Gutsy Genius Thinker

“I think the crisis actually brings the opportunity for all of us to start asking questions which were otherwise completely unorthodox and ludicrous just four or five weeks ago.”

ALEXI KHAJAVI – President, Hospitality & Travel, Questex

Alexi Huntley Khajavi

London, United Kingdom

Credentials and street smarts really help in life, especially as one develops one of the most valuable human attributes: perspective. Having worked in tech in the early days in San Francisco, then airlines and independent hotels in Costa Rica for ten years, followed by a digital travel marketing agency and now the Business-to-Business (B2B) Questex, Alexi has the experience to support his “tell it as it is” opinions, and he also has a deep international vantage point that few others can match.

B2B companies such as Questex depend on their people surviving through downturns and introducing new-wave entrants to the old guard. Alexi’s opinions on the space are clear. “We are a highly fragmented industry, from consumer to operator to owner to lender to landlord to the technology that fits in between each of those tranches (a French word meaning “slice” or “portion.” In the world of investing, it is used to describe a security that can be split up into smaller pieces and subsequently sold to investors)[verticals]. I mean, we are so fragmented that the consumer is confused as to who is who.” He is a keen advocate for nudging operators and brands to use technology to create a single point of access for the consumer. They’ve done this at Questex, which is effectively a single-use platform for all content they create.

Questex owns some of the largest conferences in the hospitality space. As an events management and digital media company, the company has been hit considerably hard as a result of C-19. However, Questex continues to expand with conferences like Berlin’s “Adjacent Spaces,” events that will drive the “change conversation” regarding the best use of space, and which will therefore drive thought leadership, as well.


Alexi’s Adapters Tips

    • It’s paramount to bring people together, whether virtually or in person.
    • Remember what Winston Churchill said: “Never waste a good crisis.”
    • Make your product/service/experience easy for the consumer to consume.
    • New investors are joining the space; know how to pitch to them.
    • The pandemic provides the opportunity to express ideas that were considered crazy pre-C-19, like “Why do we need an office?” Start asking “why?” about a lot more procedures or ways that you have been conducting your business. Crazy Bob in the corner, questioning everything, sounds pretty smart right about now.