HoCoSo embraces co-working. We believe in enhancing our team’s quality of life by enabling them to work where they would like – flexibility and choice is important to all of us; but so too is physical time together as a team and our annual HoCoSo POW-WOW is a highlight in the calendar.
The word POW-WOW originates from the Narragansett word powwaw. It is a social gathering held by various Native American communities in celebration of their culture. Today’s POW-WOWs have become a place to meet and dance, sing, socialize, and honor the different Native American cultures. Either private or public, the event is filled with tradition, music and celebration. And as for us, each year, we all get together in a different city – usually home to one of the team members. It gives us the opportunity to visit innovative hotel concepts and co-working places in markets driven by different cultures, performance and consumer trends.
In 2018, we met in Zurich – our primary home, if you like. This year, HoCoSo headed to Berlin, where we have an office and where we were also attending this year’s SAS Recharge conference. It was a great way to kick-off 2019.
So our global team took planes, trains and automobiles from: Beirut (Rhea, Marketing & Media Manager); Amsterdam (Camiel, Hotel Analyst); Zurich (Jonathan, Chairman; and Irene, Project Director); London (Katharine, Senior Director); and Berlin (Kilian, Concept Development Coordinator and Nicola, Hotel Analyst Intern).
Since Concept Development is a major part of our advisory offering, we stayed at The Michelberger hotel, close to the famous Oberbaum Bridge and in the heart of Berlin’s vibrant district Friedrichshain. Located in an old factory building and designed by renowned local designer Werner Aisslinger, the founding principal was to create a feeling of staying at a friend’s house. Entering the hotel lobby feels more like walking into someone’s private home rather than arriving at a hotel lobby. The restaurant is relaxed and informal, serving European food with international influences – a great place for a team dinner!
We spent the following morning at our Berlin office in “Mindspace” – a co-working space with offices, desks and meeting rooms for rent and communal space for all users. It is occupied by an inspiring blend of international and local businesses and entrepreneurs. It was a great opportunity to reflect on HoCoSo’s recent achievements and projects such as: The Nest, Geneva; new extended-stay concept Stay Kooook; and the concept development & operator selection for luxury Hotel Alex – a lakeside luxury hotel in Zurich.
An important part of our annual HoCoSo POW-WOW is also team building. Being in Berlin, the Berlin Trabi Tour was the obvious choice. What is a Trabi? It is the nickname for a Trabant, which was the peoples’ car of the former German Democratic Republic (GDR), better known as East Germany. When the Berlin wall came down on November 9th, 1989, thousands of East Germans crossed the border in their Trabants, so it became a popular symbol of former East Germany. The HoCoSo team took to the road in three Trabis, led by the owner, who talked us through the history of Berlin pre- and post- that momentous day. Harder to drive than they look, but at least we had satnav … sort of … via walkie talkie with the lead car. A great experience – and like so many consumers today, we too are experience hunters.
Having worked up an appetite, we toasted the year ahead over dinner. Food & beverage is such an important source of innovation in hospitality, so we went to Panama …. a restaurant in the culinarily-diverse district of Schöneberg, in Berlin. The owner, Ludwig Cramer-Klett, created the restaurant with the intent of providing an ambience and cuisine that exude an exotic and tropical feeling. His inspiration for the concept? The bestselling German children’s book “Oh, wie schön ist Panama”- “Oh, how beautiful Panama is” – in which the author, Janosch, and protagonists, dream about a paradise, called Panama. The restaurant serves only local produce in a stylish laid-back atmosphere.
We wrapped up our time together with a focus on 2019 and how we can help investors innovators and operators to benefit from the economic, consumer and investment trends driving the markets we work in. If you would like to speak to us about your business or investments, please do get in touch on email@example.com.
Nicola Minderjahn adds: “I have never experienced such a team bond and atmosphere. It felt very personal and on the other hand, very professional. I would like to thank the entire team for this unforgettable experience in Berlin and for giving me the opportunity to experience what working in such a team is like.“
HoCoSo are advisors with a difference. We create tailor-made and innovative solutions for clients’ hospitality-led projects by bringing together the optimum team of sector specialists. Jonathan Humphries, Chairman and Owner of HoCoSo, and his direct team specialize in the extended-stay hospitality market, luxury and boutique hotels, and resort developments in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Our strengths lie in the following core services:
- Product & Concept Creation, for portfolio & individual asset developments
- Strategic Projects with a focus on business planning, partner selection, market & financial feasibility studies
- Transformative Asset Management for brand repositioning, asset re-evaluation and concept re-structuring.
- Hospitality Education for companies and academic institutions, with a focus on bespoke course development, training and teaching
- Workshops, Keynotes and Conference Moderating for boards, leading international conferences and incubators