LE Miami Set to Be a Staple on the Miami Calendar

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Jade Mountain in Saint Lucia was one of the exhibitors at LE Miami 2013. (photo courtesy of Jade Mountain)
Jade Mountain in Saint Lucia was one of the exhibitors at LE Miami 2013. (photo courtesy of Jade Mountain)

We realize it’s still a year away, but we wanted to put the LE Miami trade show—which debuted last month in Recommend’s own backyard—on your radar because if you want to mingle with the likes of BVLGARI Hotels & Resorts, Gramercy Park Hotel, W Hotels, Soho House, Metropolitan by COMO, and other lifestyle hotel brands, this is the show to do it at.

LE (Limited Edition) Miami offers you, specialist travel consultants, the opportunity to connect with contemporary travel’s most “influential and creative players,” as the show’s organizers point out, in a 20-minute, sit-down conversation. It’s an intimate setting with a very unique vibe; there’s even a live DJ playing music for the hipster set and offsite get-togethers hosted by the Chris Blackwells of the world. This year’s show attracted just over 200 buyers and just under 200 exhibitors, who were treated to parties; high-end hotel accommodations; pre- and post-tours; lunches; networking appointments; and, of course, the conference itself at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

That buyer to exhibitor ratio, points out CJ Holden, Beyond Luxury Media’s marketing manager, “is quite a good ratio and this is the show’s first year, so Serge Dive’s reputation—[Dive is the CEO & founder of Beyond Luxury Media, masterminds behind PURE Life Experiences and The Experientialist]—preceded him and quite frankly, many people couldn’t make it here, but for next year, they’ve already signed up, because the buzz started around February, March, April, so next year is only going to be bigger and better.”

Although, it’s not necessarily “too big” the show’s organizers are after. “Too big is not a good thing. It would lose its feel if it’s too big. In some people’s opinion, that potentially is the weakness of shows, is that they have become so big, they have become homogeneous, overcrowded marketplaces where people can’t do efficient business. If you walk around this show and get some of the feedback from these people, what they’ve enjoyed about it is that it’s not crowded, it’s the perfect kind of ratio. That differentiates us from other shows, because you have far more connections, far more engaged appointments where everyone is more relaxed and it’s not so hectic.”

Says Ennio Gonzalez, director of operations for 
Brickell Travel Management, a Miami-based travel agency that has an entertainment division, “The fair came with a very high expectation since it was the first of its kind here in Miami, and let me tell you it was worth every moment of it, especially the opening with lectures from Seth Godin and Ian Schrager. I have never been to any of the Serge Dive fairs, but this one, even with so many luxury brands and hotels, was not pretentious at all, very casual and friendly, and I think that was part of its success. Everybody felt at home, relaxed and you could do business in a very comfortable way.

“For us agents, it was a great opportunity to meet small luxury hotels that maybe wouldn’t come on their own and were able to be here and show their product. Everybody was commenting on how good it was, especially because of the organization, so I’m sure that for next year more vendors will come. I’ll be there for sure!!!!”

Other exhibitors at the 2013 fair included: UK’s 45 Park Lane; Amanresorts Americas; citizenM hotels, with properties in the Netherlands, the UK, U.S. and France; Edition, with properties in Istanbul and London, and soon Miami Beach; Hotel Arts Barcelona; Island Outpost; Bali’s Luna2; Saint Lucia’s Jade Mountain; Mexico’s Grupo Habita, and a score of others.

“LE Miami is a collector of design- and lifestyle-led travel brands,” says Holden, “and we bring in travel buyers who specifically cater to the creative class (a knowledge economy—people selling ideas). When you take a look at these brands, they have entertainment sales managers, fashion sales managers, they have people out there targeting this creative class customer. A lifestyle hotel is only going to work if you have a curated crowd; to have that cool funky vibe, you have to have the cool, funky people, so this show is dedicated to finding the right hotels and bringing in the travel buyer who books travel in entertainment, fashion, music, all of those kinds of sectors.”

To get a sense of what awaits you next year, visit lemiami.com.