Written By: Beth Hawks
If you are like me, you are thankful to be part of a supportive, professional industry with ample room to learn and grow. We are in a time in the history of hospitality when technological advancements are changing the industry at a swift pace. It seems that the next new thing to learn is launched daily.
The HFTP Annual Convention agenda is packed with a variety of learning and networking opportunities. But like me, you may be a little overwhelmed with all the event selections.
I’d like to share some of my strategies for success.
- Set a Goal. We set goals in work and life. Why not set a specific goal for the conference? Write down the goal and then work backwards on how you will accomplish it. You may want to learn more about a specific subject, network with professionals in a new area, or look for ways to become more involved in the industry. Reviewing the agenda in advance will give you ample opportunity to develop a game plan.
- Get Out of Your Comfort Zone. This is one of my rules for everything I do in life. Learning something unexpected will expand your mind, and it will make you a better professional and a more interesting person. There will always be something you can apply in your job or there will be some tidbit you can use as a conversation starter. HFTP will bring in experts covering a wide range of hot topics in the industry. There is even one session on Thursday about strategies for being overwhelmed (you will find me in that one). This is your opportunity to take a detour out of your direct area of responsibility and learn about something new.
- Follow up with Speakers. It seems like I am always in sessions that run out of time and everyone asks questions. I have learned that an email to the convention speakers the week after the event is a great way to have my questions answered and to also make a deeper professional connection.
- Network. While this may be one of the few opportunities to see your peers from the other coast, it is important to expand your network. It is your turn to welcome a new face to HFTP or to your personal network of professionals. Go beyond exchanging cards and connecting on LinkedIn. When you get back to the office, exchange an email or give your new contact a call.
Whatever your strategy is for making the most out of the Annual Convention, you know that it will be grounded in warm hospitality where everyone is welcomed.
Beth Hawks is the director of marketing for Blueprint RF in Norcross, Georgia, a company that provides network solutions to meet the needs of hotels, their staff, and their guests. Beth is a guest blogger for the upcoming 2017 HFTP Annual Convention (#HFTP65) on October 25-27 at the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate in Florida.0