HFTP Connect – Hospitality Blog

The Showroom Floor: Put On Your Dancin’ Shoes

Written by: Neil Foster, CHTP, MBA

On your mark. Get set. Go!

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.

I learned the HITEC exhibit hall interactions are as much about cultivating longstanding relationships as the prospect of new ones, and it takes work on both sides. Throughout the year patience levels are tested with a combination of unreasonable client demands and less-than-impressive vendor service levels taking tolls on the union. Divorce is usually a bilateral no-win situation, and HITEC is a perfect one-stop-shop for the face-to-face to avert disaster. While the showroom meetings are perfect for shop-talk, lavish after-hours events are the perfect “date-night” to get back in the mood.

Tech Talks and vendor tutorials provide a soapbox to discuss offerings to an audience. While the Tech Talks are the perfect elevator pitch platform at 15 minutes, vendor tutorials are 30. For folks like me, with a professional designation to nourish, the talks shed light on vendors while continuing education points can be racked up in the process.

In an earlier post, I spoke of my pride as a CHTP designee.  I was delighted to see a short pitch with Lyle Worthington, Randy Craven, Brian Hightower and Mick Nissen shedding positive experiences about their designations.  I’ve had several positive experiences of my own relating to the designation and the group’s sentiments resonated with me.

On Thursday, there will be discussion on the international presence of HFTP, an initiative I am passionate about.  Mr. Frank Wolfe, HFTP’s CEO, and Mr. R.P. Rama, HFTP Global President, have been working hard with the team to strengthen ties, and I look forward to an even stronger global presence.

Although it seems we’ve only just begun, we’re also nearly at the finish line!  I’d love to hear your comments below on the elements of HITEC you’ve enjoyed the most!


Neil Foster has held regional leadership roles with Fairmont, Starwood and Silverbirch (operating Marriott, Hilton and Carlsonflagged properties) hotel groups in North America, rounded his knowledge of industry-standard technologies in Asia-Pacific as a regional consultant with MICROS Fidelio, and currently serves as an IT consultant with Tech-Tonic Hospitality Solutions.

The content published in this section was provided by HITEC Guest Bloggers.  The information is the view/opinions of the Guest Bloggers and not of HFTP, nor of any person or organization affiliated or doing business with HFTP.



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