[Part 1] HITEC 2012 Preview

This is a two-part series previewing HITEC 2012, held June 25-28 in Baltimore, Md.

In case you weren’t aware, HITEC 2012 is knocking on our door. So things are in full swing here at the HFTP office – HITEC headquarters. We’re busy putting finishing touches on HITEC so it is a successful show for attendees and exhibitors.

Everyone is starting to buzz about HITEC and there’s so much new stuff this year that I wanted to share with you so you can start planning your HITEC trip accordingly. You don’t want to miss out on all the fun.

In fact, there’s so much fun, that I wanted to put it in a list of 10 awesome things.

So here — in no particular order — are the first five awesome things to look forward to at HITEC 2012:

1. High-profile Keynote Speakers

The three keynote speakers will tackle big (and interesting) issues that you won’t want to miss:

  • Caesars Entertainment’s Gary Loveman will talk about the importance of customer loyalty. He knows a thing (or 40 million) about customer loyalty since Total Rewards has over 40 million members.
  • Professional hacker, Joshua Klein will cover some of the most ridiculous and famous attack attempts in the new social media age. Who doesn’t love stories of ridiculous criminals?
  • And Google Idea’s Jared Cohen will demonstrate how technology is a part of every challenge in the world (and should be a part of every solution).

2. Huge Opening Party at Baltimore’s Power Plant Live!

Monday, June 25 from 6 – 8 p.m.

It’s HITEC’s 40th Anniversary so we’re celebrating in a big way at Power Plant Live! This year, the party isn’t at just one bar — it’s at five different bars that are all together under one roof at Power Plant Live! And all just for HITEC attendees.

You’ll have your pick from: Luckie’s Tavern, Mosaic Lounge, Leinenkugel’s Beer Garden, Mex Tequila Bar and Luckie’s Liquors.

And it wouldn’t be a real party without live music, cocktails and delicious food.

So come toast HITEC to another wonderful 40 years.

3. The newest version of GUESTROOM 20X, a futuristic model hotel room

It’s only every-other-year that we have the opportunity to experience GUESTROOM 20X, sponsored by Cisco. If you haven’t seen it, you don’t want to miss it. This year’s exhibit has all new technologies and is sponsored by Cisco.

I always love when GUESTROOM 20X is at HITEC because it’s so cool to see what innovative technologies are out there. My favorite part is that it makes me seem like I’m a futurist, on the leading-edge of technology.

I was watching HGTV a few weeks ago and they were doing a bathroom makeover for someone that included a new fancy shower that no one had seen before. It played music, had a light display and had personalized water temperatures. I thought to myself, “I saw that way back in 2008 in GUESTROOM 20X.” It made me feel cooler than I really am.

All the buzz over 3D displays lately? That was sooooo GUESTROOM 20X four years ago, too. AND you didn’t even need the silly glasses to see the 3D.

Make sure you visit GUESTROOM 20X to see what is on the horizon (and to become a futurist and impress all your friends with your forward-thinking knowledge like me).

4. Location, Location, Location

One of the great things about HITEC this year is that the convention center and official HITEC hotels are all located within walking distance to some really cool entertainment.

Baltimore is famous for their Inner Harbor — where you can find the National Aquarium, American Visionary Art Museum, USS Constellation, the historic Fell’s Point, restaurants, bars and more.

Hit up a baseball game. There are Baltimore Orioles games almost every night the week of HITEC.

Crabs. Avoiding all of the “got crabs” jokes, you must eat some crab while you’re in Baltimore. According to the Best of Baltimore Reader’s Poll 2011, here are the places locals like to get their crab cakes and crabs:

Crab Cakes

1. G & M Restaurant & Lounge

2. Michael’s Cafe

3. Friendly Farm Restaurant


1. Canton Dockside

2. Mr. Bill’s Terrace Inn

3. Conrad’s Crabs & Seafood Market

And if you’re wanting to do something cheap — as in FREE — here are 30 suggestions for you.

5. HITEC Special Report returns with all new content

Last year, I kept hearing attendees say that the HITEC Special Report was one of the best Bottomline issues they’d ever read. All the technology articles contained so much relevant information. The HITEC Special Report is back for a third year and once again covers the Top 10 Technology Trends, as decided by the HITEC Advisory Council.

Read the Special Report and then come to the education sessions to learn even more on those topics. The education program is based around the top trends and at the heart of the education program are the Super Sessions. These eight sessions offer longer sessions so each subject can be dealt with on a deeper level.

If you aren’t able to attend HITEC, the Special Report will be available on the HFTP web site after HITEC.

Part 2 of the list continues here>

Katy Walterscheidt is the PR & social media manager for HFTP and a proud Texas Aggie. She is also the editor of HFTP Connect, the hospitality professionals’ blog. You can reach her on Twitter @katyw03 or by e-mail at katy.walterscheidt@hftp.org.

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