Building a brand from nothing but a vision

by Youri Sawerschel , 13 March 2016

Light blue ties, light blue balloons, light blue pillars, YHS labelled BMW’s welcome speakers, hotel companies, faculty, students and the press alike. For the seventh year in a row the Young Hoteliers Summit transformed the École hôtelière de Lausanne into a melting pot of talents meeting potential employers. 40 different hotel schools from around the globe descended upon Lausanne to showcase their professional skills to leading hotel companies, while at the same time propelling their network within the industry. Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts made the race to be able to provide the challenge for the 2016 edition, followed by further partners such as The Dorchester Collection, Leading Hotels of the World, FRHI, Expedia and many more.

The Young Hoteliers Summit, as any young organisation, had a slightly more modest beginning however. In it’s founding year in 2010, there was nothing but the observation that there is very little exchange amongst hotel schools from around the world. The idea that these schools ought to be going from rivalry to camaraderie triggered a vision and a story that prevails until today, building the foundation of this high profile event with the power to bring together young hoteliers internationally. The vision: “Improving professional opportunities for young hoteliers from around the globe”.

As one of 5 co-founders I held the traditional speech during this year’s opening ceremony and showcased how Creative Supply is partially driven by similar values as YHS. Reminiscing on what makes the consistency and success of YHS to date, after 7 years of existence and yearly changing organising teams, I have come to see three aspects that have shaped YHS into an increasingly global brand within the hospitality industry.

1. The vision of YHS is persuasive, memorable and relevant which is why it has transcended from year to year, prevailing beyond any organisational changes.

2. The visual identity that supports the cause at hand is flexible enough for people to make it their own. As such it is adopted every year anew and carried forward in a compelling way.

3. The content guideline as to which elements of the Summit provide the necessary value to remain relevant for strategic stakeholders, made YHS what it is today and will ensure it’s longevity going forward.

The combination of these factors results in a consistent value proposition, which can be seen with clients of Creative Supply, is by no means exclusive to the hospitality industry and in the case at hand, allowed YHS to grow into a valuable brand. A value that is directly measurable for participating students and hotel companies alike. At the least, if you consider that throughout the years, there have been several direct hires from participating companies presenting employment opportunities to YHS contestants. Knowing that year after year a motivated group of students invests their free time, entirely pro bono, in organising one of the industries leading Summits, further speaks for the rich and valuable experience YHS offers to anyone involved.

ing Speech by Anil Varghese YHS 2016

YHS has creatively transformed itself from a one off Summit into a known brand in hospitality and I am confident, that it is with rigour and pursuit of the above mentioned aspects, YHS will continue it’s astounding growth.