HFTP Connect will feature posts throughout the week of the 2013 Annual Convention & Tradeshow provided from the aspect of the official guest blogger, Tony Llanos. Find out more about Tony below and keep watch during the week for his insights as a convention insider. Look for the Official Blogger image in the daily newsletter. Read More »
Returning this year, HFTP Connect is looking for up to three professionals involved with the hospitality industry who would like to write original and educational blog posts about their Annual Convention & Tradeshow experience.
If you’re interested, please send a brief description on why you would be a good guest blogger to Sara Bailiff.
Official Blogger Benefits:
A 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. Read More »
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 »
I left HITEC sensing mobile and the resulting real-time communication was a dominant theme this year and the future of our business, but barely scratching the surface of overall impact. With the lightening pace of change, the role of the IT manager has never been more difficult; opening the mind to embrace new high-impact technology, while continuing to protect against constantly emerging threats (PCI, malware, phishing, and other malevolent activity). It’s not an easy balance to achieve, but some organizations have been aligning a few technology resources with marketing to ensure new market realities are quickly leveraged by current technologies. Read More »
In two years we will have forgotten that there was actually a “year of the tablet.” As mobile, hand held computing will become so ubiquitous in the operation of our business.
Tablet productivity will come from two sources. The guest and the hotel employee.
The guest becomes another user on your system without the training you would normally give to your staff. They make reservations, will check themselves into your hotel, order room service, request towels, all with no training.
Now just think of the effect tablets in the hands of your employees will have. They will be mobile, but more importantly, training times will be greatly reduced. You will even be able to train a general manager or director of sales to check a guest into the hotel. Read More »
I have been to other types of conferences before like home and garden shows where there are lots of fountains and building materials and such. Tradesmen there dress in plaid flannel shirts, jeans and steel toed boots. Or an art show where the attendees wear beige khaki and sensible shoes and worry about whether or not there is room on the wall they have in mind for a particular painting. I was mildly amused at the styles that were sported by the HITEC crowd. And also impressed by the overall well groomed showing of most of the people who showed up from all around the world. I think the guys must have gotten in touch with each other before the show and determined what color shirts they would all wear. Read More »
The REALLY Big Show
The “rise” occurred on Tuesday afternoon and It was a REALLY big show starring senior people from Facebook, Google, Trip Advisor and Room 77. The stage was groaning with all these heavyweights in one place. Cindy Estis-Green did a great job in getting each to discuss their strategies of:
She had two pundits that started the Q&A into a frank and lively discussion. Read More »
Today, the exhibit hall opened for attendees to explore the many products and services being offered to hotels for their technology savvy guests. It seems you can book a room using your smart phone. There are programs that can find hotel rooms for using your personal preferences, current G.P.S. location and even get a fair price, which you may pay using yet another useful app. You can check in before you arrive and even have a key code downloaded to the phone and wave it in front of the door and it will electronically unlock and let you in. You can do all of this without ever having to actually talk to another human. In the lobby or privacy of your room you can access a digital concierge and it will let you know whatever you want to know about local weather, restaurants, parks and rental cars and well, anything… Read More »
The exhibit hall opened for business on Tuesday, and there’s a frenzied dynamic on the floor ever since; it reminds me of a busy beehive or ant hill in a sophisticated kind of way. Realizing time is a common enemy for client and vendor alike — with only three days to work with — opportunity must be sized up in the blink of an eye. It’s been a long wait since last year’s spectacle and it’ll be another’s year time before the next gathering.
The psychology of the event is interesting to me to dissect. There are entertainers, free refreshments, stress balls and toys scattered around, looking to catch our primal attention. Many of the key players set up in large aesthetically inviting displays near the main entrance, while smaller entrepreneurial outfits were based further from the beaten path. There is an element of Darwinism to the individual offerings. It will be interesting to see the businesses becoming more prominent next year and others replaced by more marketable ideas. 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 »