Around the World to the Sydney Summit

0915SydneySummitAnother day and another amazing HFTP trip. This time around I am returning from the beautiful Sydney, Australia where I had the privilege of attending and speaking at HFTP’s very first Sydney Summit. As we have discussed, HFTP has really been putting the pedal to the metal in terms of going global and 2015 has been no exception.

For those of you who are not familiar with the Sydney Summit, let me explain. HFTP coordinated a two-part day of educational sessions and networking. The morning was geared towards hospitality finance, while the afternoon was more focused on hospitality technology. Attendees were able to choose either a half-day or full day attendance based on their interests.

DispatchesIn the morning we heard from HFTP Director of membership Development & Services, Bryan Wood, and then it was time to get down to business. I was very impressed with Martin Lew’s presentations on the role of the Director of Finance and their philosophy as a company. Martin is the GM Operations Finance for The Hong Kong and Shanghai Hotels, Limited. He shared a vast amount of knowledge in his two sessions. We concluded the morning with a Global Hospitality Accounting Common Practices (GHACP) session detailing the benefits and Australian comparisons and a presentation from Ted Horner on “What the Finance Exec Should Know About Contracts.”

After lunch, we started up again with an update on the hotel industry and an “About HFTP” presentation from yours truly followed by a keynote on data security. We were grateful for another session by Ted entitled “What Keeps You Up at Night?” before we ended the day.

I have traveled extensively for HFTP, but for me the Sydney Summit was even more than what I expected. The attendees were highly engaged and eager to embrace HFTP. All of the attendees showed great interest in starting a continuous forum for learning and networking — much like our chapters do now. With all of this renewed energy, we think that it is safe to assume you’ll see a strong Australia chapter in the coming year.

So, what are the next steps? If you live or work in the Sydney area, let us know! Contact the HFTP membership team with any questions or comments you may have at membership@hftp.org. They are always here to listen. Secondly, if you want to become involved in adding Australian industry information to the GHACP project you can contact HFTP Director of Communications, Eliza Selig at eliza.selig@hftp.org.

Thank you all for the wonderful support. I’ll see you soon in Bellevue, Wash. for HFTP’s 2015 Annual Convention and Tradeshow.

Daniel N. Conti, Jr., CHAE, CAM, is the 2014-2015 Global President of Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP). Conti is the Director of Finance at Wyndham Grand Jupiter at Harbourside Place in Jupiter, Fl, USA. 

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