I recently attended and represented HFTP at the International Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education (ICHRIE) 2016 Annual Summer Conference. The event took place last month from July 20-22, 2016, and was held at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center – an amazing Texas-themed resort in the Grapevine area of Northern Dallas, Texas USA.
It took me several loops around the resort’s 85-acreage layout to find my way to the convention area. For those of you who attended the HFTP’s 2008 Annual Convention & Tradeshow at the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, Tennessee USA, walking shoes were a must have at this venue as well.
You may have noticed via HFTP’s social outlets (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram @HFTP_HITEC, HFTP News, PineappleSearch, HITEC Bytes, HFTP Club Bytes), that HFTP also had a booth at ICHRIE’s 2016 Marketplace. This was the first time in several years, HFTP was able to participate and sponsor ICHRIE’s Annual Summer Conference. Given the location of the event, which was only three hours (driving time) from HFTP’s headquarters in Austin, Texas USA, HFTP could not pass on the opportunity to have representation in attendance.
The conference was a great way to reconnect with several HFTP members, allied organizations such as the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI), and to meet several new prospective members from the hospitality academia world – both here in the United States as well as internationally represented.
Several prospective member attendees I spoke with said they have noticed the HFTP logo before. I was pleased by this information – it served as an ice-breaker to get conversations started, as I was a “newer” exhibitor at the ICHRIE conference. Many attendees were aware of our industry services and benefits, and of course had heard of HITEC before. There also was a significant amount of interest in our Certified Hospitality Accountant Executive (CHAE) and Certified Hospitality Technology Professional (CHTP) certification programs, due to the curriculum and learning opportunities for hospitality students.
One thing that stood out among this group of attendees was HFTP’s new industry service (launched in 2015), PineappleSearch.com. PineappleSearch is the world’s only hospitality-specific search engine that serves the hospitality industry at large – users can filter industry information, via the highly customized search features, to find relevant information faster. Since the majority of attendees at ICHRIE are in academia, educators were immediately “wowed” with the possibilities and capabilities. This is just one indicator that HFTP efforts are being noticed as we support the industry.
HFTP is dedicated to its members and the hospitality industry at large, and is continuously striving to create resourceful tools for industry professionals. Hearing the attendee’s feedback on HFTP’s services opened up my abstract views, allowing me to learn how HFTP’s efforts are recognized and valued by the hospitality industry as a whole. In my opinion, the benefits and services that HFTP provides to the industry, and to its members, are among the best offered. I am proud to wave the HFTP flag at these events, and to help grow the association – thus, benefiting the global hospitality network even further. Until next time – onward and upward!
Bryan Wood is the Director of Membership Development & Services at HFTP. Contact Bryan at email@example.com or +1 (512) 220-4033.