Written By: Todd Swisher, CPA, CGMA
The 13th annual HFTP Mid-South Atlantic Regional Conference (MSARC) possesses all of the hallmark characteristics that make for a truly great regional conference.
For starters: Location, location, location. The 2019 MSARC brought approximately 85 HFTP professionals and sponsors from throughout the region all together at the Williamsburg Lodge in beautiful, historic Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia for two full days of continuing professional education, networking and fun (February 14-16, 2019).
The intimate nature of the event is another advantage because it fosters a special comradeship among attendees. In fact, check out this conference’s slogan: “You want to be where everybody knows our name”. It is an event where old friends gather, new friends are made and everyone shares a passion for the work that they do in the hospitality industry.
Another hallmark characteristic: The quality of education. The committees that put together the event pride themselves on the instructive value provided by the conference while incorporating opportunities for “fun learning.” This year was no exception. On Friday, attendees played Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune while learning about retirement plan trends. They were brought up to speed on the new tax law changes and learned how to compete for talented labor in today’s market. Crisis management and third party vendor risk covered the technology accreditation requirements. The day was rounded out with a “state of the hospitality industry” address.
On Saturday, attendees discovered what financial sustainability entails in the hospitality industry — and the conference was wrapped up with an introduction to Design Thinking, a pioneering program offered by Radford University.
The MSARC is also known for the quality of its networking opportunities. This year, the conference offered attendees and sponsors a chance to mingle at cocktail receptions on both Thursday and Friday evenings, as well as during breaks. The highlight of this year’s social activities took place on Friday evening, which was a dinner followed by an entertaining casino night. Attendees, sponsors and guests alike had the chance to try their hand at craps, black jack, roulette and Texas Hold ‘Em. A great time was had by all.
The MSARC is co-sponsored by the HFTP Charlotte-Blue Ridge, Central Carolina, South Carolina and Central Virginia chapters. Each of these chapters has the opportunity to host the MSARC in turn, allowing attendees to visit wonderful places as the Grove Park Inn, Pinehurst Resort, Colonial Williamsburg and Historic Charleston, South Carolina.
For more information on how to join an HFTP chapter or attend a future regional conference, contact the HFTP Chapter Relations team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Todd Swisher, CPA, CGMA is a coordinator for the MSARC 2019 and HFTP Central Virginia Chapter member.