Written By: Joshua Bergen, CHAE, CHTP
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.
On Thursday morning of the Convention, the casino floor was very empty at 7:30 a.m. this morning, but when I stepped into the convention space by the HFTP rooms you could see and hear the buzz. By 8:00 a.m., it was time to choose once again. It was an easy selection for me to attend my first session of the day “Investing in Cash Flow” as I have been working cash flow this week and needed some help! I plan to follow up with a few friends that went to the “Technology Innovation” and “Risk and Reputation Management” sessions to see what I missed. Luckily, I can get the session material online as well. After two 20-minute fast track sessions on affordable care act and co-employer risks, I rushed to secure my seat in the “Ethics 101” session. With earning both of the certifications offered by HFTP, CHAE and CHTP, we are required to take ethics courses each year for CPE credits. I would say that this is an appropriate requirement for any professional certification. We all know the world could use some more courses in ethics!
Another highlight of the day was the first ever “speed-networking” Food For Thought luncheon. Attendees sat down for lunch while vendors and presenters rotated from table to table every six minutes debuting their latest products. It was a fun and interesting spin on meeting with the sponsors and vendors in comparison to the typical trade show booths. The icing on the cake was the keynote session presented by Michael Levie, CHTP. He was recently inducted into the 2016 HFTP International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame, and always shares his amazing leadership with anyone willing to learn. When he is dropping some knowledge about competition in a global economy, I am sitting in the front row taking notes.
To cap the end of the sessions, attendees enjoyed a few beverages and snacks at the new meet up sessions where we were able to network with the next generation of HFTP. Also, a select group of members which have earned the CHAE or CHTP (or both) were treated to the Certification Reception before heading out on the town. One more day filled with education and fun to go check back for more information and search for #HFTPinLV on social media to see all of the amazing posts, comments and pictures from HFTP and the attendees and vendors.