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How Much Do You Actually Know about HFTP’s Annual Convention?

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Written By: Michael Bonn

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Surprise guests at the 2016 HFTP Annual Convention Opening Party last week.

“Going out with a bang” is an understatement for the HFTP® organization. Our last day of the convention blew me away AGAIN, and it went by way too fast! Friday’s schedule started a little later than Thursday’s itinerary and allowed us to sleep in an extra hour (or two for some of us), which was nice, but I could not wait to get back to Caesars Palace to see everyone again and hear more from our great speakers.

The first keynote session started at 8:00 a.m. and led in to the Annual Business Meeting. Watching the HFTP Immediate Past President, Daniel Conti, CHAE, CAMspeak with emotion about his passion for HFTP gave me a sincere understanding about what HFTP is all about. The many kind words chosen by Daniel’s friends and family to describe him were incredible. His desire for success was apparent, and the strong love for his wife awarded her a standing ovation. All of this really said a lot about his character. I had not met Daniel before, but I did introduce myself during the President’s Evening – I have to agree with everyone, Daniel is truly a remarkable human being.

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(#TBT) Throw Back Thursday – Do You Remember Yesterday?

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Written By: Joshua Bergen, CHAE, CHTP

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Food For Thought “Speed-Networking” luncheon at the 2016 HFTP Annual Convention.

Thanks to our friends at Facebook, the platform sends you memories from years ago to see if you want to re-post or re-share them to help you remember and celebrate what you have done over the years. This morning, I was notified of a “memory” from two years ago which was a re-post of a “memory” of an HFTP convention five years ago. I sent a photo to a few people that worked on my team in 2009, who joined me last week in Las Vegas, Nevada USA, for HFTP’s Annual Convention, to celebrate the memories of our trip and team building event. I never thought I would be able to talk about and remember events from 10+ years ago in such detail, but technology makes it easy to research and remember.

I point this out because our professional organization helps you build long lasting relationships and long lasting memories. When you mix fun with learning, you retain the information longer. When you have others to talk to about topics of interest,”when you go home,” you will retain it longer. When you have online member resources with the documents, videos and presentations, you can go back and refresh to keep those lessons learned in the forefront. When you associate different sessions with great speakers, and the interesting and entertaining ways they share, you will retain the information longer. This is one of the benefits they do not put in the brochure, but long time members and members that participate feel the impact.

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Chapter Events – November 1-15

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Here is a look at the events our chapters have planned for the first half of November.

November 1, 2016

New Orleans Chapter 

  • 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. | Offices of McGlinchey Stafford
  • Happenings in Hospitality – Updates and Trends in Tax and Employment Law
  • For further details and RSVP – CLICK HERE

University of Houston Student Chapter 

  • 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. | Hilton Library Study Room
  • November Monthly Meeting
  • For further details and RSVP – CLICK HERE

November 7, 2016

Greater Houston & University of Houston Chapters (Joint Event)

  • 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. | Houston Food Bank
  • Houston Food Bank Volunteer Evening
  • For further details and RSVP – CLICK HERE

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A Lot to Learn in Three Days, Highlighted by Hospitality

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Written By: Michael Bonn

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HFTP student member and official guest blogger Michael Bonn at HFTP’s 2016 Annual Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada USA.

ac16blogicon2A smile has not left my face from the moment our wheels touched the tarmac at the McCarran International Airport here in Las Vegas, Nevada. I am accompanied by five other graduate students from the University of South Florida and in such a short period of time we have been overwhelmed with emotion and respect for HFTP as on organization and the family-styled culture. To be completely honest, I was slightly intimidated about what to expect and how we would fit in as students to this elite organization of highly respected professionals. To say the least, I am in complete awe.

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Viva Las Vegas #HFTPinLV

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Written By: Joshua Bergen, CHAE, CHTP

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HFTP’s 64th Annual Convention promotes thought-provoking discussions among attendees and industry professionals from around the globe.

After a short 4-hour direct flight from Florida and a quick “ride share” to Caesars Palace, I was ready to jump into the sessions early Wednesday morning. The best part about the convention is the amazing educational line up. The worst part about the convention is that you can’t attend all of them at the same time. What I do, is I plan out my schedule on my flight and then change my mind hourly! But it works.

ac16blogicon2One tradition at the event is the CHAE and CHTP exams. I was able to take both exams at different HFTP events and now I am able to attend the conventions for my CPE credits. You can watch a recorded session online to prepare you for the exam. You can buy the study guides/books or download the Power Point presentation from the HFTP website. Many different options for you to prepare. I love hearing from my ever-growing HFTP friend circle as they pass the exam and join the elite group of members with the certifications.

