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HFTP GenYP Challenge — Are You Ready?

Written by: Dailey Fly

HFTP aims to help develop the professional skills of the industry leaders of tomorrow, and will support this initiative with an exclusive Young Professionals education program at the upcoming HFTP Annual Convention & Tradeshow. A highlight of the program is the first GenYP Challenge, an interactive competition that will encourage the participating young professionals and students to put their professional skills to the test.

About the GenYP Challenge: The Big Easy Edition

The objective of the GenYP Challenge is to increase the involvement of the young professional and student members of HFTP and HFTP Annual Conference & Tradeshow attendees. This challenge will:

  • Engage the student and young professional attendees with specific conference education;
  • Allow participants to network with peers and industry leaders;
  • Push participants to think outside the box during GenYP case studies;
  • Provide hands on learning experience to apply education and real life experience. Read More »

Adding Diversity and Taking the Scare out of the Visa Process in the Club and Hospitality Industries

Written by: Keith A. Pabian

As someone that often speaks about visas and U.S. Lawful Permanent Residency (green cards), there are two common looks that I see in the audience when I start my presentations – a look of dread that the presentation will be boring (visas – yawn!) and one of apprehension (the visa process – that is so much work!).

As much as I would like to think that I give fun and engaging presentations, the fact is that by the end of the presentation, most in the audience are excited about the possibility of adding a diverse, multicultural staff to their existing workforce and one that is often more professional than what can be found using seasonal college students and young adults.

Traditionally, many in the U.S. hospitality and club industries have used the J-1 visa when hiring and employing foreign nationals. The J-1 visa is a temporary visa that goes through a third party company/program administrator and is usually valid for four to 12 months in duration. The hospitality organization/club is not the employer or visa sponsor; rather, it is a client of the J-1 visa program that sponsors the foreign national.

There has been a recent and ongoing trend in the hospitality and club industries to break away from the J-1 visa as organizations look to take control of their visa processes rather than go through third-party J-1 visa programs. Additionally, I hear more and more opinions from those in the hospitality and club industries that a more experienced and professional international workforce can be achieved using the H-2B seasonal visa. Another benefit is that it can be easier for the employer to bring back the same employee year after year on the H-2B visa, allowing for less training, more familiarity between the employer, employee, and the employer’s customers/patrons, and less stress in wondering if the employee will be a good staff member.

The H-2B seasonal visa is available for up to 10 months in duration and can be applied for annually. We help those in the hospitality and club industries to define their seasons of need – meaning what periods are the H-2B visa workers needed and what are the busiest months of the year for these organizations. Once the H-2B visa process is implemented, it can be a very straightforward visa route for organizations year after year.

The biggest challenge surrounding the H-2B visa process is ensuring that there is enough time to go through the application process. We always advise clients to start the process five months prior to the date that they need their H-2B visa workers. Therefore, if your organization is interested in learning more about the H-2B visa process, it is worth starting the discussions as early as possible to ensure that there is enough time to go through the process.

If your organization is interested in a diverse, multicultural, and professional workforce, it may be worth looking into the fun and not at all scary world of visas!

To learn more about adding international employees to your workforce and navigating the visa process attend the upcoming HFTP Prolinks Webinar on September 18, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. CST.

Keith A. Pabian is an immigration attorney at Pabian Law, LLC.  He has developed a unique niche in representing organizations in the club and hospitality industries across the United States in visa and immigration matters. He can be reached at keith@pabianlaw.com or +1 (617) 939-9444. This article was prepared for educational use only.

Big Data – Just a Marketing Gag?

Written by: Michael Toedt, CEO

Big Data is omnipresent. Statements such as “Data is the new oil,” and “Data is the salt of modern merchants,” show how valuable data has become. But what is so important about this data? The majority of hotel managers will have no answer to these questions, although they should.

Big Data is more than the rapid increase of data, although it builds the foundation. According to forecasts the amount of data will increase 50-times from 2010 to 2020.

In business context the question is how data can be used to enhance the products and services offered or to even develop new products, also how Big Data will change the way hotels interact with their customers on and off-site. Read More »

2014 Annual Convention Guest Bloggers Needed – Apply Today!

Written by: sara

Returning this year, HFTP Connect is looking for professionals involved with the hospitality industry who would like to write original and educational blog posts about their Annual Convention & Tradeshow experience.

Official Blogger Benefits:

Complimentary Full Conference Registration which includes admittance to all convention activities, including scheduled meal functions, exhibits, Welcome Reception, President’s Evening and educational sessions.

Credit as the author of the blog post and links to blogger’s web site, social media accounts, etc.

Official Blogger Requirements:

Five blog posts related to the conference, see Guidelines for acceptable posts:

•  One prior to Annual Convention & Tradeshow
•  Three during the week of  the Annual Convention & Tradeshow
•  One post conference
If the official blogger fails to perform the blogger requirements, the blogger will be charged for the amount of the Annual Convention Full Conference Registration ($625 USD).

