Written by: Jennifer Jones
With the 50th anniversary of HITEC around the corner, I feel like there is an energy unlike any other year. Yes, Orlando can be drippy hot. It can also bring images of children shrieking through the airport with Mickey Mouse ears. But this year, we are coming on strong with the HITEC Orlando Opening Party Presented by VENZA and CyberTek at SeaWorld Orlando with complimentary access to the park. This will include a dolphin show, full park access, fireworks and the exclusive 50th Anniversary HITEC Block Party. We have had tremendous support of sponsors over the years to provide us access to great entertainment options, but this one feels special. Perhaps it is because many of us haven’t seen each other since the pandemic, as last year’s HITEC turned out a smaller crowd. New vendors are filling the exhibit hall aisles and there are tons of new options for just about anything you are looking to enhance your current tech stack.
I am not sure how many HITEC events I’ve actually been to through my 25 years in the hospitality industry… perhaps 10? Either way, I’ve always stored at least one memory from each one. In Los Angeles, I got to pose with a baby camel! In Houston, I got to meet Flo Rida! In Austin, I got to hold an armadillo! In Toronto, I got to pose with the Stanley Cup! One year I won Longest Drive! But of course, one of my best memories of HITEC is watching HFTP’s E20X competition.
After a hiatus at the last HITEC, the hospitality technology start-up pitch competition is back. If you’ve never attended one of these events, make sure to mark your calendar for the E20X pitch competition on Wednesday, June 29 from 8:30–10:00 a.m. in the Orange County Convention Center, before the HITEC Exhibit Hall opens. Two awards are given to the top competitors, one chosen by the panel of judges, and one chosen by the people. The innovation and creativity of technologists in our industry will knock your socks off, so it’s well worth the attendance.
Before you head out to sunny Orlando, don’t forget to download the HITEC Orlando Guide via the HFTP Events App available in both the Apple and Google Play Stores by searching “HFTP Events”.
Also, be sure to share the news that you’re attending HITEC on your social media: download the “I am attending” graphic to get started. And, throughout the conference, make sure to add the hashtag #HITEC to all of your conference-related social media posts. See you all in Orlando — with or without your Mickey Ears!
Jennifer Jones is president of J2 Hospitality Solutions and an official event guest blogger for HITEC Orlando 2022, taking place June 27-30 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida USA. Continue checking HFTP Connect for more of Jennifer’s experiences at HITEC this year.