“Adapting to the digital age is difficult in any industry. It’s risky, it’s scary and it’s easy to sit back and watch the other guys try it first. But today, three incentives have emerged which should make it easier for hoteliers to embrace digital; this new study shows how the right mobile technology could save dollars, make dollars, and improve guest loyalty” Professor Ian Millar, Head of Information Technology at EHL (Ecole Hotelière de Lausanne, named the world’s top hotel management school in 2013.)HITEC 2015 is underway with a bang, and the first day brings with it a new YouGov study showing how most Americans now want mobile tech inside their hotels – and it seems many are prepared to pay extra for the privilege. Read More »
I am grateful to have the opportunity to be one of the voices of the attendees of HITEC again. Last year’s experience in Los Angeles was wonderful in so many aspects that I was really looking forward to this year’s event. Read More »
With the October deadline to deploy POS technology that complies with Europay/Visa/Mastercard (EMV), operators will be feeling the heat at HITEC as they search for a company that fits their needs. Many merchants attending have done very little to prepare for this deadline, believing that the switch will be pushed. However, they should be aware that statistics show otherwise and 40% of debit cards and 70% of credit cards issued will be EMV enabled by the end of this year. Small merchants have backed off updating their systems to be EMV compliant because they believe they can avoid the cost of new equipment by paying an annual fee –but many of them are mistaken as there will be no exemption to those who do not have EMV-compliant technology. Read More »
For many of us, HITEC will be the first time we have visited Austin and might be the last time. I don’t know about you, but since we’re all in — or related to — the hospitality field in some way, it’s pretty fair to say that we all want to see how Austin does hospitality!The conference itself will be the centerpiece of it all: Bright booths, friendly exhibitors, and a chance for some excellent meetings and sessions. Since there is only a few days to take it all in, you will get the best results from the show by planning out which events and speakers to see. Fortunately, HFTP has made a HITEC 2015 app available on Android and iOS for just this purpose. But once the exhibition hall closes, what does Austin have to offer in the after-hours? Fortunately we’re well into the “age of apps”, and we have an entire spectrum of answers to that question. Read More »
It seems like the entire hospitality technology industry will be traveling to Austin, Texas next week for the annual HITEC show produced by HFTP.Just a few weeks ago floods ravaged central and greater Texas and brought major destruction to many communities surrounding Austin. Many families have been completely wiped out. As I watched the news, I couldn’t help but feel that there was something we could do, together, to help.We contacted HFTP, based in Austin, and found that they were already working on ways to support their community in the wake of the flood. Together, we discussed a new concept and program for raising charitable donations, aptly named “HITEC Helps 2015.” Read More »
I’ve always been a big fan of setting the bar high, so I am excited to attend HITEC 2015, the “world’s largest hospitality technology show.” HITEC will be my first-ever hospitality industry conference to attend, so I have a very open mind with what to expect – and a blank notepad so I can bring back tons of facts and share new ideas with my colleagues at Standing Dog Interactive.My bags are packed and I am fully stocked with business cards. I am ready to explore Austin and learn from our top industry experts leading super sessions for “The Digital Consumer” and “Big Data Marketing.” I have a feeling we will all be inundated with discussions pushing the importance of mobile — how to maximize your mobile presence whether it is entertaining guests through an app or even adding mobile payment services to a property. Read More »
In 2013, HFTP took a chance on adding a relatively new type of technology to HITEC, a “program guide” for a smart phone. The feedback we received from attendees was good and last year, again, according to the attendees, was better than the year before. With so many new types of products available and stakeholders to educate in the technology arena, HITEC had an even greater challenge for 2015. This year HITEC attendees will “experience” one of the first fully-integrated destination meeting applications (and optimized mobile web sites) for a smart phone ever — the HITEC 2015 Mobile Experience®. We think it will be so cutting-edge that we have gone away from our traditional 100-plus page HITEC Program and have converted a majority of our paper materials to digital. Read More »
Don’t tell me you missed this year’s Hospitality Technology@HOFEX! What? You don’t even know what that is? It was “an event so popular that the organizer had to change the venue at the last minute because the old one wouldn’t fit”? That’s right. That’s what happened to the half day’s top notch education organized and presented by HFTP@HOFEX in Hong Kong on May 7, 2015.
In 1952, some of the reasons our association organized was to make the hospitality profession a better place to work, add value to our profession, and to exchange information so we could do our jobs better and faster. Fast forward to March 2015 to the HFTP Leadership Strategy Summit, a strategic think tank where more than 75 top industry leaders met to discuss future HFTP strategic initiatives that were relevant to the industry. After 63 years, hospitality leaders still want the hospitality profession to be a better place to work, add value to our profession and be able to exchange information so our jobs can be done better and faster.
Over the two days of the summit, there were some very good initiatives brought up as potential ways to serve the industry. One of them mentioned by Lyle Worthington, CHTP, was that HFTP should create a search engine specifically for hospitality. The conversation moved on, but the idea had made it into my notes and as the day ended, one of HFTP’s partners, Hsyndicate CEO Henri Roelings and I discussed the possibilities.
You don’t have to pull out your crystal ball to predict the direction hospitality technology is going. Rather, I recommend you study the 2015 education program for the Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC), which lists out the industry’s top trends and interests. Designed each fall by the HITEC Advisory Council, a group of top technology practitioners, academics and consultants, I guarantee that the topics scheduled are what hospitality technology professionals are facing day-to-day and what they are looking to plan for going forward. To provide you an overview, I have an outline of the larger themes you will find this year in Austin, Texas USA. Read More »