive? How do we give back to unique neighborhoods while encouraging collaboration between locals and guests?

Michael Fuerstman

Co-Founder & Creative Director
Pendry Hotels

Katie Garrett

VP, Client Service

Kate Goodall


5:45 – 6:05pm
INDIE Convo: Finding Hospitality in D.C. Neighborhoods

Technology has blurred the lines of how we interact with a place. Community experiences are dwindling, and D.C’s residential and retail industry is trying to strengthen it. They’re focus on revitalizing neighborhoods and the sharing economy through diverse developments and audiences is key to shaping the real estate market.

Maintaining friendly, meaningful interactions is the centerpiece to some of the newest projects coming to D.C, and the people are loving it. What can the hospitality industry learn from this? The possibilities are endless.

Martin Ditto

Ditto Residential

Antoinette Marie Johnson


Jodie W. McLean


6:05 – 8:00pm
Cocktails + Networking

Presenting Sponsors
Founding Sponsors
INDIE Sponsor
Supporting Sponsors
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