So HITEC 2013 is in the can. I can comfortably say that for me, this was the best HITEC in many years. I figured I’d close out the year with a few topics that sprang forth from my brain post show, in no particular order:
Sessions and Keynotes
This year, the session and keynote topics converged very tidily with my own personal interests. It was actually pretty easy to put together a full palette of educational panels and presentations to fill each and every day. In the past, it’s been a challenge for me to fill my days without just mindlessly wandering the show floor looking for something to do or someone to chat with.
Take it for what it’s worth, but I actually extended my planned stay and put off a day of vacation to attend a session on in-room technology the last morning. That’s good planning and I, for one, hope it continues!
The Old Guard
The old guard companies were represented in force as usual. It was good to see that the whales aren’t resting on their laurels; they’re pushing forward with new products and improving the robustness and stability of current offerings. This hasn’t always been a given year over year. While I’m notionally a vendor by trade and not an hotelier, I think this is a great thing for hoteliers, a trend I hope continues. … Frankly, it’s refreshing. Read More »
Every year the first thing I do at HITEC, pretty much to the exclusion of all else, is wander each and every aisle. I’m in that zone between focus and apathy, just cruising for new vendors, products, marketing … things … that catch my eye.
In no particular order, here are a few of the people and companies that, primarily because of product and in some cases product category, caught my eye this year.
A brief caveat, I have no relationship with any vendor mentioned, and in no way should mention here be construed as endorsement or recommendation. In most cases my opinions and thoughts were shaped by a brief, but universally smart and engaging conversation. Read More »
Well, hello again! For better or worse, I’m back for another year as a HITEC Guest Blogger. I so enjoyed meeting and speaking with many of you last year, and writing up my thoughts,that when the opportunity arose I once again tossed my hat in the ring. I’m pleased and gratified that HFTP has (foolishly) seen fit to let me do it again this year!
Rather than repeat myself and my bio, I’ll just point you to my introductory post from last year; Pretty much all remains the same, including my interests in mobile, discovery and cloud.
For this year, however, I have my eye on a couple of new concepts that aren’t so much about technology itself, but how technology can help us do better serving our customers, whether those customers are guests or other businesses. Read More »
HFTP Connect is featuring four guest bloggers throughout HITEC 2013. The bloggers will be providing you their insights on all things HITEC from their different viewpoints and experiences in the industry. Before we get to Minneapolis, read on to learn a little about each of our guest bloggers and don’t forget to say hello if you see them onsite.
In no particular order:
As the call center manager for one of Minnesota’s favorite gaming destinations she is always on the lookout for technology and programs that will increase effectiveness and efficiency. At the Grand Casinos, they like to stay on the cutting edge of technology, but the day-to-day routine does not always offer the opportunities to learn what is the latest and greatest. While blogging for HITEC 2013, Patty seeks to find the next technology that will enhance guest services and will also bring a local perspective. Read More »
HITEC 2012 is over. We’ve all gone home. E-mail inboxes have been emptied and the seemingly never ending list of to do’s whittled down to something a bit more manageable. It’s time for the Wrap Up Show … Hello, Hello.
On day one, I was privileged to be in the first press gaggle to walk through GUESTROOM 20X. That first meeting ended right about the time the show floor opened, and as I walked from the back of the show floor towards the main entrance, I expected to be deluged by a horde of people sweeping down the aisles at me like a tidal wave. They weren’t there. I got worried … especially after the last couple of soft years.
Then I talked to vendors.
At first, they were worried too… right up until the people who did the attending started to talk. Universally, vendors told me that this year it wasn’t minions that showed up, but rather the decision makers. And they came to buy, with budgets, projects, and ideas about what they needed and wanted to see.
Talk about first impressions being wrong!
When the final figures were tallied, it turns out that attendance was pretty darn good; the count I heard was 5,200 hundred or so. That bodes well for the health and welfare of both our show and of our industry. Read More »
I think in terms of return on investment. If you think that hotels are gilded palaces to guest experience, then this post is not for you.
You are cordially invited to stop reading now.
Still here? Okay. Good.
Here is the underlying premise to Brad’s Unwritten but Logical Laws for Successful Hotel IT: Hotels are businesses.
They exist for the sole purpose of making money for their owners. Period. The End.
If you think differently, then this post is not for you and you are once again cordially invited to stop reading.
Still here? Wonderful.
You are hearty stock and shall be rewarded generously with the following knowledge. Here are the laws. Read More »
The economy was soft and the travel industry had never really recovered from 9/11. New project dollars were tough to come by and the level of innovation on display year over year at HITEC showed it.
Now, a couple of years later we’re seeing a proliferation of new start ups and companies moving into the hospitality space. Hospitality and travel are even popping up as viable subjects for venture capital, with mainstream VC’s like Ignition Partners taking a substantial position in Hipmunk.com and the creation of specialized travel and hospitality funds like Thayer Venture Partners.
I’m going to state right here that I was blown away. The level of innovation coming from the historically (ahem) ponderous companies of hospitality is nothing short of amazing.
My first visit was to Micros Systems.
Let’s face it kids, some people think of Micros as the 800-pound dinosaur that left a footprint in the soap dish…or something like that. They hold lots of market and they know it. For a while, I think they thought they didn’t need to innovate.
Well, somebody ate their Wheaties, because Micros has come to play in the new reality that is ecommerce. Read More »
My wife was asking me the same questions, especially since getting me to Baltimore required a six hour drive round trip to drop me at the airport; I’ve wisely arranged for a regional shuttle to get me back. After listening to our back and forth a bit, my eldest daughter piped up and said, “Because it’s nerd networking for hotel geeks, Dad!”
While I might not have chosen those exact words, she was spot on … it hit me squarely in the forehead that HITEC is about people, stupid!
This should not have been as surprising a revelation as it was.
I’ve spent those same last few weeks arranging times to meet people and vendors, lining up old friends to visit with, and scheduling co-workers with whom I would like to enjoy a tasty adult beverage. Everyone, it turns out, has a calendar to keep at HITEC.
Every conversation I have goes something like “Can’t make it them, I’m talking to my vendors,” they’ll say. Or “Well, I’m swamped Wednesday, but give me a call between 5 and 5:15 Tuesday night and we’ll see if we’re in the same part of the convention hall.”
It seems this show is about the people for all of us! Read More »
HFTP Connect is featuring four guest bloggers throughout HITEC 2012. The bloggers will be providing you their insights on all things HITEC. Before we get to Baltimore next week, get to know our guest bloggers.
First up is Brad More.
Brad More is a former Naval Aviator who stumbled into hospitality technology and found a home. He is co-founder and president of Atri Leo, a new company focused on the practical application of technology to hospitality. Follow Brad on Twitter @brmore or e-mail him for more information.
What is your specialty in hospitality and why do you enjoy your job?
I consider myself a practical technologist and an integrator. I don’t particularly like to build fancy new infrastructure systems with the latest buzzies, but rather leverage existing systems to do new things in a practical, sustainable and maintainable way.
For me, the absolute best part of the job has very little to do with the nuts and bolts of technology. I really enjoy sitting down with people and guiding them from the kernel of an idea, a glimmer of a notion, through a process of discovery that ends with a clear path to move forward.
What is your favorite part about HITEC?
I love to cruise the outliers, the young start-ups who just got into hospitality. You know the folks; they usually have a simple, stock 10 x 10 booth back by the food court or near the bathrooms. Read More »