If you’re interested, please send a brief description on why you would be a good guest blogger and a sample of writing to Sara Shafer by August 25, 2014.

Disclaimer: As an association, HFTP may not endorse or promote a product or vendor. HFTP Connect is educational in nature and blog posts must not be sales-oriented. Products or vendors may only be mentioned in an educational format.

It’s a Wrap!

Written by: Randy Craven, CHTP

There was a Google Glass demo booth at HITEC this year; Dr. Ajay Aluri from West Virginia University was doing the demos. This was my first time using Glass.

Glass has come a long way.  The current “Explorer” version ($1,500) feels weightless and can record video for one hour. Of course the price and performance will continue to improve.

Glass makes it easy to take video and pictures and share them. This isn’t different than a phone really, but Glass makes it virtually friction-less to do this:  no phone to pull out, no app to open. When recording video you don’t need to look away from what you are recording. Read More »

Balancing Act

Written by: James Lingle

I have to admit that as a product of the 80’s I really liked all those 80′s movies. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Risky Business, Star Wars sequels, Indiana Jones, Ghostbusters and The Terminator were among the favorites. Not that I am opposed to John Hughes movies – that just tends to be more my wife’s style. One of the best parts about all of these movies were the great one liners:

“I am your father,” “I’ll be back” and “…when this baby hits eighty-eight miles an hour…” have all become classics. As I have worked my way through the last couple of days, I have had to balance a lot of time in the office with HITEC. So naturally – another 80’s quote came to mind – “balance is key Daniel-san.”

One of the challenges I think we all face coming to HITEC is how to manage our “day jobs” while we are here. For vendors, I wonder sometimes if it is a bit easier – after all we’re all here (name that movie paraphrase!). While not everyone of their customers is onsite, a large number of them are. Do their mailboxes slow down, or like many an attendee, do they continue to pile up? Read More »

HITEC Tuesday — The Secret is Out

Written by: Randy Craven, CHTP

I know the HITEC Advisory Council’s secret formula. (drum roll)… The keynote speakers are all there to scare you.

That was funny, right? At this time, please visualize Monday’s keynote Douglas Merrill raising his hand (an inside joke if you weren’t there).

Tuesday’s keynote, Rachel Botsman, knocked it seriously out of the park (while scaring the pants off us). I will stop short of saying that by itself it justified the trip, but hearing speakers like her is why you should be here, if you aren’t (yesterdays L.A. HFTP Chapter/IBS party at Lucky Strike Lanes being another).

Ms. Botsman talked about the emerging (heck, it’s here) Collaborative Economy. Read More »

My Club and Hotel Controllers Conference Experience

Written by: Monica Henegar

I have to admit that on my way to conference I had a moment where I thought ‘what if I won’t know what to write about?’ Well I am just halfway through the first full day of sessions and my fear is materializing, not because I have nothing interesting to write about, but because I was told that I only have to write one post during the conference and I am having a hard picking my best experience.

Everything I have witnessed so far has been amazing, from the HITEC opening keynote speaker, Douglas Merrill, who inspired me with his smarts and eccentric presentation. He turned my perception of information security upside down. I was amazed by the architecture and atmosphere of  the Belasco Theatre, where the HITEC opening party was held on Monday night and by the various education sessions I have attended so far. Probably the most mind-blowing, was the magician that charmed me and my colleagues at the entrance to the exhibit hall. Read More »

A View From the Back Aisle

Written by: James Lingle

I know it is early, but I am already hearing the same question I hear every year, “What do you think about the traffic on the show floor?” Everyone seems concerned about how many people are walking around at the show. I know it matters, but I have to wonder if it matters as much as we think. After all, the show floor is sold out and attendance seems strong from what I can see, even in the educational sessions.

Sometimes I think we judge the success of a show by how many people we have to squeeze past as we try to get to the next appointment. Do we take into consideration the size of the hall or the time of day or the people who are trying to get out early (we know who we are!) Read More »

What Can This Do For Me?

Written by: Samuel Ayisi

HITEC is here again and this year we are heading for the City of Angels. If you’ve never visited Los Angeles, then this might also be a good opportunity to see what the city has to offer. I’ve been told that it’s an exciting city, but don’t ask me. Apart from a short flight change years ago, I’ve never spent time in L.A., so this trip should be interesting!

I assume that those of us attending HITEC 2014 are looking forward to interacting with exhibitors and expanding our knowledge through the educational sessions – all in an effort to discover what the available technology, new or old, can do for us. Some may also be excited about opportunities to network with peers, explore new business partnerships, or the chance to catch up with friends and colleagues. Hopefully, this year’s event will be exciting, interesting, and fruitful for all of us! Read More »

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