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Annual Convention 2016 – #HFTPinLV

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Written By: Michael Bonn

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Stay social with HFTP during Annual Convention this week – #HFTPinLV

Before I get into anything else, I just want to wish a safe and speedy recovery to everyone affected by Hurricane Matthew. My thoughts are with all of those who have been impacted.

ac16blogicon2On a more positive note, I am excited for our trip to Las Vegas, Nevada USA this week. As we prepare for HFTP’s 2016 Annual Convention, I look forward to meeting many new people and learning more about HFTP® as an organization. This will be my first year attending, so without much prior knowledge on what to expect, I am approaching the event with an open mind.

I am particularly interested in the education seminars, including the workshops, 20-minute fast track sessions, vendors, volunteers, sponsors and especially listening to the lectures from our keynote speakers. I am elated to attend the awards ceremony and accept the HFTP Student Chapter of the Year award on behalf of our club director Dr. Katerina Berezina, CHTP for her knowledge and commitment, all of our club members for their ambitious and persistent contributions to all of our success and to the school of Hospitality and Leadership at the University of South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee.

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Chapter Events – October 16-31

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Here is a look at the events our chapters have planned for the second half of October

October 16, 2016

New York City Chapter 

  • 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. | Riverside Park
  • Walk To End Alzheimer’s
  • For further details and RSVP – CLICK HERE

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Hurricane Season: Is Your Organization Prepared?

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HFTP’s safety procedure tips to help guide your organization through hurricane season.

As those in Caribbean island countries and Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas in the United States continue to feel the effects and deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, it is important to revisit emergency and disaster recovery procedures within your organization. Some important items to address in advance of a disaster include: developing a disaster planning team, developing brief instructions for staff on how to deal with each disaster, preparing a detailed evacuation plan, evaluating your current insurance policy and identifying other facilities that can provide for your guests. For more detail, visit the “Preparing for Emergency: Disaster planning and recovery checklist for a comprehensive checklist.

Once a disaster strikes, the disaster planning you performed will become invaluable. Set your plans in motion to assess and contain the disaster. Once the property has been evaluated and everyone, both employees and guests, have been confirmed safe you may begin documenting the disaster for insurance purposes. Check out the “Your Insurance Toolbelt article which provides a checklist of items to document for the insurance company.

Individuals working in hotels have a unique responsibility. When a hurricane strikes, lodging establishments often become a refuge for those in need. Please take a moment to read the article “Stories from the Storm.” This article profiles how two managers from New Orleans, Louisiana USA; handled disaster recovery and their insights on experiences dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The article also profiles two club managers in Florida who offer advice on lessons they learned while going through the disaster recovery process.

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Annual Convention 2016: It Is Not Too Late To Register!

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Written By: Joshua Bergen, CHAE, CHTP

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HFTP® Annual Convention 2016 is next week in Las Vegas, Nevada USA – register today!

Less than a week until HFTP’s Annual Convention, and I am counting down like a kid at Christmas. Every year my desired outcomes shift as my career has shifted and as time goes on. One year, it is all about meeting the vendors as I search for the next big technology. This year, one of my goals is to complete my continuing education requirements for my CHAE® and CHTP® certifications. Although my goals change from year to year, one thing that never changes is my excitement to catch up with old friends and, of course, make new friends.

I still remember my first HFTP convention from when I was in the student chapter at the University of Central Florida more than 10 years ago. The one thing I knew about HFTP was that for the last seven years, three of my bosses and one of my favorite professors, Dr. Le Burto, were involved with HFTP – I wanted to know more about HFTP in order to become a leader like they were for me.

ac16blogicon2Being able to attend my first convention was not easy. I thought the company I worked for would pay for my membership and attendance, but that was not the case. There were companies in later years that supported me and understood the value of HFTP; however, I find that this year, just like my first convention, I am solely responsible for my membership dues and attendance.  Nonetheless, I always find a way to attend because it is important to me, and I do see the value in the HFTP organization – especially the conventions which help me grow, year after year.

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) is Checking into Your Hotel

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Written By: Carson Booth, CHTP

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Learn how pervasive AI is impacting the hospitality industry.

AI will become embedded and ubiquitous, and in the pocket of every associate and guest. Are you ready?

Some industries remain stubborn and resistant to change by not embracing new technology as fast as others. However, over the last few years, the hospitality industry has seen dramatic technology changes with the sudden maturing of suppliers as a result of consolidation and larger more sophisticated supplier entrants, competing hospitality business-model entrants that leverage technology as a platform, and technology strategy changes as a result of brand management company consolidations. These trends will continue to impact the industry’s technology strategies for the foreseeable future. However, there is a new, more permanent check-in about to arrive.

On October 4, 2016, Google embarked on a strategy to challenge Apple more directly by announcing their first smartphone to be designed and manufactured by Google: Pixel. Google is clearly betting that by more closely aligning hardware and software, they will be able to offer the same kind of seamless user experience that Apple provides its own users. More importantly, on the same day Google announced a strategy to leverage its vast information capacities by embedding voice-based AI within Pixel, envisioning a more intelligent natural language future for services like restaurant reservations, map directions, local points of interest, etc.

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