Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) is a very dynamic organization that represents what has arguably become the two most important segments of hospitality: finance and technology. Unlike the days when “finance” was someone who wore sleeve garters and “technology” was someone who knew how to “z” out the cash register, our segment is the driving force behind hospitality. Despite having a diverse membership base, it is our obligation to continue to meet all of our members’ needs and to advance the hospitality industry at large.
For those who would like to stop reading early on, here is a quote and a statistic that provides a perfect executive summary on the topic: “The value we currently receive is already a little overwhelming. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time I would like to take advantage of all the benefits already offered by HFTP.” HFTP is currently experiencing an 89 percent retention rate of our members which is pretty phenomenal for an industry that faces consolidations and has traditionally high turnover rates.
So, under the backdrop of this year’s opening of the world’s largest hospitality technology event, HITEC, (known to some as “THE candy store for hospitality technology”), the Board of Directors assigned staff to survey our finance members for feedback on HFTP’s benefits. Surveys like these are similar to a report card for associations, so I was eager to see how we fared. The results were gathered over the last few weeks, and based on the numbers have a 95 percent degree of confidence.
The survey asked members to rank their top six benefits that they use as part of their membership. They were:
- HFTP Member Consultants Directory
- Industry Research Centers
- GHACP Database
- HFTP Career Center
- Volunteer/Leadership Opportunities
When asked what additional benefits we could add to the finance/accounting segment, almost 40 percent said “none, not applicable” or “happy with what we have.” The top additional benefits requested after the 40 percent were: more webinars, more education opportunities, more certification and more members (for networking). In the comments section, we received a variety of suggestions that will be presented to the Board of Directors including: providing webinars that could be listened to in traffic; “meetings in a box” for our chapters; and executive seminars for our C-suite members.
As a 25-plus year CEO, I was pleased and challenged at the same time. For those who have not visited my office, I have a stuffed T-Rex dinosaur in my office to remind me that you can be the biggest and the best, but still become extinct. In my “humble” opinion, HFTP is the biggest and the best when it comes to the “F” and the “T”, which is why we continue to ask: How does HFTP get better at what we do?
To repeat my opening, HFTP is a very dynamic organization that represents what has arguably become the two most important segments of hospitality: finance and technology. For those who participated, thank you very much! For those who might not have participated, or cannot wait for the technology member survey, but have a suggestion as to how HFTP can offer more, drop me an e-mail. After all, who wants to be a dinosaur?
Frank Wolfe, CAE, is the CEO of HFTP and an inductee into the International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame and an HFTP Paragon Award winner. He often speaks on hospitality and travel related issues. He is an author, speaker and an advocate of careers in hospitality technology or finance. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter @frankwolfe. Or Facebook: Frank I. Wolfe.